Saturday, February 12, 2011

Markets in Chennai

This is a guest post - a photo essay by Rekha Vijayshankar that focuses on the Bazaar along the beach in Chennai and at Washermenpet in the northern part of the city.

Beach Bazaar
The sea breeze has a way of whetting one’s appetite giving rise to a number of eateries along the beach that sell mouthwatering, fresh snacks. The unique food culture of Chennai’s beaches include bhajjis, roasted corn, fried fish and of course the well known Sundal !! Combined with coconut and raw mango, the refrain ‘Thenga, Manga, Pattani, Sundal’  is one that instantly evokes nostalgic memories of magical evenings spent at the beach.

Washermenpet  Market
One of the older localities of Chennai, Washermenpet is a highly populated area with commercial establishments, houses and people competing with each other for space. The snapshots of vegetable vendors, bangle sellers, cloth merchants, brass utensil makers and fish vendors were captured in the narrow, winding market lanes of this area. These bustling market places are not only places for people to find the best deals but also an important ground for social exchange.

I would like to thank Rekha Vijayshankar for contributing this guest post and for sharing her photographs. Rekha is a self-taught photographer with a keen eye for capturing people. As the Archiving Assistant at DakshinaChitra, Chennai she has documented a number of folk art performances.

Read about:
Faces in the Bazaar
Groundnut Fair at Basavanagudi
Flower sellers: To create, to forget


Anjali said...

Loved the pic of the cornseller. Who wouldn't buy from a person with the brilliant smile.

radha said...

Are those green chilies that have been strung and displayed ... real?

Indian Bazaars said...

Anjali: I sometimes wonder about how some vendors can be benevolent and smiling through the day when they have to stand in the sun for such long hours and face uncertainty in their informal selling spaces.

Radha: The green chillies are real ones, I guess. It is so fascinating to look at the many ways in which vendors create their displays. Quite often, they add so much to the visual landscape of our streets, isn't it, changing with every season...mangoes displayed during the summer, sometimes it's heaps of watermelons on the footpath or flower garlands in the morning hours!

Geeta said...

I love what you write and your photos -- so I just added you to my "Taj Mahal Of Blogs" list :) Love it!