Ramzan is over, however its raunaq stays. The bunting is hanging upon the road like an expired blessing (see photograph). This weekday afternoon, Previous Delhi’s Matia Mahal Bazar is as packed because the Nauchandi Mela.
Even within the worst days of the pandemic, Matia Mahal bustled with folks, however the concern of one more lockdown or Covid-19 wave looms over the bazaar like an ominous darkish cloud. That’s gone with the masks. It’s now just like the carefree pre-2020 occasions.
For 30 years, one-armed Salim Bhai has been begging at first of the bazaar, beside Kallan Sweets, throughout the street from Jama Masjid. He’s again after spending the lockdowns in his native city in Ahmedabad.
Danedar Shikanji vendor Noor Ahmad, simply 14 and with dad and mom again residence in a UP village, is counting the day’s sale — it’s a thousand rupees. Behind him, two Kashmiri nun chai merchants, Khushnaseeb and Abdul Ghaffar, hurriedly waddle down the slender stairs of ‘Govt. accepted’ Al-Ahad Vacation Residence, and soften into the road congestion on a sultry day.
Bombay Saloon is houseful — all 4 chairs are occupied, and two clients are ready on the glass door.
Fourth-generation dates vendor Arif Khajoor Wale guides a buyer by his stacks of dates: “That is from Iran…that is additionally from Iran…that is from Saudi…that is from Medina…”
Outdoors Salim Tea Home, 67-year-old rickshaw puller Subedin is badgering a foreigner to board his rickshaw for the Previous Delhi tour (“Sir, sir — Spice Market, Kinari Bazar, Pink Fort”). 20-rupee notes are protruding from the gusset of his sweating vest. Explaining why he’s working in his outdated age, he yells — “I’ve solely daughters, no sons!”
Younger Shabdam plods by, carrying an uncovered vessel crammed with steaming yellow dal. “Taking it to Gharib Nawaz lodge!”
Outdoors the Previous Well-known Khoya Jalebi, a small island devoid of site visitors has surfaced. A person is mendacity sprawled on the road. No one bothers to know who he’s. A ‘Mohabbat ka Sherbet’ hawker mumbles the person is drunk and can stand up on regaining hoshoawaas (consciousness).
The distracted crowd is routinely steering its method about him. Matia Mahal has regained its normalcy.
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