Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Not So Mammuli
I was in Mammulpet recently, where the wholesalers of the world (or atleast Bangalore) unite. Here you can get anything for the lowest price, pencil to pant, saree to statuette. Only for most of these things you need to be prepared to take back a whole bunch. These guys laugh out loud when you say you want 2-3. 100 stickers of Jesus and Mother Mary? Step right in sir.
But where there's money to be made, you'll find people aren't real sticklers for the rules. In some shops the wholesale ideal was sacrificed for a more plain and practical sale. We edged our way through the milling crowds that had everyone from low income mothers dragging their kids behind them to Page 3 types, trying hoity toitily to keep their high heels out of the muck. A real juxtaposition.
It didn't help that was with three girls united in a single minded need to shop for cheap clothes and that I was the only one who knew enough Kannada to keep asking for directions. And we went main road to street, street to lane, lane to bylane, bylane to gully, gully to building, up a dingy staircase and finally into a shop filled to the brim with clothes, people and salesmen all mingling together in a musty humid mess. Ventilation was something these people were talking about with fondness, like those old buildings that get replaced overnight by some concrete monstrosity.
But I'm a survivor and lived to tell this grubby sweaty tale. (note to self - NEVER AGAIN).