Thursday, December 28, 2017

Weekly Vegetable Shanty in my neighborhood

Weekly Vegetable Shanty in my neighborhood
Almost one complete street which is nearly a sort of dead end but with many leading side streets forms the location for a weekly vegetable market on Thursdays. Once in a way if that Thursday happens to be a New Moon Day, there won’t be any market. While I like the weekly shopping opportunity to get fresh vegetables at a reasonably cheaper price, carrying the purchased items is the part that I detest. Much worse is my state of mind when I have to sort them out to push them into the fridge.  Nothing in the world is totally acceptable giving blissful unalloyed pleasure all the time.

In the market you can meet familiar faces of vendors, friends and others. There’s a vendor woman who beckons you with remarkable voice based marketing skills. Another who always thinks you can be cheated while giving change. Another who won’t encourage any bargaining of any sort – FIXED PRICE, he says. You can easily guess what is aplenty so that you can postpone buying till you have exhausted seeing all shops.

The market is giving livelihood not only for the sellers of veggies but also others like: those who sell polythene bags, hirers of stand-alone LED lamps, lenders of ready to use foldable metal tables, boys selling tea to vendors and you won’t believe – even local dadha’s representatives collecting ‘mamool’. What do these dadhas offer to vendors in return? Protection from police harassment, getting the place cleaned up next day by tipping Municipality guys, maintaining harmony between sellers and colony residents of that street etc.

Buyers are a wonderful lot. Some come with wheel attached travel bags for buying vegetables. Some “dorasani ammaas” are accompanied by servant maids walking along with them to carry the merchandise bought. Some come with just two large plastic bags thinking of buying the entire produce displayed. Some ladies make their husbands wait with the scooter / bike / car at the entrance to the market and  beckon them mobile phone to come and carry the luggage, after purchases are done.  Others come to the market with spoilt brats who create a lot of nuisance, running everywhere, even through your legs if you are not careful. Some occupy space at a vendor so long that you have to move away to other shops. Seen a few young ladies wearing T shirts with funny statements but won’t stay at the same spot long enough to help you read what is printed. Some ladies would sit and select vegetables without realizing that their butt cleavage is visible. Some oldies put up a pathetic picture of doing an arduous job. Overhearing conversations – mostly gossip – is very interesting. You are at an advantage if you are a polyglot.

I wish I could illustrate what I see like the cartoonist Gopulu of my younger days.

No comments:

Post a Comment