Nothing to grumble about grocery life

AL AIN — Osman Mohammed Kormat, 29, from the southern Indian state of Kerala, has been a grocer for the past nine years. Since the time he set foot in Al Ain in 1998, his daily routine has rarely changed. Yet he has nothing to grumble about despite the difficulties he faces in conducting his business.

By Lana Mahdi, Our Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 24 Nov 2007, 8:54 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:40 AM

A day in the life of KormatKormat begins his day early. After the Fajr prayer followed by a quick breakfast, he cycles to his grocery located in the Jimmi Ameriyah area in Al Ain.

Early start

“From Sunday to Thursday, I reach the grocery at 7.00am and work until 1.00am. On days when schools are closed or at weekends, the work begins at 8.00am,” he says.

Kormat gets no weekend rest, but he works six months in a year and takes rest for the remaining six months.

Home delivery

“My three colleagues and I share the responsibilities in which one person takes care of home deliveries in the nearby areas and the others handle deliveries to houses located in faraway areas,” he notes.

He complains that all customers demand prompt service, adding that the weather does not matter.

“We work anyway, whether it’s hot, humid, cold or raining in winter,” he says.

Kormat says that some customers feel that the grocery people are responsible for the hike in the prices of foodstuff and other items.

“This is absolutely incorrect,” he said.


Although his sponsor takes care of his accommodation and food expenses, Kormat has to manage his domestic commitments in the Dh1,000 monthly salary. Since he cannot afford to bring his wife and two daughters — one six years old and another just eight months old — to UAE, he sends money to them as well as his mother for their daily needs.

Recently, Kormat borrowed money from some friends and acquaintances to send home for the treatment of his father who was suffering from cancer.

However, a month ago, his father passed away.

Despite the hardships, Kormat likes his job and has gained enough experience in dealing with all sorts of people, which he does with patience, tolerance and optimism.

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