If you decide to go for an early morning walk in Dwarka there are chances you’ll stumble upon Vishal, offering you a juice he likes to call a “green glass ocean of nutrition.”
With still-sleepy eyes, in his morning track pants, with hands folded under his arms, as if protecting himself from the chilly wind, the 24-year-old Vishal Rathi can be found from 6.30 a.m. near Sector 9, DDA Park Dwarka. He says he’s been here five months now.
He stands next to his little table, on which rests his mixer-juicer and multiple green ingredients: wheatgrass, Giloy stem, raw turmeric, aloe vera, neem leaves, tulsi, bitter gourd, Arjun Ke Chhaal and amla. He uses all of these to make his ‘nutrition juice’ which he sells at ₹30 a for small and ₹50 for a large glass.
He sources the wheatgrass from a supplier friend in Sonipat, Haryana; raw turmeric from Azadpur Mandi; and aloe vera from a Rajasthan supplier. The rest, he says, pointing to the park, is from the plants and trees there. “I wake up at four in the morning and go to spots I’ve identified in the park to gather the ingredients,” says Vishal.
“These things are right here; we just don’t see them,” says Aman Kumar, one of Vishal’s regular customers who works as a trainer in a gym at Ramphal Chowk, Dwarka Sector 7. Aman chats about the poor air quality and says the drink helps in detoxification.
After Vishal collects the other raw materials from the supplier at around 5.30 a.m., he makes the first glass of juice for himself and a 67-year-old man who has throat cancer, whom he calls Uncleji. Vishal and Uncleji live in the same building in Dwarka Sector 7.
After a few deliveries to regular morning customers, he goes to set his table up. Hailing from Lakhanmajra village in Haryana, Vishal asserts that people in the city are always on the run and often fail to take in the right nutrients.
Both Vishal and his brother Pradeep Rathi, who sells a similar juice outside Sector 10 DDA Park Dwarka (near Golak Dham Temple), intend to register their juice bars with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the process of which, they claim, has already begun.
Meanwhile, his friends-cum-associates Dev Sachdeva and Sagar Jha can be spotted selling their juices near Sector 2, DDA Dwarka Park (near Baskaracharya College of Applied Science) and, near DDA Park, Old Bus Stand, Bindapur, West Delhi at a similar price from 6.30 to 11.30 am.
After they service morning exercisers at the parks, Vishal, along with his brother and friends, return to Ramphal Chowk, Sector 7 Dwarka where they manage their health centre.
From the daily hustle, if there’s anything Vishal cannot miss, it’s his regular keep-fit session. Having been trained as an athlete for four years with the Army Sports Institute, Pune, it has become a part of his regular schedule to work out for a minimum of two hours a day at the same park he services. Here, he does an endurance run and flexibility exercises. Sometimes, the juice maker will guide young students with their exercise in the park.