As the holy month of Ramadan is underway, pickles, fruits, dates and dry fruits business has picked up in the Valley.
The markets in the Valley, especially in the commercial hub Lal Chowk, is dotted with the street vendors selling fresh fruits, dry fruits, dates and pickles during the entire month of fasting. Various types of pickles are available in the markets and people buy a new variety of pickle every day.
A famous pickle-seller from Habba Kadal, Ghulam Qadir Sunoo, said that during Ramadan, his business further picks up. He said, “All kinds of pickles are available with us like the one’s made out of fish, chicken. We have almost 90 kinds of pickles with us.”
Collection of dates
Traditionally, Muslims in Valley and elsewhere end their fast with dates and water as dates are an immediate source of energy and potassium. Most people in the Valley made their
Ramadan preparations by buying items like dates to end their fast. Dates are available at almost every grocery store and shop during this time. Many street vendors switch to selling dates during this month. Dates remain in demand for the entire Ramadan month.
A local shopkeeper at Koker Bazaar, Ishfaq Ahmad said, “These days people buy dates and mostly they buy wet dates. That is why we have a huge stock of wet dates to fulfil the demand of consumers. We have a variety of dates that ranges from Rs 80 to 1200 per kilogram.”
Another shopkeeper, Fayaz Ahmad, from the same market believes that people like imported dates, particularly Saudi dates. He said, “People ask for the branded dates of Saudi Arabia, especially Ajwah, Mabro etc and all these qualities are available in the market. We bought all the varieties from Mumbai which is the hub of international trade.”
He said that dates come in packaging which remain in demand throughout Ramadan. This time, we have bought different varieties to fulfill the demand of customers.
Despite the increase in prices of fruits, people have switched over to fruits than consuming drinks. Most of the people said they consume fruits to break their fast along with dates and water.
Muntazir Jabeen said, “It is our routine every Ramadan to consume fruits than drinks. We buy a dozen of bananas every day to satiate our hunger at the time of breaking the fast, as it is an important source of energy and is filled with nutritional punch and potassium.”
People across the Valley buy fruits and donate it in mosques. Mosques distribute it to people, who come their ahead of the Iftaar time to end their fast.
President of Masjid Usmaan-e-Gani at Chattabal, Abdul Ahad Kaloo, said “Besides a large quantity of dates, we receive variety of fruits from the people in the evening which we then distribute equally amongst those who are present in the mosque ahead of the Iftaar time.”
The fruit vendors and shopkeepers said the fruits remain much in demand during the entire Ramadan month.
The shopkeepers and dealers said that they were already expecting the sales of cold drinks to come down with the onset of Ramadan. “This year, Ramadan has fallen in summer and the sales of drinks remain almost negligible during daytime,” Rafi Mohd Gagloo, a shopkeeper at Gole Market Karan Nagar.
Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims abstain from all eatables, including water from dawn to dusk — a discipline believed to better their souls.