abundance (noun): a very large quantity of something
That was the first thing that struck me as we drove around the city. Nothing was quite in moderation.
Congestion, poverty, pollution, heat and colours.
People were either buying a lot or a lot were not buying.
A lot of curious stares.
Then I thought, perhaps “in moderation” suggests a kind of average condition and the average rarely gets noticed in the presence of extremes.
At this open air bazaar, I caught a colourful glimpse of bustling New Delhi. Tourists were passing through, families and groups of friends shopping, locals trying to make a living, illegal peddlers dodging the police, people having an evening snack before dinner, it was so crowded yet everyone was in harmony.
I’m not sure of the exact location. I would describe this place like Chatuchak in Bangkok, but less extensive.
This lady was really endearing and kept trying to sell me the piece. I am very fond of hand-made items, but in India, I will always wonder if such items for sale are hand-made at the expense of cruel exploitation. Regardless of its source, it is undeniable that every hand-made piece will always come attached with some level of dedication.
I was talking to these two ladies in front and I noticed that the men behind all cast curious looks our way while enjoying their evening snack. It’s interesting because while I’m having all these questions in my head about them, they must be thinking the same about me!
I don’t know what is the right term to refer to these vehicles. Electric taxis? Our local guide told us that it’s not advisable to take these ones in Delhi because a lot of the drivers refuse to go by the meter and you have to argue with them to agree on a price.
Most of the public buses I see are somewhat battered in the front, with the mechanics often exposed. In fact, many cars on the road have dents or cracked bumpers. Drivers don’t quite keep to their lanes and everyone horns but no one really gets hostile or aggressive, which tells me that this is a way of life, rather than an exhibition of road rage.
Now in the midst of all that chaos, illegal peddlers would weave dangerously in between traffic to sell coconut, books, magazines, jewellery etc. How they manage to sell anything successfully baffles me, because despite the congestion, there still wasn’t enough time to make a selection, search for cash and make payment that didn’t require change.
Part of me was compelled to buy because I felt that these people were risking their lives just to earn a livelihood, but would making a purchase from them be an act of condoning this illegal trade?