Photo Friday (19) – A Sunday Affair

beltola bazaar productsFresh produce that we bought home

This is more of a detailed post than my usual photo posts of Friday.

I love visiting weekly haats/markets. The array of goods laid out with an abundant variety of colours, shapes and sizes, the people (buyers, sellers & onlookers) and the energy in the air, never fail to mesmerize me and I often feel like a lil’ girl in a candy shop. As a little girl, many a times I accompanied my Deuta (that’s what we call our father in Assamese) on this Sunday morning shopping sprees. I remember moving from one stall to another, awestruck at the variety of stuff laid out in rows, in one big field. Deuta used to pick the choicest vegetables from the lot, bargaining here and there and at the same time giving me tips (which I now find quite valuable) on how to select the best one and the things to keep in mind while buying each one of them. I guess the memories attached to these Sunday haats are what make them more enjoyable for me, even today.

Since my Maa is in town, one weekend we decided to visit one of the local Sunday markets and re-live my fond memories. So armed with our shopping bags, we reached Beltola Bazaar (this one is a bi-weekly market which opens on Thursdays & Sundays from morning till late in the evening) at around 10 in the morning. The shopkeepers had slowly settled down and all their wares were laid out in front of them.

beltola bazaar Some how I managed to click one photo which is kind of a sneak-peek of the market

Originally this market was a traditional weekly fruit and vegetables market and an important trading point between the people from the Khasi hills (Meghalaya) and the local Assamese people. Previously, Beltola was also the seat for a small protectorate of Ahom Kingdom, principally assisting administration of the Borphukan and in maintaining relations with the communities of Khasi Hills.

Over the years, this market has grown and apart from fruit, vegetables & other agricultural produce, one will also find stuff like variety of spices, hand-woven gamochas, etc., low range clothing items, footwear, locally made knives and other kitchen tools and various other knick knacks of daily use. Most of the items sold in the market elicited some memory I associated with some particular dish made out of it..…be it my mother’s, my grandmother’s or my sister’s recipe. 🙂

Just after we reached there, it started to drizzle and hence I could not click any good photos. But the rain could not deter the shopping spirits of Maa and me. We bought many kinds of vegetable including herbs and the leafy ones, bamboo shoot, various kinds of chillies including bhoot jolokia/ghost chillies, some small river fish and freshwater prawns, etc etc till our hands could not carry anymore bags. 😛 I guarantee you this market is a paradise for fresh produce and it’s very hard to resist not picking up things. By the end of it, both of maa and I were totally exhausted and decided to head back home, reserving some energy, for once we reach home, we will have to start preparing for the lunch as well. 😛

The Deoboria bazaar (that’s what we call the Sunday market) experience was so much fun and satisfying that I have made a promise to myself that I am going back there more frequently and next time I will click photos to my heart’s content to capture the essence of it. 🙂

 

 

 

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12 comments

  1. I have such fond memories of going to the Sunday market with my dad too 🙂 Usually I used to accompany him and marvel at his patience and energy levels to pick up the best things after bargaining 🙂

    PS – I am intrigued by the large cones.. what are they?!

  2. I am back to your blog after ages, and loving it! It is such a beautiful window into culture of the NE. I get to learn little things about the place from a local, and that is something I love! 🙂

    I love visiting such markets too. I would choose them over shopping for veggies from a mall, any day. As you say, these markets are heaven for fresh produce lovers, and you just can’t resist picking up this and that. Only when the bags start getting heavier and difficult to carry do you think of heading home. 🙂 😀 Sadly, we aren’t always able to shop from such markets due to a lot of factors. I jump at a chance to visit an open-air, traditional market like this, whenever I can.

    1. Thanks TGND! I am glad my posts give you a peek into my part of the world. 🙂
      I never shop veggies from the malls; I love to loiter around in the local markets and choosing from the freshly arrived lot. I am glad we share a common love for these markets 🙂

    1. let me introduce you to some of the stuff then – that white conical thing is bamboo shoot (integral part of NE cuisine); to its left (maroonish color thing) is a banana flower which we call KOLDIL here; to its left is a bunch of fresh mint; next to that is colocassia leaves which we prepare with a souring agent (can be made with daal, fish or as side dish); beside that is a bunch of maan-dhania (also called Mexican Coriander or Eryngium foetidum). The green veggies standing in the extreme left are fiddle head ferns (we generally stir fry them with bengal gram/shrimps or make sour fish curry).the round thing next to the chillies ia local pumpkin and in the container are some gooseberries.
      Pheww….I guess this is a whole lot of information for you! 🙂 😛

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