Friday, December 23, 2011

Flower Market, Kolkata

After a meal at a restaurant for locals, our next destination was the flower market. Much like the Kali Temple, this usually busy place was jam packed with people due to the festivities. Trucks unloaded bundle after bundle of flowers, each about 3 feet in height. Workers were busy unwrapping the bundles’ contents, cascading strands of strung marigolds. Many were being loaded in large openly woven baskets and placed on the heads of men who carried what reminded me of massive pompom caterpillars through to other areas of the market and onward. Vendors were lined up along the narrow path, eager to sell the mountain of flowers before them. Children sat in mounds of orange and yellow marigold heads while their mothers strung garlands. While the photo opportunities were ripe, the sheer congestion of people along with the pushing and shoving made it incredibly difficult as well as being a potential hazard for my equipment. I did, however, marvel at the sheer volume of flowers being unloaded, dispersed, and sold  - right before my very eyes. Where were all these marigolds grown? How were they picked? What types of systems were in place that enabled such quantities of flower heads to be picked, transported into the city, and then manually distributed throughout the city - all while the short-lived pickings remained fresh?
After my motorcycle guide’s helmet got broken in the pushing and shoving of the sea of people, he rather grumpily suggested that we finish our time in the market and move onward.


Pat said...

That definitely looks like one crowded market, but oh, those flowers. I can smell them.

Merry Christmas, Melissa. Drink a beer in a teapot for me.

Melissa Enderle said...

Yes, Bibi, it was incredibly crowded - even for an Indian market. A Merry Christmas to you as well. Am spending Christmas Eve at the airport. No teapot beers there! I'll be thinking of you anyways.