I am... Shabber, fruit seller



I studied till class 9 in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu, where I was born and raised. I am the youngest of four brothers and when I saw my elder brother running his own business as a fruit seller in Bangalore, I realised there is little use for education. I could earn a living without having to study for years together and I also had my family to support, since my father had passed away when I was a child and my mother was unable to handle the finances.

I joined my brother in selling fruits 18 years ago in Bangalore. We used to sell fruit in different parts of the city, until we finally settled down in Koramangala. Business was brisk in this part of town. It’s a relatively new part of Bangalore. There are colleges like Jyoti Nivas College, offices, banks, paying guest houses and many restaurants, so we had plenty of customers.

Frankly, I find the much-changed Bangalore better than the older, quieter Bangalore. The city is lively with more employment opportunities. I don’t mind the crowds, the pollution, as long as I get customers.

I am 30-years-old. Two of my brothers work as cycle mechanics and my elder brother who used to sell fruits, now works as a cook in Bangalore. I want to get married this year.

My day starts at 7 am. I buy fruits from Neelasandra and other places from middle men. I make marginal profits. By 10 am or 11 am, I get the fruits arranged into neat piles. I have to work till 11 pm, if I close shop earlier than that I lose out on making enough money.

I sell bananas, apples, oranges and grapes. Apples are the most expensive; they are priced at Rs.130 for 1 kg. It’s Rs. 100 for 1 kg grapes. Rs. 45 for oranges and Rs. 30 for a bunch of bananas. Customers, most of who work in software firms nearby, buy more bananas in the morning and more apples in the evening.

In my free time, I like watching movies. Hindi movies, in particular. There’s a modest cinema hall in Tavarekere where movie tickets are priced at Rs.100. I go thrice in a month to watch a movie. I read newspapers too, but only in Tamil.

The police give me a hard time. I have to pay Rs. 50 every week to them and they also take fruits for free.

(I am is a weekly column on men and women who make Bangalore what it is)

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 7:02:52 am |