Apna nimbu bazaar bech nahin saka

To take it to the limit, Sonati and I decided to try and hawk our lemons in the shandy at Karumandurai. So we set off on the TVS with our bagful of lemons (and some lemon juice to drink), found a corner of the road, and set up the bag on the seat of the TVS. I started calling out “Paththu rubai-ku naalu” (Ten rupees for four).

In the hour that we spent there, we didn’t sell a single lemon.

The only ones who made a foray in our direction were the brokers. The garlic-man and his wife were also discouraging: “No-one will buy lemons; just give it to that broker…”. Raja came by for a chat and said that we should definitely not sell for 40 paise a lemon, but take them to Salem where “they don’t cheat so much”.

Was it a broker nexus that ensured that no-one bought from us? I wonder.
In the end, we unloaded our entire stock on Jothi and returned home. The Net-net for the day was a sketch by Sonati of me hawking (read trying to hawk) lemons off the TVS.

hawking lemons

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6 Responses to “Apna nimbu bazaar bech nahin saka”

  1. Guddu Says:

    Svai, the farmers around Shurasetti Koppa near Dharwad tried to combine their chikku harvest and sell it themselves. The dalals knew that they did not have refrigeration and would not be able to sell till the fruit became overripe and rot. They eventually managed to get the price they wanted to buy at and the farmers learned a hard lesson.

    This despite the farmers knowing that the dalals always lock in prices with a pre-sowing cash loan and many other nasty practices. Subsistence farming comes with a complete lack of any control on their own destiny.

    G

  2. Rittika Says:

    Branding is important, we could not sell our (very small) garden grown plants in Gurgaon. He was loathe to throw them away and wanted to find his baby plants a home. Not many people took any for free.

  3. Lina@Word Says:

    Hawks you certainly are not! Great drawing, though! Better luck if there’s a next time. love L&P

  4. ananthoo Says:

    really sad to hear sundar! But there is a big market waiting to pick the right n good ones and am surprised no one turned up..
    Ritika’s words are even more worrisome:-( I always thought urban side had a market for such genuine stuff.
    we have been spoilt at chennai for restore or OFM products. But that is ‘organised’ selling!
    This street corner sale of S&S excites me but not even one person coming is a shame..but i wont put that on brokers..how can brokers stop customers from coming..may be people didnt see you ‘suave’ people as real sellers:-)

  5. Shivani Manchanda Says:

    A rather sad state of affairs. The cynic in me is wondering if would have had more luck if you had bottled it up in fancy packaging as marmalade or pickle and sold in a fancy store. It is sad but true that small businesses of all kinds have difficulty in surviving everywhere. I think it requires courage and conviction of a different level to continue doing it. You have made it possible for me to believe it is possible to have that courage.

    Thanks

  6. Neelima Says:

    Nimbu bik nahin saka, Sundar and Sonati (not bech). Anyway, I hope the nimbus have sold by now. Found a lovely picture by Sonati in an old envelope. Now the hunt is on for a framer.

    Neelima.

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