I am always ready to go vegetable and fruit shopping. It takes me some coaxing to go to malls to buy clothes, especially with the possibility of doing it online without moving an inch from my comfort zone a.k.a the sofa. The sofa where everything I need: water, cigarettes, munchies, fruit, laptop, kindle is within an arm’s distance from me. But every Saturday, I simply can’t wait to go to the local market nearby and touch the thousand different textures and revel in the rainbow of the vibrant colours of fruit and vegetable.
In fact, fruit and vegetable window shopping is always at the top of my travel itinerary, no matter where I go. Especially in foreign lands, I think local markets are the only place where you feel less like a foreigne. I got the same feeling of domestic warmth when I visited the farmer’s market in Yorkshire, or the local market of Santa Fe in Granada, that I get in the markets in India. My weekly vegetable market tour never disappoints me. Most of the times I don’t even have to buy anything in particular. I order most of our groceries online, but I have to go through my weekly routine to stay sane. In fact, more often that not I end up buying stuff I’ve never brought before, without any idea of how to use it in cooking, but this doesn’t deter me one bit from buying it anyway and instantly going home and using it in some way.
This is probably going to sound like something straight out of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth but when I am walking on the narrow lanes in between small stalls with huge wicker baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, I feel so connected to the earth, to the mud and to the very feeling of being a human animal. And it’s a wonderful feeling when an unexploited patch of earth is a rarest of rare sighting in the fast metro life. Going out to buy food for yourself connects me to the very meaning of existence, to the primal act of providing for yourself, just like animals in the wilderness. Of course, I know my life is a lot simpler with just having to shell out money and get WHATEVER but the brief feeling of connection with life itself is so exhilarating.
I will live, I’ll grow old, my walk will perhaps become slow and vision impaired, but one thing that I never want to change is the primal joy I get out of inhaling the fresh smells, taking in a myriad of sensations and colours and feeling a sense of belonging and fitting into the larger scheme of things, through this seemingly simple activity.