HYDERABAD: Serving fruit juices, lassi, butter milk and cut fruits on push-carts, these men brave the hot sun under the narrow hood of their coloured carts and are happily cashing in on the effects of the simmering heat.
“We usually set up shop by early January itself and profits start to pour in only by March.
But this year has been a surprisingly good one, with the month of February raking in the moolah, unlike last year”, expressed Vishwas.
A sugarcane juice seller near Madhapur, he has managed to sell over 250 glasses a day at `6 per glass, compared to the 100 he used to sell in the previous month.
He claims that the heat experienced during February last year was in no ways near to the extreme temperatures being experienced now, and his sales figures are enough proof of that, despite his having raised the price of a glass by `1.
For vendors selling an assortment of fresh fruits, it's the hue of the colourful display of ripe red watermelons, yellow pineapples, brown chikku and green grapes that pull in the crowd.
“True, the heat is unbearable.
But this month, I have managed to regularly sell close to 200 plates of fresh fruits daily, unlike last year when business only picked up in March.
Wastage of stocked up fruits is minimal now”, said Sivakumar, who sells each plate at `10 near the State Assembly.
And then there is the ubiquitous soda pop stalls.
Shekhar, a student at a school in the dusty suburb of Sanathnagar, near Miyapur agrees that this year’s summer is not just early but also a bit too harsh.
This is how he gets around the problem.
“I head to a soda pop centre the minute I get a break.
It's economical, since at `5 I get a glass of chilled flavoured soda.” The man running the stall says that Masala Soda is the most favourite flavour during the summer months, due to its tangy and spicy cold taste.
“February this year has been beyond expectations.
Why, just in the 25 days gone by, I have sold more than 400 glasses, which is double the amount sold in the non summer months”, he said.
Interestingly, the increased patronage isn't just from the wandering pedestrians.
Rajamohan, a lassi vendor near Abids, says, “Even travellers in posh air-conditioned cars stop to have a drink.
They might be sitting cool inside their cars.
But the minute they see a fresh fruit juice stall, the driver’s hand reaches out with a Rs 100 note asking for several glasses.” He further adds, “Seeing one group refreshing themselves tempts other passersby too.”