Vegetable Market Documentary – Jambli Naka, Mumbai, India

The sorted lemons being stored –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

The content of this post was submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by Rukmini Krishnan at the The Food Bistro.

India is a land of unity in diversity. The innumerable states of India have their own separate culture and tradition, but there is one place where India has a common string attached. This is the Indian Sabji Mandi or in common terms The Indian Vegetable Market.

Fresh Red tomatoes - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Fresh Red tomatoes –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

One would wonder what is so special about a vegetable market right? Hop into one of them and you would know for yourself that you are in one of the biggest intrigues in India. There is a certain charm about the entire ambiance. Step into it during the early morning and the simple freshness, vigor, camaraderie, unity and individuality of the people will completely mesmerize you.

Loading the goods - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Loading the goods –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

I have this habit of scouting around the Indian Sabzi Mandi or the wholesale vegetable market anytime I travel in India. One of these summer mornings, I happened to be in Jambli Naka a wholesale Vegetable market in Thane a Mumbai suburb. Thane incidentally happens to be the destination of the first Indian train that runs from Mumbai to Thane.

Veggies being carted - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Veggies being carted –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Enter Jambli Naka (Naka in Marathi means a junction), and you will be singularly struck by the melee of voices that greet you there. On one hand, you will find people getting ready with their stuff, sorting out green leafy veggies, while on the other hand you will find people hollering and beckoning customers to buy their stuff.

Man sorting veggies - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Man sorting veggies – Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Sacking the greens - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Sacking the greens – Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Man sorting veggies - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Man sorting veggies – Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

A tea vendor or a chaiwallah is a common sight in such markets and I found it interesting to find this chai wallah or tea seller couped up in a two feet by four feet space making good business. As his saucepan went swish swash whipping up a good Masala Chai or a tea with spice, I captured him in action and was able to get the steam out of his tea too! Raju he said his name is and has been in Jambli Naka since a long time.

Raju The Chaiwallah - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Raju The Chaiwallah –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Raju the Chaiwallah's helper -  - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Raju the Chaiwallah’s helper – –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Tea time at the market - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Tea time at the market –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Woman choosing her pick - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Woman choosing her pick –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

I made my way further up into the market and was actually greeted with something that still lingers in my mind – A lemon sorter! Yes, aint it amazing? Okay so this is how it goes, a person puts all the lemons from a sack into a basin. There is another guy who picks this up and puts it in a funnel shaped container which opens into the actual machine. The funnel actually sorts out the bigger lemons from the smaller ones and they come down into a bucket of water on their individual track. I realized how we get similar sized lemons in the malls and the regular retail markets. During season a lemon would cost two rupees and in the off season it will be five rupees a lemon. A smaller lemon would cost lesser. Whoa! This was quite an interesting sight for me. As the lemons fell into the buckets there was another person sitting down to collect it and put it accordingly into the respective sacks or containers. They were up for sale!

Person sorting the lemons  - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Person sorting the lemons –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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The lemons falling into the bucket  - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

The lemons falling into the bucket –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

I also saw fresh cucumbers, carrots all salad veggies waiting to be taken by customers,  fresh red tomatoes and the more staid looking potatoes and onions all waiting in their stalls. A hand cart pushing packed sacks out of the market, shades of green, yellow, red whether it is raw bananas hanging, green chilies or mangoes, jackfruit or papayas, they were all there for the visual delight.

Ripe Raw bananas - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Ripe Raw bananas –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Chilli sorting manually - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Chilli sorting manually –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Chillies being cleaned - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Chillies being cleaned –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Mangoes and Jackfruits - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Mangoes and Jackfruits –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Onions and Potatoes - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Onions and Potatoes –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Reds and greens - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Reds and greens –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Finally, I saw a woman chilling with fresh coconut water and to go along with such relaxation ventures there was a sugar cane juice stall to ease a parched throat after a sunny outing at the Sabzi Mandi. A flower seller and a betel nut vendor just completed the colourful picture.  I sure am going to visit yet another one and delve into the interesting aspects of what makes these bazaars tick in the country. What about you?

Flower seller  - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Flower seller –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

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Betel nut vendor or the Pan waalah - Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

Betel nut vendor or the Pan waalah –
Jambli Naka, Thane, Mumbai, India.

 See also:

Daily life in India

Culture of India

Authentic Indian Food

By Rukmini Krishnan

 


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