Today, Saturday, after Geeta’s women’s class, I walked to the vegetable and fruit stands not too far from my home here. There are small carts of fruits and vegetables at most turn arounds or neighborhoods, but there is a larger selection here which is made up of about 8 booths of fruits and vegetables. I was out of everything and was hungry so bought more and this included: 2 papayas, 6 of the small bananas, 1/2 kg.? of green beans and another of flat green beans (that I have tried once and really liked), 4 carrots, 5 potatoes, and a cauliflower. This all came to 240 rupees, almost $5! And it is all so fresh and delicious. It just takes time to clean, cut, peel, wash and then cook, but this is part of my time in India and so worth it. On the walk from there to the Maharastra Store, I passed an area that garbage is thrown, I guess by the locals in the area?, and there were the biggest, fattest pigs I have ever seen rolling in the mud and seemingly happy in their environment. The friskier and smaller ones were running around eating and sampling what appealed. It was muddy and smelly and I just had to think this is one form of garbage disposal. I so understand and respect leaving your shoes at the door and not making tracks into the house!
My last stop was the Maharastra Store which I frequent and is standing smaller and older next to the stores going up around in the area. The Toyota dealership is just a few paces down from this little neighborhood grocery. It is about 300 square feet, with 3 walls covered with goods, 2 small refrigerators like you see in a hotel room, and one small freezer that juts out to the 2 steps up to stand at the front counter. To close the store the couple who own it just pull a metal sheet down and lock up! No refrigeration, alarms windows, doors, just one lock and off they go. This store has everything from bottled water, curry powders, detergent for dishes and clothes, canned goods, tahini, olive oil, fresh eggs(I am told), and of course all the needs of an Indian kitchen. The perishable items like curds(yogurt), ghee, butter, are kept in the refrigerators with some soft drinks and bottled juices. The front counter is covered with all the Indian snacks and treats, chapatis, and underneath are nuts, dried fruits, and now, western looking candy bars. So much of what I see, I don’t know what it is, and everything flies off the shelves. There are always people standing, not in line, but merging towards the owner or his wife- whoever of the two decides to be there-with rupees in hand. Business is good because occasionally I am there and a young man is working and the owner is standing talking to someone or looking out the front. I like giving them my business, especially now that these new markets are opening—and that is another story. The Maharastra store is still the place to shop for me! And like the rest of the world, they are not open on Sundays!
I woke up the other morning with the name of Mr. Iyengar’s new book-The Heart of Yoga on my mind, not what ever I told you. All is very good here.