The morning light here in Delhi is amazing. After living without the sun for the better part of two years, I just can’t get enough of all that lovely, dusky, golden light that comes at the beginning and the end of the day.
So when a girlfriend of mine here suggested we take the babes with us for an early morning Eid shoot near India Gate, I said “yes, please.”
I don’t know if I would have been baller enough to overcome a 14 hour hellish work day and an unscheduled 1-3am baby playtime session to make it out the door for a Saturday morning photo shoot, but somehow my friend did it. Will didn’t wake up in time to come with us and India Gate did not end up being as interesting as we had hoped, so we headed to INA market instead.
During the day, INA is a pretty crowded busy place and when I’m there I’m usually bogged down with heavy bags and working hard to stay upright in the narrow alleyways while Will lunges for all things shiny. Still, I’d been dreaming of a grocery-list free photography outing to INA since the very first weekend we arrived in Delhi.
We got to the market before it opened and walked around a blind corner to find about 2 dozen men in various states of their morning routine. Some were covered in soap and lather, some were brushing their teeth, and some were already making chai and cutting onions. Luckily, they were kind enough to take our intrusion with a sense of humor as we averted our eyes to the bathers in their underwear and moved along to more fully-dressed territory.
I bought two cups of chai from the guy above. Lord knows nobody else was buying the tall 10 rupee cups he sold me (chai wallas tend to trade in tiny, thimble sized cups for 5 rupees or less) but watching this chai guy happily, theatrically, pour the tea was certainly a lot more fun than arguing over ten rupees.
INA market on Saturday morning was a ton of fun. We wandered from chai wallas to vegetable wallas to restaurant stalls opening for the day. We watched men cutting giant slabs of ice for the fish market and picked our way through at least a 1000 chickens–in cages, pecking at the ground and lying in neat little rows under wafting incense. I watched one man sharpening knives and another pulverizing hundreds of pounds of tomatoes in a specialized sort of food processor. So many interesting things to see everywhere we looked. It’s amazing just how much work goes into keeping such a tiny market up and running and full of food to eat and things to buy.
We didn’t stay long. My friend’s little one was in need of a nap and I was anxious to get home to Will and get the chicken feathers off the bottom of my pants, but this was one of my favorite outings here in Delhi yet.