Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Life in Colour

A GUEST POST by LAURA MANNERING  Most tourists love a market. It’s not just because we’re obsessed with finding the ultimate souvenir of our travels. It is a way of mixing with people, getting buffeted by the trade hustle and joining in the to and fro, the buy and sell. My favourite markets are those where you can really become one of the crowd, an unremarkable addition to the flow of people going about their daily routine. Everybody wants to feel part of the place they are in – not the odd one out, the outsider who doesn’t understand how anything works. A market can be a place to blend in, to wander, watch and discover.

Baskets full of white threaded jasmine buds, of golden marigolds and neatly-wrapped bunches of roses. Bright kum kum powder smoothed into cones, stacks of soapy-looking jaggery cubes, neatly-arranged whirls of green betel leaves, and the air so full of spice that everybody was sneezing. My memories of markets in India are full of energy, warmth, movement and colour. Sure, it was clear I wasn’t a local, but for an hour or two I could pretend.

Flower baskets at Dadar wholesale flower market, Mumbai

Boy with betel leaves at Gandhi Bazaar, Bangalore

Dadar wholesale flower market, Mumbai

Mango seller at Crawford Market, Mumbai

Kum kum powder at Devaraja Market,

Fruit baskets
at K.R. Market, Bangalore

Piles of nuts and dried fruit at the Spice market, Delhi

Laura Mannering is a London-based journalist, traveller and market-lover. She recently spent three months in India.

Laura, thanks for writing this post and for sharing your photographs!


Anu said...

Wonderful post and photographs! you have captured the colourful essence of Indian markets!

Anil P said...

Laura got it right, it's about the people and the intermingling that's the biggest draw of bazaars around here.