Although the rapid evolution of technology brings every corner of the world to our doorstep, modern man has erected a sturdy wall separating him from some spectacular places of interest.  As a man of the old golden days, who is grappling hard to match the thinking pattern of the 21st century folk, my daily visit to Burra Bazaar accentuates my keen interest in scrutinising the changing outlook of the ‘market.’

It had been raining consistently over the past few days as Burra Bazaar beckoned me.

I decided to stroll along the meandering pathway, opening up to small shops selling hardware and textiles. A part of it portrayed dhoti patti, and a wide array of fancy merchandise.

My heart was warmed when I saw a child of about five, grabbing his mother’s hand and inspecting with eager eyes, the magic and colour of the place. Perhaps decades later, the same person will, under the influence of maturity, alter his likes and dislikes and markets will no longer hold the same fascination for him. Yet such bazaars have always been a gathering place where people engage with each other, whether it is by trading tales or trading merchandise and where adversel encounters can often turn into friendly exchanges.

Markets display ingenuity at a glance and test our bargaining skills as merchants explain their wares and justify their prices. Here, one witnesses the overwhelming saga of ancient folklore.

Preserving these traditional meeting places is thus of tantamoiunt importance, not only for our sake, but also to withold our unique collective cultural consciousness.

Coordinator, Class XII, St. Teresa’s Secondary School, Khidderpore