‘Beat the Heat’ with summer fruit; Spurt in demand as temperature rises; Many vendors with 10 tonnes of juicy fruit run out of stocks in a fortnight
Mysore/Mysuru: The scorching summer seems to be more humid in city this year. The spell of dry weather and soaring mercury levels has signalled the arrival of summer. Staying healthy amid hot weather needs an extra little care. However, the best way to stay healthy is to take necessary precautions by keeping ourselves hydrated.
The city is experiencing a rise in mercury levels from Feb. 10 and it appears to be worse in the coming days from March to May or probably till June, considered as hottest months in the year. At times like this, juicy seasonal fruits like watermelon, orange, muskmelon, grapes are the pick of most — either at home or outside.
It is clearly evident, as many vendors have set up watermelon stalls, followed by fruit salad carts, cucumber stalls, muskmelon stalls, lime soda push carts and juice centres at various places in Mysuru.
Be it Devaraja Market on Sayyaji Rao Road, old RMC on Seshadri Iyer Road, Bandipalya APMC on Mysuru-Nanjangud Road, Yadavagiri Main Road, footpaths near Akashavani on KRS Road, Torchlight Parade Ground in Bannimantap, Vishwamanava Double Road in Kuvempunagar, New Sayyaji Rao Road, D. Devaraja Urs Road, Kukkarahalli Lake Junction (Bogadi Road), near Aishwarya Petrol Bunk on Hunsur Road, Signal Light Junction on Azeez Sait Double Road (Udayagiri Main Road), Beedi Workers Hospital Circle, Udayagiri, Shivaji Road, N.R. Mohalla, near Jalapuri Police Quarters, Gayathripuram, Kyathamaranahalli Road Junction, Kuvempunagar Police Station Road and near several hospitals and prominent roads in the city.
No wonder that, it is impossible to separate the bond between watermelon, summer and people. A slice of watermelon is not only a refreshing fruit for summer, but a heavenly feeling as it melts inside the mouth.
“It’s watermelon weather. That summer kind of weather. When people get together and sing,” quotes Guy Webster, an American photographer.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, M. Mahadevaiah, a vendor in Gokulam, said: “Though watermelon is grown in Hunsur, Malavalli, Gundlupet, Holenarasipur, Pandavapura and Nagamangala among various other places in several districts across the State, vendors import tonnes of watermelon from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat to Mysuru as there is a spurt in demand for the juicy fruit. I have been selling watermelon for the past 35 years. However, the demand for the fruit is more during the months of April and May and at the same time there is equal expenditure for the maintenance.”
Three varieties of watermelon
The size and colour of varieties of watermelon differs — 4 to 12-kg white and green striped fruit is called ‘Namadara’, 2 to 6-kg dark green is ‘Sugar Queen’ and 4 to 15-kg light green is ‘Supritha.’ These three varieties of watermelon, albeit competing in juicy and sugary contents, sell like a hot cake during summer. Ten loads of 10 tonne each watermelon arrive in Mysuru city at a time. They are sold at Rs. 35 to Rs. 40 per kg, and the stock goes empty within 15 to 20 days of arrival. However, the increasing demand for watermelons will obviously shoot up the price gradually.
Besides, there is an increase in demand for cucumber, pineapple, sweet melon, fresh fruit juices, and tender coconut also, as is evident with people stopping by make-shift stalls on road sides to quench their thirst.