Jottings from My Indian Diary – Storekeepers and Magicians

An Indian store keeper displays his ware with the dashing flair of a magician – unfurling carpets to show the changing jewelled colours, splashing water from a bowl over intricately carved marble, polishing a bronze statue to a mirror bright shine.

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“Look!” he exclaims in the flamboyant tones of a great performer.“See the rainbow that occurs when water touches the grey stone…”
“Let me show you the glow of gold in this Ganesha…”
“Watch as I turn this lump of wax into the perfect form of Shiva…”
“Every thread in this sari is woven separately…”
“Look! Just look! Can you believe what you are seeing?”

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And in poky holes of market stalls, at vendors’ carts, in tiny crowded shops or on sofas in fancy emporiums, with a complimentary cup of saffron tea, we hold our breath and marvel at these charismatic illusionists conjuring up their spells and enthralling us with their magic.

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© Anita Patel, 2015

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