Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Night Market

When night falls and day-stalls fade away, the night crowd appears and the place is reborn into second life. The smoke rising from torches and open-fires smears the electric lights into aromatic illuminated haze. The hungry crowd get trapped, on their way to reaching the food, by night magicians and story tellers, who, to the sound of drums and other instruments, tell their stories and show their magic.

The night is also the time when women come to life. Some with their families, others as beggars with toddlers trained to cry at will, whenever a tourist comes near. Young women emerge to find love, hiding from preying eyes in the safety of the crowd.

Imagine away the electric lights, and you’d find yourself back at time when the forefather of these very story tellers were telling the very same stories; time when the ancestors of the food hawkers were making the very same food in the very same way. As this place has attracted locals and tourist alike, and made them leave their money behind for generations.

The call of muezzin is heard from a nearby minaret. The crowed kneel on their knees to pray. Boys are pilfering from the food stalls, just as they have done for a thousand years.

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