Juices & Frills !

Incessant travel. Much like the incessant rainfall, can have multi-dimensional impact. Just like viral fever. Back from a trip to Delhi. Or somewhere close to Delhi. Browsing through my photo albums i chanced upon two snaps. A study in contrast. Here is the first one.

Had this at a street corner. In a dry and sultry afternoon, a couple of months back. In the peak of summer, this was perhaps the best of drinks. He packed quite a punch. With ginger, lime and of course, sugar cane juice, spliced out by the age old splicer ! And what a crowd ! All of it for Rs. 5 only !

A couple of weeks later, i was at a fancy mall. And advertisement for sugarcane juice, caught my attention. And i queued up. All the store in charge was to do, is to push in the sugarcane and out came the juice.

As i waited out my turn in the queue little did i realise that it costed my Rs. 40/- ! Rs. 40 /- for a glass of sugar cane juice !!

I enjoyed the taste of the street side juice much more than the taste at the fancy mall. Now what was it because ?

a. Was it because i saw it being made ? In the true sense of ‘seeing’ !
b. Was it because the Rs. 40/- robbed the charm of the juice in the second case ?
c. Or was it because the drink in case 1, genuinely taste better ?

To me, it appears that it was a combination of all three ! These days, packaging seems to be everything. No matter, what the real stuff is made of, if you package it well, chance are bright for you to make a sale. It is happening everywhere !

As i continue to grapple with this fact, i have been told time and again that its about getting a space in the mind ! Its all about positioning they say. Its not the what you do, they say. Its the how you package it. That’s remarkably simple & disconcerting too.

So, in the fast paced world which doesn’t have time to look inside, its the outsides that are beginning to count ! How true is that ?

Oh, BTW, when did you last have sugar cane juice. With ginger. With lime. And the sound of a motor which causes the wheels to splice open the cane to give you juice!! Yummy ! No frills. True value !

19 thoughts on “Juices & Frills !

  1. Pooh says:

    Oh gosh! It has been aaaagggges since I had my fav karumbu charu!! The other day R and V happened to see a cane labeled sugarcane juice in a Mexican market and they brought it dreaming of those days and the tasty juice with ginger and sugar and it turned out to be some crappy juice that we couldn’t mouth!
    hmm we keep dreaming and when I end up in India by the time I get am ready to hit my old favorites, everyone plays the hygiene card telling our delicate American stomachs can’t handle the roadside yummy stuff!
    and yes we are big time losers
    Heard some Indian places serve fresh sugarcane juice here but unfortunately there is none in Houston

  2. with ginger and lime?! i never did! i just had the plain cane…must be good! The street ones are much bettr and they dont lace it with alot of sugar as well.

  3. Keshi says:

    **With ginger, lime and of course, sugar cane juice, spliced out by the age old splicer

    OMG that is soooo inviting! I wanna have one too 🙁


  4. manuscrypts says:

    can i get away with a superficial comment? 😉
    meanwhile, my generations post might interest you – http://manuscrypts.blogspot.com/2005/07/of-parents-and-children.html

  5. indianangel says:

    its always a nice feeling to drink juice in the hot summer, im sure you must have had your days drinking tender coconuts as well. im back to blogging and will start reading all your posts as and when i have time.
    Hope you are doing good kavi! 🙂
    – Prasanna

  6. Pooh says:

    Congrats! you have been tagged for the thinking blogger award in my blog!
    Check it out!

  7. Know what the same happens in Bangalore…I feel so stupid paying for the same pepsi and popcorn at PVR and shelling out close to 150 bucks whereas the same would be just 50 bucks outside..Sometimes living gets taxing!!

  8. the extra 35 bucks was for the dude’s cap with the logo, his gloves and the fancy machine which probably has a 5 speed 7 gear system to control the sugarcane intake speed and filters the juice coming out of all particulates > 0.735 microns, and in the process filters out all the taste as well.


    lovely post kavi.

  9. shark says:

    Sugar cane juice has the best cooling effect on a hot summer day 🙂

    Regarding the packaging, I think it matters only for the “first-look”. The second time you will always look for the stuff inside.

  10. True Kavi! That’s why they say,
    “Great things come in Small packages.”
    With malls everywhere in Bangalore we cough up a lot more. Even a small pleasure like enjoying a “mouthful” of cotton candy is Rs. 25/ while outside one would get for Rs. 5/.

  11. AVIANA says:

    first…sugar cane juice does not sound too tasty to me..this american girl… 🙂

    however..we have become a society based on the packaging, the look…

    here’s an example…

    there was an article that came out in the news that to be a female pop singer…you need to be pretty, with a model like body…you don’t need to sing that great…..the music executive noted that there were so many great singers out there with amazing talent but will never get a record deal because they are not pretty enough or skinny or young enough…

    however if they were singers back in the 50s, 40s, 60s..they would get record deals immediately because since TV was non-existant especially MTV it was just based on your talent…if you were pretty that was just an added bonus..nothign special..thus great musicians highlighted the radio…

    however with the advent of TV and especially MTV…the look has become more of a focus then the talent…you can have someone who sings like crap….but as long as she is pretty and young then that’s good enough…they can do tricks in the studio to make her sound good, give her good music…but she must look good….

    alot of people know this but yet people still are stuck in the package thing……it won’t change unless people decide the package look is not enough…..there must be nutritional value….

  12. Swatantra says:

    Absolutely thrilled….

    Sometimes I also debate myself, which is true the inner good heart or the outer glamorous look.

    But the answer is always the inner good heart.. That’s the only thing which is going to stick to me forever…

  13. Anonymous says:


    Road side juice may cost only Rs 5 but remember, you may get a cocktail ( sugar cane and lizard mix). So its better to pay Rs 40 instead of drinking poisonous juice.

    Sangeetha Aanand

  14. Me says:

    Though Rs. 40 for a glass of sugarcane juice seems high it is worth it…

    1. Rent for the shop in the mall
    2. The quality of water used for cleaning. [Have you ever seen the roadside shop cleaning glasses. they just immerse the glass in a bucket of water]
    3. Hygiene. [You will be a lot better than getting infected by H.Pylori]
    4. Maintenance costs such as pest control & stuff like that.
    5. The cost of labor.

  15. pria says:

    Its been couple of years I had it Kavi. Water – u never know how clean wherever you drink outside ur home in India. Precaution: medicine:)))

  16. Kavi says:

    Pooh : Oh..do come back soon. The karumbu charu is awaiting you..!! In the interim, i hope you find some in Houston

    GP..: Just try once and you are hooked for life !

    Keshi: You bet. Just try..!

    manu..: oh i loved your post..It was indeed wonderful ! you seem to have been much more active back then !

    Prasanna: Welcome back..! And do stop by ! Tender coconuts are another favourite..yes they are !

    Life Rock..: You know what, i thought i was the only one feeling that way..but am glad i have you for company !

    Sundar..: I take a bow for the micro analaysis ! The case rests there !

    Shark: yes. such a cooling effect with a great feeling too !
    Manytimes, the first time is all that they need…with more suckers lining up the pathway !

    Rashmi: Welcome back..! Great to see you here. Agree ! AGree with what you say !

    Aviana: you caught the essennce of my post very well ! Packaging ! Its disconcerting isnt it ? But in a fast paced world, where are we headed ? thanks !

    Swatantra: Yes…inner beauty counts big time. But then..how well it is packaged accounts for all the benefits..atleast, thats something that i am seeing on a daily basis

    Sangeetha..: Please let me know where they serve such cocktail…did you take any trip to vietnam or somewhere in recent times..! On a more serious note, yes, it indeed is something to watch out for !!

    Me..: Welcome here..You make very logical and cogent points…! Very..but dont quite know why my heart continues to get tugged to the street cart..!!!

    Pria..: yes..you never know ! But the taste..you definitely do !

  17. Shiva says:

    Kavi, that was a good comparision. It always tastes better, when human touch is blended in the making or cooking. Much like the difference between, home and hotel food.

    Hmmm… Sugarcane juice, with a dash of lime and ginger, on the rocks – had it last month when I went to Madurai

  18. GuNs says:

    I think you still get a HUGE glass of sugarcane juice for Rs.3 in Pune Camp at this place which is bang opposite some of the biggest malls in the city.

    The glasses are so huge that I once challenged my friend to drink two of them. We both had a lot of trouble getting to the bus stop because we couldnt walk !


  19. Anonymous says:

    this is like spot the six differences … dude in the second photo has a hat (who paid for it? you), there is a machine (where is the money coming from? you), he has plastic gloves (who bought it for him? you), etc. etc. 🙂

    i am reading this book (just got past the intro part of it), and it seems the only three times his – then fiancee – wife had stomach upsets after eating at five star joints.

    – s.b.

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