24 Nov 2015


   A door to door fish seller rests below a tree before he continues his daily round.

Travelling eyes.

I am reading Orhan Pamuk's latest book about the life of a yogurt and Boza seller in Istanbul. Boza is a fermented Turkish drink and it was traditionally sold by immigrants from Anatolia walking around the city; not unlike the vendors who sell fish and other things around the city. Naturally, the Boza seller in the story has an intricate knowledge of the city, economy, politics and the lives of the people who populate and float through the city. When people look at him as he walks carrying his heavy load of things to sell, he smiles to himself knowing very well that his head is filled with knowledge of things in the city most others in the city cannot fathom. There's something about walking around the city, keeping your eyes and ears open, interacting with different kinds of people, entering and exiting places that belong to other people or groups that make one understand oneself better. The book is a pleasure to read and I am also observing people like the character from the novel in Mumbai with a new lens.


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