Essay On Indian Hawkers Jacksonville
A decade-long project showcases the vocal beauty of Delhi's pheriwallas, who are fighting a losing battle against the forces of globalization.
A day in Delhi is anything but routine. With a growing population of 17 million people, the Indian capital has recently emerged as an ever-shifting global hub. Yet one thing has remained constant for generations: the echoing chants of the city's pheriwhallas, or street vendors.
"People wake up to the sound of hawkers coming to sell eggs, fruit, [and] vegetables," explains Rashmi Kaleka, a Delhi-based artist. "By the afternoon one has the cobbler—the chaader walla. On Sunday one gets the mala walla, the man who will mend your old jewelry."
Kaleka may appreciate the vocal beauty of the city's pheriwallas more than the average Delhi resident. She's been recording their chants since 2005, and her work was recently featured on a BBC podcast. Listen to a few of her recordings below.
The recording project offers an interesting look at how sound fluctuates in urban space. The vendors' chants are affected by the density and design of the neighborhoods they're hawking in. A tight residential area, for example, is likely to create greater competition among pheriwallasselling there. Like music blaring in a small room, the chants ring off the walls of neighborhood buildings more intensely.
"A hawker in a densely populated area remains mostly stationery," Kaleka says. "They blast out their tunes, a restless competition of shouts overriding the cacophony of a deafening street." In the suburbs, on the other hand, the pheriwalla chants fade much quicker.
Getting the city's pheriwallas to agree to being recorded hasn't been easy. Kaleka often barters with a vendor whom she wants to record. At first, Kaleka relied on the powers of her camera. If a pheriwalla agreed to be recorded and photographed, she would return the next day to present the vendor with a copy of his or her photograph; this way both parties would get something in return.
More recently, she's been offering pheriwallas an opportunity to create their very own maps. Kaleka has the hawkers trace their feet on a piece of paper, then draw the rural area they emigrated from. The exchange pulls vendors into a creative process. It also presents Kaleka with a clearer picture of the life of the pheriwallas she's recording, piecing together their ancestral homelands and their journeys to the streets Delhi. It's become sub-project of her larger recording effort. She's titled it "Meera Joota" (My Footwear).
Kaleka's recording project aims to give Delhi's pheriwallas a new narrative. By eliminating visuals and magnifying their vocals, what's on display is how this community injects music into the neighborhoods of Delhi. Even more important, the project preserves the sounds of a community on the brink of extinction.
Since the turn of the millennium, few cities have undergone economic changes as turbulent as Delhi's. Once a nondescript hub in the north of India, Delhi has become a legitimate megacity wielding global influence. In his latest book, Capital: The Eruption of Delhi, award-winning author Rana Dasgupta credits India's economic liberalization with stirring the city's recent renaissance.
In 1991, facing a massive debt crisis, India started to open up its economy to the world. Import tariffs were slashed, India's currency, the rupee, was devalued to encourage exports, and robust foreign investment was welcomed. The size of India's economy subsequently skyrocketed. Delhi in particular received much of this new economic activity.
Still, liberalization created tremendous stress on laborers operating on the peripheries of society. As Dasgupta explains in his book, the city's old social order, with its penchant for safeguarding the socioeconomic rights of poor working class residents, has dissolved.
[Globalization] would remove much of what was settled about Delhi. It removed, certainly, the homes of hundreds of thousands of the poor, in order that shopping malls and apartment complexes could be erected in their place; this enormous transfer of wealth and resources from the city's poorest to its richest citizens turned many into refugees in their own city, and made working-class life in general more edgy and precarious.
The pheriwallas stand among this fractured social class. "We can't tell for how long they will be around," Kaleka says. "Gradually they will disappear as India's open economy will redirect the labor force."
Eventually, Delhi's informal street hawkers will lose out to shopping centers and the convenience of shopping online. But, as Kaleka's project showcases, the vendors posses a historic artistry—something modern urban development can never replicate.
431 words essay on the The Street Hawker. A hawker is a common figure in India. He can be seen both in towns and villages. He is seen everywhere. A hawker moves from place to place. He sells articles of day-to-day use. He carries the articles in a basket over his head or in a cart-pushed by hands. He cries to sell his goods. Sometimes he cries in musical tone to draw the attention of the buyers.
A hawker sells different things like eatables, vegetables, fruits, clothes, etc. Some sell household articles, namely utensils, brooms, brushes, dust pans, door mats, etc. A hawker also sells cosmetics and artificial jewelleries. Usually, the hawkers in the morning sell vegetables, fruits, fragrance sticks, brooms, brushes, dust pans, etc. They enjoy good sell of their goods for it is the time when these things are urgently required. The hawkers who sell cosmetics, artificial jewelleries and clothes generally come during the mid-day. The ladies are generally free from their household chores by the time. They have, therefore, good sale.
Some hawkers move on bicycle from street to street or village to village to sell their goods. Generally they sell clothes, utensils and other articles of daily needs. Sometimes, mechanics who make sewing machine, pressure cooker, locks, umbrellas, watches, etc. also move on bicycle from locality to locality and cater to the needs of the people.
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There are other type of hawkers also. They sell nothing but buy things. The kabariwalas belong to this category of hawker. They move from locality to locality and buy waste articles like empty bottles, old newspapers, magazines, books, plastic and tin containers, broken household items, etc. Sometimes, they move on foot or bicycle. They buy these items from house to house and sell them to the dealers. They, in turn, sell them to the recycling plants. Such hawkers do good service to us. They take away our useless items and give us money also.
The hawker also sells eatables. Normally they do not take care of cleanliness. They sell stale and unclean items. They don’t cover their eatables. Flies and dust settle on them. Such items when eaten cause health problems. Generally, children are lured to buy such things. Hence, they fall ill. Such hawkers should be avoided. They should not be allowed to play with the health of the people.
The hawker is an important member of society. He serves us in many ways. He brings goods and service at our doorstep. He saves our time and also inconvenience. His life is difficult. We should be sensitive and sympathetic towards him. His dignity of labour commands our respect.