Pheriwalla Shankar Yerwadekar.

This is Shankar, who too is a fruit seller, but he sells only one variety at a time. He brings whatever is in season in a basket tied to the carrier on his bicycle, and in the monsoon, he has the basket covered with a bright plastic sheet to protect the fruit when it rains. He slings two bags on his handle bars, which contain paper bags to dispense the fruit for pedestrians.

Today, he has brought jamun also known as jambul.

Here is another view of Shankar, with my neigbour’s garden as a backdrop.

Shankar’s story is typical. He is from the original village called Yerwada, which is now part of Pune city and our home falls within the postal district of Yerwada. His surname Yerwadekar indicates that he is from Yerwada. In the process of urbanisation, he sold his plot of agricultural land a long time ago, blew the proceeds on the good things of life and now pheries fruit for a living. He still lives in the same house that his grand father lived in, except that it is part of a very crowded part of Yerwada.

Yerwada is famous for two institutions. The Central jail where Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters were jailed by the British on and off, and one of India’s largest Mental Hospitals.

When I bought our home way back in 1990 and sent the postal address to my father, then living in a village, he promptly wrote back to say that he is very pleased that I had finally reached the address most appropriate for me, a jail or the mental hospital.

To add flavour to this post, here is a photograph of a pheriwalli selling jambul from a push cart in the rain.

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