Monday, January 21, 2008

Lighter pathum cheng sawm!!

These four words, why do I remember? If u ask me? I have no problem in telling you. If you have time, I can give you a tour. Here we are at the heart of the town, Aizawl Bara Bazar. The first thing you notice is the essence of the market. Street bustling with people busy with their last minute shopping for the holidays, asking for bargains, kids pulling at their mothers’ skirts begging to buy the latest bey blades, mothers busy picking out clothes from the pile of second hand collection, fathers trying out shoes that look comfortable to wear, well, you get the picture. Now if you look over to your left you will see a blind man with a microphone singing his heart out in one corner with few coins in a lid of a shoe box. As you keep on walking down the steps in Zion street, you will see a line of small shops with all kinds of things they are selling. The only thing they are not selling is the fountain of youth, wait, I think my friend just bought one. Pun intended. Anyway you continue your journey down the rugged steps and you push and pull through the crowd that seems to appear suddenly as you walk. Phew! You made it! Take a breath. Now listen. What do you hear? Don’t you hear the street urchins shouting “lighter, lighter get three for ten, medicine to cure your smelly feet?” Now that’s what I call straight advertising! You want to ask “How much for that med?” “Darn why did that boy miss out the price?” A little element of surprise, maybe? You can’t help but smile and then you start contemplating, “It is a good deal though”. Maybe you’ll buy it, maybe you won’t. The fact is that they grab your attention with their box of goodies that they carry. You want to take a closer look at what other “magical cures” they’ve got. The only thing that’s stopping you is the incredulous stares from all the other people walking by. Well maybe you can come again another time when you have the guts to ask for those three lighters and then some.

I find the young boys selling their goodies as vital members that make up the market scene. It makes me nostalgic every time I remember my market days in Aizawl. I am going there this Christmas. Maybe I’ll hear those cries again, and if I do, I’m going to make sure I smile… with a sense of sweetened satisfaction just because I am hearing them again.