Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Let the Holiday Cheer begin

A common fixture on the roads in all major cities in India is the assortment of small independent "street-vendors" who are hawking a variety of goods to people in car, two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws, buses and of course, pedestrians. When a traffic light at major intersections turn red, these enterpreneurs move into action. Deals are made in seconds as they move from one potential customer to the other. Rain or shine - the business goes on. I have seen them sell everything from cleaning rags, fly swatter, flowers, fruits, roasted peanuts and of course newsppers and magazines.

Yesterday, I was stopped at the intersection on M.G. Road in my car and saw these hawkers spring into action. This time, they were not selling their usual ware. The item for sale was Santa Caps! Compared to other religious festivals in India, Christmas is quite a small festival. Christians form about 2.3% of the overall population (which is still 25M!). But the sale of Santa caps on the streets and the large well-decorated christmas trees in hotels and malls is clearly signaling the arrival of the holiday cheer (and shopping madness that is sure to follow!) here.


Anonymous said...

You gotta give it to these hawkers though. They embody the spirit of capitalism. Even though they just might be one of the most annoying types of people here, especially when they hog up the sidewalks. The other day I saw this "ear cleaner" guy ("eeeek")relentlessly pursue a poor tourist maybe 500 feet before he finally gave up. That guy would make a good door-to-door salesman! I just hope he doesn't knock on my door with a swab in his hand. Did I say "eeeeek" already?

aanish said...

its a good idea to be a "street vendor", just stand in front of a car and force them to buy someting, or you won't move