Vegetable Market Pantomime – Part 2

Today, the market was a weekday,
meek customers at the whims of
seemingly fixed and unbalanced prices
₹ 30 per half kg but ₹ 50 per kg.

A Sikh woman gaunt as a twig
with a kirpaan hanging fast,
hopeful that the plastic utensils,
the plastic strainers and the muddlers
will find their way to their adoption.
The cheapest jewelry in town laid,
on a rickety wooden table covered
with a plastic sheet that sticks
like dirt on sweat in the summer heat.

A touch of senility on her face,
as I turned back to see her once more
she had turned the same time,
eyes exchanging a glance of uncertainty
then turning back towards the rush of cars
and arranging the plastics of disbelief.

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Vegetable Market Pantomime

When you raise your head up
in the vegetables and fruit market
so many people your eyes have to attend to
mud filled aisles become hermetic,
people bargaining margin of 10 rupees
become a pantomime, a story
written by feet pens on mud canvas,
extra vegetable leaves cut aside,
the open backs of mini trucks in tandem
to vegetable serving tables,
is a sight to smile at but also
a word softly stirred by the air
in the winds and sneezes of the sunset.
I pop my eyes out at vegetables
I don’t know the names of
and smile at myself,
infantilizing my lack of savvy.
In one crimped lane,
sweat smells ooze out
in the other, perfumes too many