Even as the lockdown remains firmly in force and most shops are still closed in Uttar Pradesh, there is relief for those who are craving for the good old 'samosas', or sweets or even non-vegetarian food.
A growing number of residents in various areas have started home delivery of these savouries during the lockdown, bringing much needed succour to those with overactive taste buds.
Rajni Sharma, a housewife in Kanpur, is one of them.
"My children had been craving for samosas so, one day, I made some for them. They told their friends and they also pleaded with me to send them some. Gradually, I was flooded with requests so I decided to start making samosas and, today, I am selling around 60 to 100 samosas per day. Since traffic movement has been relaxed now to a certain extent, people come and collect their orders," she said.
Neha Bhatnagar, a young homemaker in Varanasi, is a passionate cook and she has used the lockdown to bake cakes on order.
"I am baking about three to four cakes per day and I am also earning a neat sum. I want to continue this business even after the lockdown is lifted because my customers are happy with the quality of my cakes," she said.
Neha said that she started when her own sister-in-law was upset at the fact that she would not be able to buy a cake for her first wedding anniversary last fortnight.
"I offered to bake one for her but she seemed sceptical about my abilities. Nevertheless, I made a cake and sent it to her on her anniversary. The following day, she called up and congratulated me for the quality of the cake. Then her friends started calling me up and placing their orders. Now the chain has expanded and I am busy baking cakes and muffins on order," she said.
Rakshanda Khan, a housewife in the old city area of Lucknow, has started supplying non-vegetarian dishes during the lockdown.
"Despite the ban, mutton is being sold at Rs 800 per kg and people are now craving for mutton dishes. I am making mutton korma, kebabs, keema, mutton stew on order and also making good money. My husband and sisters-in-law help me and we are busy all day," she said.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are juicy rasgullas, boondi laddoos and malai chamcham available on order.
Nanhe (name changed on request), worked at a famous sweet shop in Lucknow. After the lockdown, he had been sitting at home till he happened to meet one of the regular customers.
"The customer took my number and placed an order of rasgullas. He gave my number to his friends and now I am working from home and earning good money. I may not even return to work after the lockdown is lifted because I am earning as much as I was getting from the shop," he said.
Shaheen Khan, a homemaker in Lucknow, has started stitching 'ghararas' and salwar suits for girls. She is using her old brocade saris and suits to make garments for children for Eid.
"I used up my old silk and brocade saris and made some suits. I then send their pics to my friends on WhatsApp. Suddenly, I have people asking for more. I am happy that I can make children happy on Eid as these suits are almost new for them," she said.
Shaheen says she intends to continue her work even after the lockdown because it keeps her busy and also brings in good money.
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