It was a long time since I last ventured out for street photography in Jaipur. Over the last two to three years, with the pandemic situation, as well as being busy at work, I missed street photography. Regular followers of this blog might be able to recall the most popular posts on street photography. Sunday street photography in Jaipur, 11 seconds, Faceless frames, bewildered, Jester, and Happy children were a few such posts. There were a few exceptions when I ventured out on the streets in Jaipur for street photography – To mask or not to mask. So this Diwali in Jaipur, I decided to hit the streets of Jaipur for street photography.
I was in Chandpol Bazaar, not far from the landmark point, Choti Chaupar not far from Chaturbhuj Temple. It is common to see flower sellers selling flowers in the streets of Jaipur’s walled city. These are temporary flower-sellers, unlike the ones you find on Badi Chaupar near Hawa Mahal or in the Phool Mandi or the wholesale flower market in Jaipur. I found a woman selling marigold flowers right next to the car parking in Chandpol Bazaar. She was busy making marigold garlands. I’m unsure what made me pause and strike up a conversation with her. She was composed, unlike most sellers who are extremely attentive and active in scouting for a potential customer among the passersby. Because of a large number of flower sellers in the old city Jaipur market, striking a sale deal is vital. But here she was not bothered with this issue at all.
“How much are you selling each Gainda (marigold) garland for?”
“What’s your name?” I asked
“Chandi Bai” She replied
“Do you sell marigold flowers every day?”
“No, I don’t”
“My sons don’t permit me to sell flowers every day. They say I should rest at home now that I’m old and we make enough. But since it is Diwali, I decided to sell flowers for a day or two”
“Where do you live?”
“Near Nahargarh Biological Park?”
“Yes. Buy some marigold garland, the flowers are fresh “
Since I had already bought a couple of marigold flower garlands, I was in no mood to buy them.
“No, I don’t need any right now”
“I got 8 kg Gainda flowers yesterday.”
And how many marigold flowers have you bought today to sell garlands?”
“Just 5 kg. I’m waiting to sell all of these and then head back home early since today is Diwali”
“Okay, Give me one garland” as I handed her a new Rs 30 note.
I sensed she was a very skilled seller. Her reply suggested I should help her so she could go back home and enjoy the Diwali festival with her family. She was not acting like other sellers who doing everything to get attention; she was in a different league and deserve respect. During my business travel, I met many sellers. People from the Sindhi community are considered to be one of the best salespersons in India. They are extremely hard-working and possess excellent soft skills. On another note, Kashmiri salespersons are in a different league. I felt this flower seller reminded me of the Kashmiri Emporiums salespersons that once were ubiquitous in the Indian tourism sector. Over the last few years, I have not seen Kashmiri emporiums which were once very common in Delhi, Goa, and Kerela.
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