Red, juicy thirst quencher conquers Kolar roads

Beating the heat

juicy retreat: A roadside vendor sells watermelons on the old bus stand road in Kolar. (Right) Cut watermelons kept for selling in Kolar. dh photos

Apart from water, it is the green ribbed outer skin and the lush red fruit inside that makes its appearance in hundreds on the roadsides all over the town that quenches the thirst.

Though mango is the king of fruits that marks the summer season, it is also the watermelon which tries to nudge it from the pedestal because of its thirst quenching qualities.

Last year, the town had experienced scorching heat from February itself. This year however, summer is a bit late in arriving. But as the month of March is ending, it is difficult to walk out of the house without sunglasses.

If one does not apply cream, the body starts itching and every second drops of sweat on the forehead increases.

It is at this time, the importance of watermelon is realised. Though, it has made its appearance quite early, the demand for it has gone up only now.

In spite of the watermelon not seen in regular fruit shops it is not something to be worried about as they are found in heaps in many parts of the city on roadsides.

There are also cut watermelon that can be seen displayed on pushcarts.
Now-a-days, the number of people selling in pushcarts has gone up, as many people find it convenient to eat a piece or two and quench their thirst on the roadside.

From Andhra

One of the most popular selling places of watermelon is at a wholesale shop near Venugopal pushkarni where there is huge mound of the fruit stored. The pushcart sellers buy it and sell it in a cut form in crowded areas.

The fruit does not arrive easily to the city. The sellers buy it in Andhra Pradesh paying Rs 7,000 to 8,000 as transportation charges. As it is not grown in these parts, they start arriving even before the onset of summer to the city. In a few days the fruit grown in other parts of the State also will arrive.

Sold in kgs

As the demand is more and the supply is less, watermelon sells at a high price in kg form. The most luscious fruit will cost Rs 15 per kg and if one bargains one may get it for a rupee or two less.

Each fruit may weigh anywhere between one-and-a half to two kgs. Only if one buys a fruit weighing so much will it be tasty and worth its price.

The cut fruit is sold at Rs 5 a piece. As the size of the fruit increases the price also goes up. If the whole household has to eat then a bigger size watermelon is bought which costs around Rs 25 to Rs 30.

“The fruit that is brought from Andhra is sold at Rs 15 a kg while the local fruit is sold at Rs 10 a kg which is not tasty and also it contains a lot more seeds. We have paid a lot for transportation,” said a fruitseller.

“The watermelon tastes very sweet in summer. Even if it is available throughout the year, it is in summer months it tastes special. Till the summer ends we will eat it every day. However, Rs 15 a kg is a bit steep,” said a consumer.

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