Man selling cold lemon water in India

Man selling cold water in India
Man selling cold water in India
Photograph of a Man selling cold water in India

Man selling cold water and lemon soda in India

It’s one of those everyday sights in India. A man pushing a large cart filled with clanking glass bottles of cloudy liquid. One wonders at first if this is alcohol or even perhaps a “tonic” of some kind. Some of these carts have English hand painted writing on them. But it’s India so just because it says water or soda doesn’t really mean it is. However, in this case it’s just what it says on the cart.

The glasses bottles are filled with “fresh” water and indeed mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The cart sellers push them around through neighborhoods with labor workers or school kids. The blazing hot summers in India make them popular and necessary in many cases. The lemon is refreshing while the blocks of ice inside the cart keep the water cold.

The cart sellers don’t just sell lemon water either. Standard plastic bottles of water are places in the main cart along with bags of water and ice sticks of water. Many also sell soda water and lemon soda though often regular lemon water with sugar added.

A lemon water worth skipping

Unfortunately as tantalizing as the lemon water may be it’s usually made from an unknown source of water and the bottles are reused with dubious hygiene standards. Those wise enough will avoid drinking from these carts. However many Indians with stomach bacteria used to these drinks can have no issue. Times are changing though and more wealthy Indians also opt to avoid these drink sellers. A shame as they may well disappear soon.

Man selling cold water in India

Ironically these glass bottles are now becoming collectors items across the world. A lemon soda seller might well make more selling the bottles to a collector than they would make in selling drinks in 6 months or more!


Every year during the holidays I publish 12 days of photographs from around the world. It offers a short break from the hustle, bustle and stress this time of the year can often bring. A collection of photographs from my journey that will hopefully distract, inspire and show you some unique and interesting places. I hope you enjoy!

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