Sometimes a warm glance is enough to say you are allowed to enter the intimacy of an Indian home. A gentle observer or a discreet actor, you will have the opportunity to share moments of the inhabitants’ life and experience their kind hospitality. A foreigner blends in the crowds of the market and is always welcomed at wedding parties, even when they are a total stranger to the community and culture. That’s when a journey through India becomes a reservoir of meaningful memories, of cherished souvenirs, shared with the kind people that so often manage to make you feel like they care.
To visit India’s most intriguing markets is a true adventure of the senses. From every corner emerges continuous interpellation in a local, obscure language that thrills the ear. The eyes are utterly surprised by the accurate aesthetics of the sometimes humble, sometimes lush displays, while the ever-present gods presiding over every human interaction inescapably capture your attention.
Flowers, vegetables, spices, oils, all together tickle the nose with blending or contrasting scents that forever, unequivocally recall India, whenever encountered again. Consider feeling the surprising texture of the karela, a bumpy vegetable with medicinal properties; or the smooth surface of the chikoo, a strange looking delicious fruit; try savouring for the first time a slice of jackfruit, or an extra-sweet jalebi fried under your very eyes. Like a child in an amusement park, you rush to find the perfect gift for a friend.
At the market, India offers her authenticity, makes one understand the most profound meaning of commerce and its relationship with exchange. Even without buying anything, you will bring home the images, the emotions, and the sensations of a moment shared with Indians and their everyday lives, so perfectly exotic to foreign eyes.