Photographs and observations (3/3)

Here are photographs of all of the eight, machines. I could only get one image of the one near the old fish market because he refused to co-operate. Put it this way, I wasn’t able to start a conversation. Following are observations I made through out the process of filming and talking to the people who ran the shops, these are a mix of factual, trivial and anecdotal observations as random details became more apparent in the process.

  • 7 out of the eight machines have the same basic design. All machines, have 3 fixed gears between the motor and the grinder. Ram-Milan’s (Vikas Cold Drinks) machine is of a  different design, it has one less belt and a cog instead. His machine lost on power and I remember it kept getting stuck, and squeezed out less juice. Although, his machine had a very pretty fly wheel and its bell rang at the highest beats per minute.
  • The machines ran at slightly different speeds, they ran at 108, 99, 108, 100, 94, 96 and 178 beats of the bell per minute.
  • 4 of the machines used a single bell, 2 of the machines used 2 bells and 2 others used a bunch of 4-5 bells, these ones had a really nice ghungroo like sound to them.
  • The strings that Mr.Naik (Krishna Cold Drinks) uses to tie the bells to the machine, breaks every 4-5 days. I suggested a metal thread to which he said “aise hi chalta hai”.
  • All machines were painted in variations of a sky blue shade. This trait is somewhat specific to Goa.
  • It was common knowledge among the others that Ankush Juice Center outside the flower market is the biggest seller in the market. This is because of where his shop is placed, it receives the most foot fall. The one man running it, worked ceaselessly with his rather powerful machine, juicing and serving continuously.
  • Only 2 sellers, sold just sugarcane juice. Others resorted to keeping cold drinks, snacks and even agarbattis.
  • 5 out of the 8 had a guard, on the fly wheel, where as 3 ran without any safety measures. These naked machines, looked great as you could see each of the individual moving parts, although this came at the cost of safety, but no one reported of any accidents.
  • All machines were operated by one man, except 2 who ran a two man operation,  here, one man kept juicing and serving, the other, skinned the cane and cleaned the shop.
  • I also learnt from Ram-Milan, that juicing is the easy part since the machine does all the work of squeezing out the juice, cleaning and skinning the cane prior to the juicing is where the bulk of the labour is.
  • 3 shops were run by people who are employed and paid a wage to run the shop. In these cases, the goan landlord, most likely owns a few properties. 5 of the sellers owned and ran their own shops.
  • Like everything else, the business changes with the seasons, so just after spring, April through to September is their busiest time. As its hot and a cold glass of sugarcane juice becomes that much more desirable.
  • Served with a dash of lemon and crushed ice, a glass of sugarcane juice is tasty and refreshing. It has a lot of flavour and is surprisingly less sweet than most other beverages like Pepsi or Coca-Cola.
  • The sugarcanes come from the neighbouring state of, Maharashtra.
  • In an ironic reversal of the crucial allegiance between Krishna and Arjun in the Mahabharata, Mr. Naik of Krishna Cold Drinks and Mr. Sandeep of Arjun Cold Drinks, are infact the only two direct rivals in the market, simply because they are neighbours. Mr. Sandeep said, tension mounts when a customer comes midway and both of us are vying for his/her attention because of the tension this causes we hardly ever speak to each other. (note last picture in gallery)

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