With Vishu right around the corner, vegetable and fruit prices have soared in the festival market. Though there is no dearth of supplies, vendors informed the price of the ingredients for the 'Vishu Kani' platter have gone high. Even though the mango season has not yet begun, there is high demand for both raw and ripe mangoes as it is essential for the Kani arrangement. One kilogram of ripe mangoes cost Rs 180 while raw ones range from Rs 130 to 150 in the Palayam Market.
"While the price of fruits including grapes, oranges, apples, watermelons and mangoes has increased, the cost of bananas remains stable. 'Nendran' banana costs Rs 50 for one kilogram and 'Robusta' banana is for Rs 40 and the small bananas cost Rs 30 per kilo. Two days ago, the price of orange which was s 150 incrweased to Rs 180, similarly price of 'Nadan'(local) mangoes surged from Rs 180 to Rs 200 within the last two days," said K Udayan, Vazhiyorakachavadam shop, Palayam Market.
He also pointed out the steep increase in the price of pomegranates - Rs 150. The price of jackfruit remains high despite the season- per kilogram costs Rs 60 which sums up to around Rs 500 per jackfruit.
Binu S, street vendor at Chala Market, said summer has affected their sales adversely as people tend to stay indoor during the day fearing sunstroke and sales only occur after 6 pm. Beans have the highest demand among vegetables - it costs Rs 180 per kilo along with the 'Aviyal' set which is sold on a combo offer. "Since it is Vishu, people ask for the 'Aviyal' set which includes elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, Aubergine, cucumber, drum sticks, snake gourd and avarai. The combo offer is C10 for four pieces of each vegetable," added Binu.
When Vishu calls for weekend getaway
With Vishu on a Monday, employees, especially government officials have planned their weekend getaway along with their families. Private bus tickets are in demand as train tickets have already been completely booked. "My wife and myself are government employees and we do not get time to spend with our son. Hence, we're off to Bengaluru with him for the weekend," said Arun Prabhakar, a government employee in the city.
While many have planned holidays to far-off places, few have chosen to stay back and visit local spots. "I plan to tour Ponmudi and Akkulam with my family," says Jagannathan Krishna, a resident. The summer heat has proved to be a deterrent. Those who have chosen to stay back prefer watching a slew of movies. "I'd rather take my family to the theatre than frolic in the sun. We've already booked tickets for including Lucifer and Madhuraraja," says Anitha S, a government employee working in health sector.
Vishu is incomplete without temple visits. Temples including Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple and Parasurama Temple Thiruvallam rank among those with a large number of devotees. "Visiting temples are an integral part of any festival and I will be doing the same with my family," says Maneesha Viswadas, another resident.