This blog was actually posted on March 14, 2014. But when I saw that the daily prompt was vegetal, and the sentence used to define vegetal on Google is “a vegetal aroma”, I had to look through and find this post.
Last bit of intro, this was written while I was living in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Enjoy.
Come to find, one day a week, High Tension Road (a road near my flat, thus named for the high tension lines running the length of it, rather than for being a place where tempers flare) turns into an impressive market which rivals some covered markets that remain permanently in one place.
The market spills into side roads like streams trickling down from a river. These typically mellow streets become increasingly crowded and noisy as you near HT road. Large, ungainly carts filled with vegetables, more delicate carts carrying costume jewelry, tarps spread on the ground, carrying any manner of items from mirrors to dishes to more piles of fruits and vegetables; all fill the sides of the road.
Vehicles are forced to slow, and even motorcycles cannot dodge so easily as usual through the foot traffic. Everyone is in shopping mode, focused on the stall they are looking at in that very moment. Very little distracts them from the task at hand.
One thing will distract most of the shoppers however, and that is the sight of a white girl walking through this market. People stop in their tracks and stare. And not only the children. An older woman stopped in the midst of her shopping, straightened up, and turned to continue watching as I walked past.
I walked, smiling at people who stared, and trying not to gawk at the colours and sights. And trying to focus on the things I needed to buy as well as the swirling activity around me.
I needed fruit and veggies pretty bad this week, but next week, I plan to focus more on photography. Perhaps go a little earlier, find a place to get some coffee or something and sit and take pictures. Some people may say that it is a touristy thing; that if I grew up here, or was at least more used to the culture, I wouldn’t even notice it. But I think I would. It’s all the colours. There is chaos, but somehow it is lacking the frantic ‘serve me now!’ mentality that say, an American mall would have. And really, I could probably enjoy myself spending a day in a mall, taking pictures of people. But somehow I feel that I would end up with a visit from the cops, and would perhaps even be kicked out of the mall. Heck, I got in trouble for doing a photo scavenger hunt in Walmart when I was about 14. Here though, people smile. Or they ignore me. Either way, they are not terribly concerned by the fact that I am taking pictures.
Relaxed chaos. The colours of the produce, and women’s sarees. The babble of voices as I catch a few words here and a few there, whether English, or part of the limited Hindi that I recognize. It is both an adventure, and it is typical, everyday life. Which is the way life should be. Everything an adventure.