I realize I often look to markets to grasp a more ‘real’ feel of the place I’m visiting.
Beyond the famous monuments that make it to travel brochures, and visual media that often portrays a reality quite different from what exists, and immaculate museums that document the (accepted) history of the place, there are everyday men and women who live, love, laugh, weep, dream, fight, hope, surrender, win, lose and script their own little histories – ordinary tales that never get told, but all of which make up the pulse of that place.
Which is why I love to watch people wherever I go as a visitor; an outsider trying to peep into their world.
And a close second is visiting their markets.
With commerce inching into every speck of our lives, what we buy today is, I feel, a fair enough representation of what we are (or sometimes, what we want to be – think of purchases fueled by aspiration, like most make up products, fashion magazines, fairness creams in Asia).
Which is why my curiosity is piqued by marketplaces in any new place – from large grocery stores to little corner-shops. What do they read? What do they love eating? What spices do they use in their food? What kind of clothes are they wearing these days? How much do different things cost here, compared to back home?
While I was recently going through my photo albums, I came across so many market-clicks that I decided I wanted to share some of them. I’ll put these up every now and then. :)
Markets of the World // 1
The path to most temples in India is flanked on both sides by small shops or standalone vendors selling items of both religious and souvenir value. One person’s faith is another person’s business proposition, and these shops abound in imagination in offering items of faith that, ardent devotees hope, would bring some of that holy land to their homes and lives. From fresh flowers (to be offered to the deity) to bead necklaces with divine powers, the sheer variety of godly merchandise is a sight to behold.