Sunday, 18 August 2013

When Onions Really Made Us Cry

As I sit in my room and type this blog instead of filing my story for the day at work, I can't help but recall how I felt this morning while walking in Monda Market listening to Pink Floyd. Perhaps it was just me, but Floyd's music actually made me  see the entire area through a different lens for once. Or rather, from a different perspective since I was there to work on a story and not buy vegetables instead.

Realisation dawned upon me when I walked through the same area that I've been frequenting from over 15 years, that how things haven't changed, and how ignorant I've been. As I neared the market place, I slowed down to park my bike, and I kept looking for there was no sign of a single spot to park the moped I was riding. Finding a parking place seemed even harder than meeting an IAS officer for once. With hundreds of vehicles crisscrossing around, it was even harder to look for space.

Finally I just parked the thing behind some vehicles and went in the market place. Now, I had been there on Saturday as well, but Sunday was a different scene altogether. It looked perfectly like a market. No wonder my class teachers in school used to compare my class like a 'market'; noisy as hell. Dirt, slush, and the stench of rotten vegetables all around was enough for me to understand that I had a good story at hand. If only there was Irani chai around, it would have been perfect. But alas.

'Whenever the prices of onions soar, the government collapses. That is exactly what happened to the Janata part in the late 1970's and the same will happen now,' said a merchant, when I asked him about the recent increase in onion prices. The vegetable is really making people cry now, that too from the last one month. At 55 rupees, it was enough for a customer to simply turn away from a seller in angst.

I was talking to the first onion seller, and he was narrating his tale of woes ever since the prices hit the roof. The poor man took out the time to talk to me, and just then a customer came and asked the price of a kilo of onions. 'Sixty rupees,' replied the seller, and the customer just turned away with loathsome face, not even ready to listen to the 'wait bhai, you can have it for Rs 52', which the seller shouted in a bid to draw his attention. Unfortunately it didn't work.

As I looked around, all I saw was people trying to find cheaper bargains, which is what you'd expect anyway. So, finally I finished my work and was heading back, which was when it hit me that what I've been hearing since I was a kid, that Monda market is dirty place, which is bad etc etc is all bull shit. That, is what is India, and Hyderabad, and is what every place needs.There are of course things that can be better there, but then, it wouldn't be the same chaos, would it now.

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