Stuff to do! My first task, after coffee of course, is to get myself to the spice market a mile to the northeast of my den on Gangaur Ghat. I prefer to walk at this time of day, though some would call that perverse: not for the heat but for the fact the entire way there I’m dodging scooters, Enfields (‘Royal’ no more) and tuk-tuks that change direction more often and abruptly than a white-water slalom. (For the rules of the road, see my Vietnam piece, Motorbiking II, and trust me that India’s off the scale worse.)
But I get there in one piece. This being my fourth visit, and third this trip, I don’t spend as much time savouring and snapping as I otherwise would. The markets of the Global South are a constant delight, and any misgivings I have about gawking and lens-intrusion are trumped by the knowledge they won’t be around forever. It’s my bounden duty to record for prosperity their colour; their life affirming, in-your-face-and-gutsy-with-it vibrance.
The jaggery man. Jaggery is sugar, as raw as it comes, downstream of the cane.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the best mangoes in the world come from south-west Pakistan and north-west India. Yellow-pink, and more wrinkled than those shiny red-green jobs from South America, they pack a thousand times the flavour.
Chillhis, yes, but do you know what the yellow stuff is? Answer at end of post.
My favourite sector. You don’t see fruit, veg or spices grown at Udaipur market but you do see the basket weavers at work.
Girl on a Motorcycle.
One of these has done the Hajj. Which one, though? Tough call.
Enough of this. I don’t have all day! My errand is to relocate the modestly titled Ganesh Cycle
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