Chennai summer is close to its peak and it means ecstatic days for tender coconut vendors and fruit-sellers. People who step out of their houses regularly for work or on errands, also have a wide variety of fruits to pick from.
The sellers say that their profit has increased and, for a few, it is doubled, compared to the last few months.
Aarasi, who sells tender coconut near Broadway bus terminus, says that she earns around Rs 300 to Rs 400 per day during summer. During rainy days, there are hardly any takers and sometime she does not do business at all.
Since her ‘shop’ is located near the bus terminus, people who travel from far away places tend to stop for a tender coconut drink. She has been running this business for more than 30 years and has a very prosperous life. The coconuts are from her own garden, hence, she sees total profit in her business.
Grape-sellers are also found in every corner of the city since it is the season for the delicious green and black grapes. Enterprising couple Kumaresans takes the load at dawn and starts business at 10 a.m. They say that they are constantly interrupted by the city police for selling their fruits on platforms and they are fined up to Rs 1,500. They earn only Rs 300 to Rs 400 per day and say that they cannot afford to pay the fine amount. Overcoming all these ‘professional hazards’, they wind up only after selling their full lot. They say that people are crazy about grapes and buy them in kilos. Grapes are an excellent food when we are hungry and a cheap way to satiate out thirst and so the Kumaresans have profitable days during summer.
Unlike the summer fruits, banana is a common fruit found right through the year. Banana-seller Shekar says that he earns more than Rs 500 a day because he has regular customers. As any type of banana balances the body’s nutritional requirements, he says he has customers coming to him for different varieties. He has rasthali, karpuravazhai, sevvazhai, etc., at considerably different rates. He takes up a load from Koyambedu fruit market at dawn and sells the entire lot by night.