The myriad colours


The first impression of Tulsi Bhag was one of a kaleidoscopic nature. Prisms of colour burst forth from every corner. Sights and sounds hijack your senses and leave you completely enslaved. The hypnotic aroma of street chow entices you towards the food stalls lining the streets. You dither but for a moment before becoming an unequivocal convert to a totally new shopping experience.

A small side winding lane from the main arterial Laxmi road takes you to the lively world of Tulsi Bhag. Here you are introduced to a quaint world full of intriguing and unusual characters. Where persuasion is power.

Lining the street sides were several stalls, selling rangoli powders in neatly arranged conical mounds of sunny yellows, fiery reds, turquoise blues and pretty pinks. A soft breeze sent a constant swirl of colour into the air.

Inside a shallow reed basket perched precariously on the back of a cycle, were thick coils of jasmine flowers which reposed snake like on their bed of green peepal leaves. These particular flowers possessed a fragile beauty which was sadly lacking in the kitschy bouquets and mammoth garlands sold in some of the bigger shops nearby.

A watch repairer with an eye piece delicately examined the innards of an ancient timepiece with the care and adroitness of a heart surgeon. Time has literally stopped in this shop filled with antiquated timepieces whose hearts will never tick again.

The brass shops were huddled together along one corner. Here you came across the most exquisitely designed nutcrackers, lamps, statues and brass decorative pieces. Polished to perfection they had a beautiful golden patina.

Brightly painted food carts jostled for position under a shady banyan tree. Very soon a small crowd gathered around the carts to eat hot spicy pakoras and tangy bhel puris. These snacks are normally washed down with a spicy masala chai.

Tulsi Bhag had many more hidden treasures waiting to be discovered and explored with each visit.

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