When I first moved to Bangalore over 6 years ago, there were supermarkets opening all over the place. I had wondered in this post what would happen to the neighbourhood markets and walking vegetable vendors. Would they lose their business to these big chains?
I have the impression that markets are still thriving and that many people still go to markets because they know the vendors and because they have the opportunity to bargain.
The same vendors still walk up and down my street several times a day with their pushcarts full of vegetables and many of my neighbours buy from them because they conveniently stop at their door and because they’ve been buying from them for years. A friend pointed out that if she ever needs some special vegetable she can always ask her regular vendor to pick it up for her and he’ll be sure to deliver it to her door the next day. You can’t beat that for convenience.
Last time it was the ‘puncher man’ I had featured in a previous post inspired by The Hindu’s “I am” column. Today I take a glimpse into the life of a market vendor, again courtesy of The Hindu.
The column by Deepa Ganesh tells the story of Lakshmamma, who’s been selling fruits and vegetables for the past 40 years at different markets across Bangalore. She works for almost 16 hours a day, leaving home at 4am to go to the wholesale market at Yelahanka. She then travels with the bags of vegetables she’s bought by bus, not an easy task, all the way to the Income Tax Office where she sells her produce on the pavement. She gets home only after 8:30pm. In the article she also gives some interesting observations on the city and how it’s changed over the years. You can read the column here.
Meet some of the market ladies of Bangalore: