Friday, January 16, 2009

Smell of an Indian Bazaar...

It was long since I had been out to shoot with my shutterbug friends. When I got an invite, if I could join them for a weekend shot at Russel Market, one of the prominent landmarks for the native Bangalorites, I thought why not. The reply was prompt because I have always preferred colder climes and at present winter is in full flourish. Also, wintertime mornings are usually marked with less activity and lots of freshness rules the air.

Brandy Shop

So all set and done and I reach the market place at 6:30AM. The market place was a melange of action, buying, selling, trading, chaffering, transporting, cleaning and lots more.

Posing amidst chaos

Russel Market is one of the oldest markets in Bangalore and it was built in 1927. The freshly painted minaret that stands across the road is a testimony that this place which was once the frequented by the memsahibs driven in their carriages is now replaced by the Marutis, the Fords and the Toyotas.

Sea of placidity

Even though the city today offers plenty of departmental stores from Sunday-to-Monday to Food World, from Reliance Fresh to Nilgiris, from Spencers to Spar but still there is a sizeable population that visits this bazaar for its weekly stock of fruits and vegetables and other requirements. The building that accommodates close to 100 vegetable shops and mandis today looks a bit jaded.


This place has narrow streets, filled with people unloading mini-trucks ladened with fresh vegetables and fruits. At one corner an old woman is selling a handful of vegetables, while at the other corner there is a middle-aged lady making a garland with different kinds of flowers, sipping hot tea from a glass. Even found a man who was so bitten by Bipasha Basu's 'Beedi Jalai le', that early in the morning he was puffing his jigar maan bari aag in a foolhardy way.

Smoking a Beedi

At this early hour of the day, there is action all around as vegetable vendors were busy sorting the vegetables into gunny bags which would be sent to various restaurants and hotels across the city. This place is a trading center for flowers, and florists can be seen exchanging their supply for cash. The topsy-turvyness here is more complex than what one would find in any stock exchange when in action.


As I was walked a little ahead, I saw the central courtyard, where there were neatly arranged rows of meat shops. Strung up were fresh cuts of mutton with hooks. Adjacent to the dark alleys of meat shops, dimly lit with bulbs is the street, which is a must visit place for any sea-food lover.

Fish Vendor

Variety of fish, prawn, crab, squid, etc of all sizes were available and the best part is it was all fresh stock unlike the refrigerated and preserved ones sold in department stores. This place is a beehive of activity and chances are high that a visitor would soil his/her clothes while purchasing sea-food here.

Prawn and Fish

It was 8:30AM by now and people returning from the early hours mass at the nearby church were indicative of city life about to get started in a while. I along with my friend, proceeded to a nearby shop, which offers chai 24/7 and while having the chai, a person rushed hurriedly towards me. Seeing, a camera in my hand he told, 'Saab ek photo aap jaldi se lea lo, abhi thodi deear maain guard ke naukri ke liye, ek interview hai' [Can you take a pic immediately because I have an interview for the post of a guard to attend]. I had to politely decline to his request as my camera, doesn't have the instant printing capabilities.

Don't be surprised when I saw, you can click and publish pictures instantly, infact you can do this something similar to the Polaroid cameras of the 70’s. This year PoGo, an Instant Digital Camera unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, allows one with a push of a button to take pictures, edit those and then print those on full-colour, 2x3-inch prints. Can someone gift me one of those :)

You can see the rest of the pics here.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 6:30 AM, Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

You have captured the early morning atmosphere in the market so well. Both the chill and the flurried activity. I like the sunlight on the closed doors of the brandy shop.

Hope your wish is granted soon. :)

At 11:25 PM, Blogger yettofindaname said...

Some of the pics are lovely.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks for bringing bangalore to me! Wow, Russell Market looks more vivid through your camera than it actually is! Loved the pic of the guy with his his basket! Great shots!

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous sharmista said...

great shots..hmmm so u turned out to be a good photographer huh;)

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Lawrence Samuel Raj said...

Ha ha ha...i can feel the chill moment and the rush hour at Russel Market as i was reading your blog..

its always a pleasure read your Blog


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