The festivities continued. I find myself lurking in the nooks and crannies of the recently constructed temporary bazaars, covered in vibrant layers of cloth, translucent enough for the painful bright light to pass through and tint the floors with various hues.
The smell of sweet paan curls into my nostrils, I feel the warmth of the steam let off by a huge utensil, into which a thick layer of condensed milk and chai leaves are stirred vigorously by a bony old man, with skin like tissues.
There’s a vendor, exhausted from attempting to hypnotize his foreign customers with wooden toys he bought off a young boy on the street. ‘Specially carved by the greatest of our sculptors in Rajasthan’ he says.
Truth is, they were made in a Chinese factory.
I walk towards the food counter, and all I see is a menu full of bland sandwiches and ‘Lays’.
I walk further away from the stall and find myself going towards the Lucky Draw counter.
‘Ah medam! You’ve won a beautiful doll!’
It’s a blonde, blue eyed, pink dressed barbie with ‘Amy’ written on it.
Disgusted, I give the gift to the young girl standing eagerly in the corner, in her only brightly coloured purple dress, the fire in her eyes when she grabs the doll does not comfort me.
A women shrieks ‘it’s the perfect gift for her, So modern!’
It’s some wonky strappy dress made of the worst material I’ve ever seen.
I walk further away from this fare, or bazaar, or whatever you’d like to call it.
I walk up to the beaming, gloating fat man standing at the entrance of the bazaar with gold rings on his fingers and a stupid foreign flag pin on his silk buttoned shirt.
‘They’ve done it again haven’t they. Stripped off all our cultural pride.