Saturday, October 16, 2010

Preparing for Dussera

Dussera time once again. The first year, I was amazed at how cars, buses, and trucks were decorated, as well as bikes, hammers, and even file cabinets -- as folks decorated and prayed for their implements of work. This year, we will help decorate our car too, as our drivers wants to do a proper puja to protect it. So, first step, like in festivals everywhere in the world, involves shopping. Banana leaves, mango leaves, kum kum colored powder, garlands of flowers, coconuts, a type of pumpkin, bananas, lemons/limes, fruit, sweets, puffed rice. Below you can share some of our shopping experience.

Formal markets play a large role, but so do temporary informal markets that spring up along roads in specific areas, often nearby formal markets.

Bangalore has always been known for its flowers, here bound together in huge garlands to adorn vehicles and doorways.

Sweet shops also do a booming business.
Always an afterthought is parking. So, just as the informal markets take over sidewalk and road space, so do parking areas.

And of course, the produce has to be transported to the market.

And then transported home.
In our case, walking the banana leaves to the car as if leading a parade.This picture shows an informal market, and it captures some of the contrasts of India today.

The color. The contrast between the Center for Scientific Research (or at least its sign) with the chaos of the street -- cars, pedestrians (some with no shoes, in a wide array of styles both traditional and less so), and commerce all fighting for space. The sign announcing someone's death with the garland on it it. Woefully inadequate power lines. The solar water heater on the building in the background.

Next posting, our car's puja ceremony.

No comments: