A tale of two diwalis

To the rich man's mall there is the poor man's weekly bazaar. A cornucopia of sight, sound and smells, an experience guaranteed to titillate all your senses.

The dreary road comes alive one every week as people come from faraway places with their ware, tables are set, oil lamps lit and the stage is set. Soon the cries of the vendors fills the space as each try to get you to come to their stall. There is one such market very close to pwhy and you can find anything you want: clothes of all kind, school uniforms, shoes, kitchen ware, spices, toys, music, food of many kinds and much more. For many the budh bazaar is a lifeline, a place where for a few roupies you can treat your self to everything you can dream of.

These weekly bazaars have been in existence for as long as I can remember and one finds them everywhere in India. This week there was no budh bazaar, the vendors came and sat dolefully on their tables, some tried to set their goods but were brutally beaten by cops who even walked over their precious goods.

The reason: last years bomb attacks! And to make their task easy a decision to not let the bazaars operate. Imagine the plight of the vendors who often borrow at incredible interest rates to purchase the goods they will sell. And over and above all this week is the one where they sell the most as it is Diwali week. Think of the poor people who waited for this day to buy their children clothes at a rate they could afford: new clothes the children dreamt of, utensils for dhanteras when even the poorest of the poor buys something to please goddess Lakshmi.

Was there no way the police could have ensured security without hitting the poor. The malls are not closed and neither are the upmarket centres so why once again hit the poor who wait for Diwali for that one special moment.

These images disturbed me as they seem to vindicate the sad reality that the laws are not the same for everyone.

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