Monday, 26 September 2011

Khari Baoli: Delhi's Spice Market

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite places in Old Delhi for street photography is in its spice wholesale market located just off Khari Baoli street. The smell of the various spices is overpowering, and I spent a few moments sneezing and coughing, much to the amusement of the onlookers. The market has been operating (probably unchanged to a large extent) since the 17th century, and can be accessed by walking to Fatehpuri Masjid on Chandni Chowk, and turning left.

It seems there had been a murder of a jewelry storekeeper a few days before on Chandni Chowk, so a handful of merchants of electronics and other stuff were shuttered in protest. The police was out in force with barricades, but outnumbered the protestors.

I recorded some ambient sound from the spice market, which is punctuated with spitting, coughing and hawking by the porters...this will add considerable authenticity should I decide to produce a multimedia piece on the spice market.

The Leica M9 functioned flawlessly...and eagerly jumped to action in its first view of India. Its baptism of fire seems to have been successful. It unobtrusiveness allowed me to remain unnoticed for a while, but of course, India is India...and someone will notice you and eventually engage you in some banter.

By the way, this photograph is the in-camera jpeg version of the larger DNG. I haven't processed it at all, except for a minute touch of sharpening.