Srinagar, Sep.24 : Pickle traders in the Kashmir valley are having a flourishing business during the ongoing Ramadan month when Muslims observe Rozas from dawn to dusk.
Though there is demand for pickles through out the year, during Ramadan month it increases by ten times. Demand for dry fruits, fresh fruit, mutton, chicken also increases.
Local markets are flooded with a wide range of pickles. Almost all the provision stores have set up special stalls solely for the pickles to cater to the needs of devout Rozdars (devout Muslims observing the Roza fasting).
"In comparison to other eleven months, the sale goes high during this one month. We earn nearly about rupees 4,000-5,000 during eleven months in a year. And, in this month, our daily sales touch rupees 9,000-10,000," said Manzoor Ahmad, a pickle shopkeeper.
Haji Gulam Qadir Sunoo, is known as the pickle man of Kashmir, prepares more than 100 varieties of mouth-watering pickles.We prepare over 100 varieties of pickles. We prepare pickle of chicken, fish, meat everything. Everybody likes the pickles this month," said Haji Gulam Qadir Sunoo, the master pickle maker in Srinagar.
People throng the markets in large numbers to shop for their choicest eatables with pickles topping the list.
Pickles of different tastes and ingredients are preferred for the ritual Sehri that the devout Muslims observe at dawn and Iftar at dusk.
"We like the pickles in Sehri (a pre-dawn meal). Here we get a variety of pickles. Nearly about 20-50 types of pickles are available in the market, so people buy a new variety of pickle everyday. The taste of the pickle make the people feel good because people in Kashmir always have a great liking for the tongue-tickling pickles," Bilal Ahmed, a customer.
The chicken pickle sell for rupees 300 (7.5 dollars) per kilogram, fish pickles for rupees 250 (six dollars) per kilogram and other varieties of pickle for rupees 100 (2.5 dollars) per kilogram.
Ramadan, is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims abstain from eating from dawn to dusk, a discipline believed to better their souls. They also refrain from indulging in worldly pleasures during this period.
The month-long fasting ends with the celebrations of Eid.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim Hijri lunar calendar, commemorates the revelation of the Holy Quran.
Traditionally, it has been a time for settling old disputes and behaving charitably towards the neighbours and the poor. By Afzal Butt