I was riding back to home from Kanyakumari. I decided to take a break and slow down my bike in one of the roadsides Palmyra juice stall.
I saw a man dissecting palm fruit and pouring the palm juice into the nearby vessel. I approached him and ordered a cup of Palm juice.
When he started preparing my juice, I questioned him about his business. He was very interested in telling his story. In fact, he is very proud and happy since he can able to provide a healthy, natural juice to hundreds of people every day.
His name is Murugan, aged 32, running this business for about seven years now. Around ten people were working under him. He even owned two Ashok Leyland Dost, to carry Palmyra fruits from its fields. He claimed that he is a wholesaler, he used to resell it to nearby small vendors.
I saw the joy of achievement in his eyes when he proclaimed that he made more than a lakh profit last month. He even has the idea of expanding his business and also branding it.
This young man has a primary level education but he knows everything about Palm, even its botanical name "Borassus flabellifer ". I was literally stunned when he pronounced this name. Later I googled it for verification. Voila !! he was right.
He started listing out the medicinal benefits of Palmyra juice :
- Best for any sort of stomach problems
- It's rich in calcium and hence it will strengthen our bone
- An effective medicine for ulcer
He even claimed that this is the only natural drink with zero adulteration and 100% organic since Palm's are growing on its own and are not cultivated.
He is very much worried about the destruction of Palm's habitat. Once, flourished species is at the risk of extinction now. The human intervention followed by deforestation for real estate business is threatening this natural beauty.
He also shared a fact with me, that :
Palmyra tree (பனை மரம்) is the official tree of Tamil Nadu
After this great conversation, I am about to pay my bill, he discounted 10 rupees in it. I humbly neglected it, took a selfie with him and started my ride.