Freshtarians' choice

Vans laden with fresh mangoes... direct from orchards.  

A fruit directly plucked from the tree always tastes better, ain't it? If it's done sneaking into a garden and getting away before the watchman could spot you, it is even sweeter. The excitement of doing a forbidden thing, eh?

Well, that's all wishful thinking. How can you hope to find an orchard amidst this concrete jungle? Yet, there is still the next best option. You can buy those farm fresh fruits, loaded into the van straight from the orchards and brought to your doorstep... er to the vicinity of your neighbourhood, day after day.

Vans laden with fresh seasonal fruits, with the prominent banner of cherished farm fresh variety is enough to make one halt in his or her tracks and pick up the favourite one.It's summer time and mangoes are beginning to flood the market. But grapes are still in demand, their season having started a couple of months ago.

Syed Mausin, a farm owner from Shamshabad, parks his van laden with grapes grown in his own garden and the popular `Nuziveedu Mango Rasalu' brought all the way from Nuziveedu.

Catering to steady flow of customers, he says, "We prefer to sell the freshly plucked fruit directly to customers as there is a good demand and we have enough time on hand.'' `Chinna Rasalu', the most sought after variety procured from Nuziveedu, is ripened in his friend's farm at Krishnanagar and sold here. There is still time for another popular variety - `Banginapalli'. For now, `Rasalu' rule.

FOR 'AAM' JANATA: Too tempting to resist, ain't it?

FOR 'AAM' JANATA: Too tempting to resist, ain't it?  

How often does he get fruits from Nuziveedu? Twice a week, he says. "No, we don't use any chemicals to ripen the fruit. We let it happen naturally in the farm here,'' he explains.

Ramakrishna, a resident of Sanathnagar, prefers buying from the growers directly than fruit merchants, as "the fruits are fresh and quality is much better as they come direct from the farm. And they come cheaper too.'' Chandrabhai of SR Nagar and Basavayya echo the same opinion. But more than the price, they come for the quality, they add.

Meanwhile, Manjula stops her vehicle to pick up the fruit. No she doesn't buy regularly here, but `Nuziveedu' is too tempting to resist.

``The business is good and we sell about two quintals of grapes and mangoes a day,'' Mausin says. The leftover stock is off-loaded to pushcart vendors at half the price. "No way we can sell the leftovers to customers. Freshness is our USP,'' he adds. While green grapes and mangoes are offered at Rs.20 a kg, the black grapes, `Flame' variety from Nasik in Maharashtra, is also stocked as customers ask for it.

Mausin prefers to park his van at one place and sell and there are others who prefer to be mobile, halting the van at various areas in the city. Kukatpally, Yerragadda are other `addas' of these sellers. Hmmm..., beginning to smell the fresh fruit?

By Melly Maitreyi M.L.

Photos: P.V. Sivakumar