The Fruit Seller

Maqbool comes on his regular round every day around this time. Since we moved to this neighbourhood almost a month back, I have got used to the honking usually coinciding with my busy mornings.

In between clearing the sink and getting the dirty dishes out, I usually catch him standing under the shade of the mango tree, picking up conversation with the passers by.

Seeing him with that genial smile, I often wonder how he makes a living from the fruit that he sells. Some days, people bargain even when they know that his fruits are much better and healthier than the ones sold in the supermarkets.

Instead, they walk away victorious, thinking that they saved those ten extra bucks!

Wonder whose gain it is?

Just a passing thought!

Happy to link this to the prompt #100WordsonSaturday, which was a challenge nonetheless! The concept excited me and I decided to take it up, considering that it is only about writing a 100 words (so much easier!) based on a prompt given every week, in the form of a story, a poem or a piece of non-fiction.
This week’s prompt was picture:

19 thoughts

  1. I not only hate bargaining but can’t understand why people feel victorious when pinning vendors to the wall. Besides what about the convenience of shopping from home? Doesn’t that warrant a few extra pennies?

    1. Absolutely true…with you on that one! I find it rather cruel to be so harsh to them unless I know for sure I am being taken for a ride, which is rarely the case!

  2. Makes lot of sense.Our Fruitwallah Luttu in Vadodara(Baroda) used to start selling his fruit on the cart by first coming to our house everyday telling my wife:
    Madam when I start the day with you as a customer, my day goes very well”
    And now he is doing well as his children have done well in their life.

    1. That’s so good to hear for a change! These are people who live very precariously struggling to make ends meet. And if we as citizens do not support them, where do they go? After all, the fare they sell is so much better because there is a face to the name and they are concerned about retaining old customers at the end of the day. To our mutual advantage then, is it not? And, if they settle well in life, we all benefit in one way or the other!

  3. I read about him earlier also on another post…sad but true some habits are hard to overcome for us.
    I don’t haggle much if the prices seem reasonable. But generally the vendors are smart enough to mark-up upfront, so they can give some discount and please the customer.

    1. That’s also true at times. Not all vendors are the same but their struggles in life are. Today’s cut-throat competition with the supermarkets are wiping out a lot of these small businesses.

    1. Thanks Sunita! Our perceptions about an object often creates the sense of value that we ascribe to anything. In the end, it all boils down to how we perceive such people!

  4. The gain of pride may be and the lose of humility 🙂 It’s surprising to know but it’s human nature to win over every possible situation and take a pride in that 😉 Simple yet a thought to ponder over. Good one 🙂

  5. Thoughtful and thought-provoking! While, we never think twice when shopping at at malls which have exorbitantly priced stuff, but we HAVE to bargain for a few rupees with these vendors who have it so tough and hard in life! A great take on the picture prompt 🙂

    1. Thank you Shilpa 🙂 Absolutely agree with you on how we love to splash it all in fancy malls for fancier prices but resort to penny pinching with people like Maqbool. Glad it struck a chord in you!

  6. So wonderful to see your comments on Soul Talk, Sima 🙂 Yes, you are right…we never think twice about overspending in Malls or picking up a fancy dress at an even fancier price, but haggle shamelessly with vendors and sellers like these, over a tenner knowing how difficult it must be for them to make two ends meet anyway. A little extra for getting our fresh greens or fruits to our doorstep is not too much after all?! Some food for thought Sima. See you at Soul Talk again…Happy Sunday 🙂

  7. Very thought provoking! Do we bargain at branded showrooms where we spend thousands of bucks? No! We dont! And we cant because these branded stores have their fixed retail prices!
    Then why do we bargain with the small roadside vendors and that too for 100, 50 and sometimes even for as petty a amount as 10 & 5!!!! Should’nt we pay them what they ask for…or atleast ask them to keep the change? It would bring a smile to their faces… I do this so I know how enthusiatically they help you pick the nicest fruits/vegetables if you give them what they ask for (exceptions are always there though..ha..ha..ha..but then where are they not!!)

    Love n cheers to you Esha…
    Keep writing…
    Sima 🙂

  8. Oh yes! I hate when neighbours bargain with this guy telling him that they can get the fruit at the market for a much lower price. The fact that he brings it to our doors is quite forgotten!
    Good one, Esha.

    1. Thank you Corinne. I always prefer to buy from farmers and vendors and feel that the least we can do to support them is by buying from them before the supermarkets wipe them out.

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