Saturday, December 10, 2005
FRUITFUL(L) VISIT TO CRAWFORD MARKET
The seasonal fruits have arrived and that too in plenty.All roads in Mumbai now lead to Crawford Market,where you get the best of fruits.It is a joyous development.
Built in 1871 and named after Mumbai's first Municipal Commissioner Arthur Crawford,the fruit cum vegetable market was renamed after the local patriot Jyotiba Phule.Built in part Norman and part Flennish architectural styles,the structure has a 50ft high skylit awning allowing natural sunlight everywhere.It has a Clock Tower and steeple.Just above the main entrance,the building has a bas relief work depicting Indian peasants in wheat fields.The friez was designed by Lockyard Kipling,at the School of Art(now JJ School of Art) father of the famous Rudyard Kipling.The whole building was donated by Cowasji Jehangir in 1869.Located at the junction of D N Road and Cama Road,it is just a 2 minutes drive from the VT station.
The beautiful architecture seems wasted as the maintenance of the Market is very poor as it is now under the BMC umbrella.Inspite of this negative,the attraction still remains strong because it has a strong reputation for having under one roof the best quality fruits and vegetables.Everyday huge truckloads of fruits-oranges,apples,cherries,big custardapples, pomegranate,chikoo,etc arrive from inland and from the seaport.Besides you get meat and poultry products as well.And don't forget imported chocolates and cheese!.There are flower shops and provisions stores as well.It is a huge onestop market but urgently needing a makeover.Crawford Market lost some of its sheen when in 1996,the wholesale market was moved to Navi Mumbai.The beautiful architecture can still attract tourists if properly renovated and maintained.Like in Singapore.
This season there is an embarrassment of riches on the apple front.Apples from Kashmir and Simla,and even from Australia and USA.Dasharath G Kale of Datta Krupa Fruit and Company,fresh fruits merchant as his visiting card indicates,was exuberant when i met him.I bought all my requirement of fruits from him as soon as he finished giving me a quick rundown.The red plump apples from Kashmir are in great demand.Also the golden variety from Simla and the green golden apples from USA.And Dasharath Kale said proudly that domestic fruits are in greater demand than the 'phoren' variety.This year the orange crop has been very successful and they taste delicious.They are mostly from Nagpur.It was a treat to see his stall.He had neatly stacked his inventory of fruits which gave an aesthetically pleasing display.He is courteous,friendly and honest.He sells competitively and for laymen who do not understand how to differentiate and discrimnate among fruits his help in selection was invaluable.You come out with a pleasant feeling of having bought wholesome fruits at reasonable prics and not having been taken for a ride.
It is the time to detoxify.After all, the sweets consumed in the Divali season must have had a heavy toll on one's digestive system.A well balanced intake of solid fruits and fruitjuices throughout the day will greatly help in getting rid of toxic matter and will leave you looking fresh and with more energy.
And when you take inseason fruits it doesn't make a big hole in your pocket.For example,apples from Simla at Rs 80 per kg,custard apples in the range of Rs 50 to Rs 100 for a kg,oranges from Nagpur at Rs 60 to Rs 70 a dozen,kiwis from New Zealand at Rs 25 a kilo,plums from USA for Rs 120 per kg and green golden apples from USA for Rs 100 per kg.Rs 160 for a box of 40 pieces of figs from Loni,Maharashtra,strawberry from Mahabaleshwar at Rs120 for 1/2 kg and sweet tamarind from Thailand for Rs 100 per packet.
Eat an apple before going to bed and make the doctor beg for his bread!