A cheerfully lit market with vibrant colors and mob of people making their way through multiple street vendors, those yelling to attract customers, were once a sign of joy and a true treasure of happiness. Joy of wandering through the streets and hastily checking out the window displays of stores, looking for either those perfect pair of shoes or outfit, had the power to rejuvenate even a sixty year old women.
Markets weren’t just streets with multiple shops selling goods; they were like coal to the engine of Indian festivals. I remember going to the market a night before Diwali every year just to experience the liveliness and cheerfulness the market had to offer. Getting the glimpse of those mid aged women bargaining for extra discounts with a poor shopkeeper on one corner to some getting henna designs made on their hands, to a few more asking for some extra saunth in the golgappas, truly filled the air with an unsaid excitement.
Markets in themselves were a reason to celebrate. From a mother watching her daughter searching for that perfect bridal lehenga, to a pregnant one buying infant clothes for her unborn, the markets have seen it all. A millennial might fill up its online shopping cart with a click of a button and get the things delivered but those might never know the virtue of being emotionally involved in the process of choosing and of creating lifetime memories while shopping.
As they say, it’s not about the destination but about the journey.
India, being an amalgamation of various cultures and communities, have an added business advantage of selling things during festivals. Festivals that stretch throughout the year making markets pleasant all year around and businesses profitable.
With covid-19 and pandemic scenario all across the world, the popular markets of India, which were once lit with hustle and bustle of people, are quite and dull. With no street stalls and vendors, markets have lost that Indian rural touch which every Indian women have cherished all these years. Markets weren’t just for shopping but had a huge part to play in the emotional relief of women. There were many homemakers whose daily outings were only confined to a visit to the market. While this won’t really matter to many of us, for some, it really does.
Never thought that market not just had the power to lift the economy but also the mood. Did you?