Soaring mercury levels might not just suggest that there is an increasing demand for tender coconuts, water melons, ice creams, fresh juices, sugarcane, and the rest.
Perhaps palm fruit, or ‘Thatulingu,’ as it is locally called, is also one of the most popularly sought after summer fruit. Available only during the summer seasons, palm fruit is liked by almost one and all.
Palm fruits are an effective remedy to quench thirst, as the water melons. They give a soothing effect and are also coolants. They are tasty to eat and are preferred by children and the elders as well.
The palm fruits are not cultivated in Chikkaballapur district. However, the demand for these fruits have increased two-fold. Palm fruits are sold on the roadsides of M G Road and B B Road, on the push-carts.
While some of them love to consume the fruits on the spot, some prefer taking them home to enjoy with their family members. Palm fruit is hardly cultivated even in the surrounding regions of Chikkaballapur. Most of them are imported from Tamil Nadu. Even in Tamil Nadu, the fruits are abundantly grown in Vellore and the surrounding places. They are brought and sold here.
No ordinary mortal
K Naveen, who has been engaged in selling palm fruits on his push-cart in the City, is no ordinary mortal. A native of Vellore, he is a BE Mechanical Engineering student. Presently reeling under financial crisis, he decided to engage himself in the sale of palm fruits during his spare time, so that he could be of some financial relief to his dependents.
He says, “I sell palm fruits in the morning hours and earn some money. During the evenings, I spend my time studying.”
There is not much demand for this fruit in the monsoon and winter seasons. However, during the summer months, the price of this fruit sky-rockets. It is a favourite among the children, especially since it is not heavy on the pockets. The water and coconut from the palm fruit act as coolants and they are very refreshing, he said.
“Just because there is an increase in the demand for palm fruits, I have decided not to hike its price. I sell them each for Rs 10. I do not believe in commercialising the item. I am happy if I am able to meet my daily expenses from whatever income I earn by selling these fruits,” says Naveen.
Says Lakshminarayan, a resident of Chikkaballapur, “I will be anxiously waiting for the summer to arrive. It is the time for Thateningus. The moment, the palm fruits arrive in the market, I make it a point to purchase them every day. I take them to my home and enjoy them with all my family members. Palm fruits always make up my Summer evenings.
Instead of splurging on dinners at hotels and restaurants, I rather prefer enjoying these seasonal fruits with my family members, he added.