Monday, January 13, 2014

Meandering through Monda Market, Secunderabad

I find that after having lived life to a certain length, I sometimes get confused when I see something unusual. It may well be the first time that I am coming across it but I wonder if I really have not seen it or heard of it before. Sometimes pictures and good descriptions confuse me into thinking I have actually seen it with my own eyes. A couple of weeks ago, I made a quick trip to Hyderabad to see an old friend who was visiting India after almost 10 years. She had to finish some work in Secunderabad but it was not time-bound, so we took our time wandering through the small shops and stalls in Monda Market. Soon, we came upon this

and I guessed that they were fresh chickpeas in the pod. I have only heard of them, never seen them before. (Or so I think, but no, I really have not.) My friend was amazed. She has several memories of buying them and nibbling them on the way back from school and thought they were pretty common. I did not grow up or live in any place where they are commonly available so they are a novelty to me.

So we bought some, about 250 gm, I think, and kept popping them into our mouths throughout our walk. They were not very different from the brown chickpeas soaked overnight and handed over as prasadam during the bommala koluvu held during Sankranthi or Dasara. I have been to some koluvus as a kid where the chickpeas were not processed any further, though in Tamil Nadu, the tradition is to cook and temper them (sundal) before handing them out to the guests.

See those black things on the right side of the photo? Those are water chestnuts which my friend had never seen before! I told her to try one and we shared one.

I tried getting a picture of the chickpea in its pod but this is all I could manage because by this time we were in a store and the conditions, which includes my non-mastery of my camera, did not permit anything better than this.

I hear this market is a place where you can find things that are not found easily in other places in the city, especially leaves and herbs for rituals. What you see above are coconut palm leaves woven into festoons.

I had not planned to take photos but my friend wanted them. So I got pictures of the green lotus buds, 

of this stall which sells so many things of which I can identify the betel leaves, lotuses, banana leaves and chrysanthemums.

The rhizomes behind the lotuses are probably fresh turmeric, though I only see them now, as I upload these pictures.

Don't you think this is a lovely picture with all the purples, pinks and greens?

It has been ages since I saw chrysanthemums in this colour.

And in this - I now yearn to wear some, or truth be told, just possess some.

Garlands galore!

Those are rose petals stitched into a garland.

And that's a floral plait you can use over your own.

This is one of the must-shoots in many Indian markets - kukum and turmeric. Often, one finds kumkum in various colours as well.

My friend likes papayas, and wanted a shot of these.

And these are colours for rangoli, quite in demand in the Sankranthi season.