Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bazaar Tour 3 : Varkala, Kerala

This post is a part of the series on Bazaar Tours in India. For those travelling to Varkala, in Kerala, soaking in the experiences at the Cliff Bazaar overlooking the sea makes up a large part of one's stay at Varkala. You can walk along the cliff in the morning and lounge at a breakfast cafe, you can meander into its many craft shops in the afternoon and you can stroll there in the evening again and leave only after a sumptuous dinner.

If Varkala were to have a daily tabloid – a newspaper for only its Cliff Bazaar visitors, what would it say to its readers? "The Varkala of Tourist Times" would need to carry news about the beach – the groups that conducted yoga that day, the fishermen and the catch of the day! It would be nice to sit at a CafĂ©, buy the Cliff daily and read about the happenings of the day. Who baked the best bread? Which restaurant bought the best catch from what fishermen? How many people attended the Kathakali dance performance – a daily event on the cliff during the “season”. Who won the beach volleyball match? The real estate market in Varkala Cliff zone. The Kashmiri takeover on the Tibetan market and so on.

For this newspaper to be viable, it would need to carry advertisements. So, there would be half-page and full-page ads from restaurants, from Arts emporia and from Massage Centers. That brings us to the question : What does an advertisment do and what does signage do?

Advertisements today are in our newspapers, our magazines, our televisions and on our hoardings. Signage takes two forms or rather two locations. It is immediately next to where the commodity or service is, asserting its presence and it is sometimes and often at an important junction elsewhere, with an arrow leading us to its actual place of existence. The shops at the Bazaar would then begin to offer discounts. The newspaper would carry ads announcing festival discounts and season discounts. It would be an unusual and exciting daily - a newspaper of the town, of the tourists and of the bazaar.

I came back from Varkala and what came back with me were memories of the lovely moments with Puppu, a Tibetan woman at the Cliff Bazaar, at whose shop I had spent a part of my afternoon. You can read here about the Tibetan market at Varkala

Other Varkala posts :
Signage in Cliff Bazaar
Once upon a time, there were no signs
Signages at Varkala, Signages anywhere
To the Cliff
Cafe Italiano & the Badam tree

Other Bazaar tours in India :
Bazaar Tour 1 : Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai
Bazaar Tour 2 : Antique market, Mumbai
Bazaar Tour 4 : Gandhi Bazaar, Bangalore

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