Folk song session free with juice at Bandra stall

Zam Zam Juice Centre in Bandra has no menu. To choose a drink, listen carefully to a folk song with lyrics that weave in names of juices, composed and sung impromptu by the staff

It bodes well when you hear a song wafting through the rush of traffic at Bandra station. Follow the sound and you will be drawn to a hole-in-the -wall decorated with kitschy fruit posters with lines like: "Obedience is the fruit of life". The singer is Jamshed Siddiqui, a native of Solapur in Maharashtra, who has spent most of his life in Mumbai. "There are usually two others with me; they are back in the village for their holidays right now," says Jamshed.

Jamshed Siddiqui of Zam Zam Juice Centre sings folk songs to get his business going


"Aao padharo/ ras piyo aam ka/ apple aur pineapple/ mosambi aur kalingad" goes one that sounds like a folk tune you would hear at a village bonfire. Composed impromptu, the tunes cleverly weave in practically the entire array of juices available here. So effective is the idea that barring a few placards, the juice centre does not have a menu to speak of.

While a chubby Jamshed croons, a bright-eyed Wasim Khan thrusts "Cocktail" into your hands. "It's called such because it's a mix of everything -- the juice of apple, pineapple, mango, mosambi and milk. It's the first thing you should try," he says with an angular hand movement. Three colleagues nod as they rush to thrust more glasses of "Cocktail" into other passersby's hands.

At Rs 10 for a mug, Cocktail is a paisa-vasool drink, heavily laden with mango pulp, a mix of fruit juices and sevaiya (vermicilli). It's a better bet than the Apple Milkshake (Rs 15); a green concoction with a hint of musk. The sellers won't be pleased with the safe choice, but if you aren't feeling too adventurous, opt for good ol' watermelon or mosambi juice (Rs 7).

From 8 am till way past dusk, the boys working at Zam Zam attract tired commuters with their songs. "My song not only attracts them; it gives them ras, energy. Sales have more than doubled since we started making a song. In fact, other juice centres in the suburbs have started using the same strategy," reveals Jamshed.

Zam Zam Juice Centre, opposite Bandra bus depot, Bandra (W) station.
Call: 9820766612

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