GUWAHATI, June 9 - The area in front of the Nehru Park, Panbazar, is always filled with roadside vendors selling panipuris, noodles, icecreams and what not. One cannot resist the temptation of having a few panipuris or relishing a plate of momos. It�s a real delight for fast food lovers.
But, the actual saviour in this scorching heat are the vendors selling tender coconut water. There are two to three huge pile-ups of coconuts beside the pavement, all set to quench your thirst on a hot day. Lunch time is the busiest hour for these vendors as the street gets filled with college students, schoolchildren and employees. Instead of opting for a chilled cold drink or other shakes, people prefer having coconut water, which is not only refreshing but has several nutritional values, too.
�Nearly 200-250 coconuts are sold on a weekly basis. There are customers who come here on a regular basis. Sale is affected only during the rainy season, when it goes down to a hundred coconuts or so. An amount of Rs 20 is charged by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation every day for occupying this place for running our business,� said Umesh Bharali, a tender coconut seller. He runs his family with the money he earns from selling coconuts and has somehow managed to lead a peaceful life with the small income. They sell coconut water till dusk and then cover the coconuts with plastic sheets or keep them inside the premises.
During winters, these vendors set up their kiosks for a few days when the weather is a bit of sunny, but with far lesser number of coconuts. During that time they have to look for other means of livelihood as they cannot depend on the meagre income earned during that time.
�I come here pretty often to enjoy the refreshing coconut water and this spot is usually as crowded as the stalls selling fast food,� said Priyanka Das, a law student.
Rituza Roy, an employee, also said, �Tender coconut sellers have been there since long and have been a part of both my childhood summers and college days at Cotton University.�