Highway Mango Mandi: Dreaming Big…

By V. Shourabh

Just like a mango seed which is nurtured, watered and taken care of over the years to reap sweet fruits, a young boy is nurturing his dreams here on the Mysuru-Bantwal Highway.

Amidst all the sellers, there is one enthusiastic small chirpy boy, who with his cheerful broad smile and talkative nature captures the attention of customers. Byrappa, who is a student in the nearby Yelwal high school, makes use of his summer vacations to sell mangoes in order to support his family.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, he says, “I usually help my family in selling fruits whenever I find some free time. But during summer vacations, I spend my entire time selling mangoes. I love this period. I get to talk to various people and I love interacting with them and get to learn many things. I learn about the various aspects of business along with life, its struggles, and the value of money. I just passed my 9th standard and will be going to 10th in about a few days. I am excited. Earlier I was not keen about continuing my education. Now I have a dream, I watch Police-based movies and those have inspired me a lot. I now want to study well and become a Police inspector.”

Rama and Laxman speak volumes about why mango is the best food during summer and how people are crazy about eating them. Rama says, “We get our mangoes from various parts of Tamil Nadu. Many cars stop by our cart and they buy mangoes. Many people consume it just because of its taste. But it is also a healthy fruit which has a lot of fibre in it.” He adds, “We get mangoes in trucks on a daily basis. We make good profits during this season. In other seasons, we sell apples, tender coconuts and other fruits. The fruit stays good for about 10 to 12 days. If it gets a little rotten, we feed it to our cattle.”

Brothers Laxman (left) and Rama waiting for customers.

Rahul, one of the customers who along with his family stopped by to buy mangoes says, “Whenever I go towards Mangaluru from Mysuru, I make sure I buy a good amount of various varieties of mangoes from here. Over the course of the next ten days, my family eats mangoes along with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s difficult to imagine life without mangoes.”

Mariswamy Naika who has been in the same business on the same highway for about 20 years says, “I get these mangoes from Nagavala, Bommanahalli and its surroundings. I generally start my sales as early as February. Though juicy mangoes will not be available at that time, I sell Thotapuri and raw mangoes. By mid-March I get almost other varieties of mangoes and then the sales  hit a high.”

Mariswamy Naika arranging the mangoes in a pyramid shape.

“I also sell fresh jackfruits to customers. On a daily basis, almost 100 to 150 cars or customers stop by at almost each cart within this two-kilometre stretch. The reason why we have setup our carts on this highway is that many people who are travelling towards Madikeri or Mangaluru pick up a bag or two of mangoes.”

What makes this fruit so special is its taste, probably even the shape, but most importantly, it is available only for over 100-odd days in a year.

The next time you feel a sweet tooth, or a craving, start early, get on a bike or a car, enjoy a long ride with your loved ones on the Hunsur highway, stop by one of the mango stores, relish the fruits and buy some for home.

The post Highway Mango Mandi: Dreaming Big… appeared first on Star of Mysore.

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