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.
“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?”
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.
© Anita Patel, 2015