Just down the street from our house is a neighborhood known as the Nizamuddin Basti, which is a very large and crowded neighborhood.Like many small neighborhoods in Delhi and India as well, animals wander freely, motorbikes speed past with just a loud horn blast for a warning and at all times noises and various smells fill the air. When I go with my mom sometimes I have to pay very close attention so I don’t lose sight of her among all the people rushing around, even if she is one tall white person among hundreds of smaller, dark skinned people.
Every Monday in this neighborhood is a market that is famous in Delhi and is commonly known just Peer Baazaar or Monday Market. One can buy everything from bangles and bras to diapers and dishes, and of course prices are always negotiable.
People are everywhere, and stalls are flooded with wares everywhere you look. The air is full of people shouting, people either buying or selling, you are being shoved and pushed from all sides, and everything is bright and colorful. Including the people.
Sometimes the market is less crowded, but if it is, then it is either early in the morning when it is just opening, or a holiday. Other than that, there is probably no other time when Monday Market is not filled to the brim with people.
Sound like a place you want to visit? It goes without saying that it is very different from Amsterdam or Innsbruck or some of the other places I’ve written about. It is crowded, noisy, and you do need to pay attention as you walk, both to the ground and in front of you, however the fact that it is probably not like any other place you’ve visited or seen makes it even more special. The basti is a place all it’s own.