market sandhi

City market is the whirl pool that will draw you in, however much i tried to avoid the narrowest streets (best described in kannada as 'sandhi') of city market i would get drawn into it and this happened twice on my way back from IISc(Yeshwantpur)  to Basavanagudi (home).
City market lies almost in between the two areas and its the sea monster with its wide mouth open leading into the thinnest gut.

It was the second time:

i found myself right behind a fruit seller with his push cart in an uncomfortable angle. Infact the whole 'sandhi' seemed to be shifting and wriggling in all uncomfortable angles. No footpaths, so while all the people with vehicles were still, the others squeezed themselves through the space holes in between. I thought i'd suffocate and before that i wanted to know what the hell the fruit in the cart was, so inspite of all the tension around i tried to break in with a pleasant conversation and asked the seller for its name which i now forget. The fruits actually looked like dead bats (small ones). [Maybe some other place, some other time they'd look like sleeping bats !] Now they they seemed dead and rotten...

It was becoming unbearable, i'd be more stuck if i moved an inch. There was such focus in people (without vehicles) to get past us. I have never seen such blank looks in my life. The whole experience was unreal and it lasted nearly half an hour. I had moved maybe 100 yards...thats how long the street was and if you'd like to know how narrow it was ? - you'd have to ask the fat man (no vehicle) who was stuck there too. He must have lost some weight in that 30 minutes.

If you'd like a once in a lifetime experience : Its Nagarathpet between 4-5pm in the evening. Be there. Remain there.

The first time i got stuck in market:

Well, have to admit it was my mistake. I took a 'No Entry' road. It was wide, it was inviting after passing through the narrow sandhis of market. I did see the trucks but dint think of them as such a big hurdle that a cycle cannot get past and they were all stationary - wow !

Again, i couldnt get on to the foot paths because there was nearly a feet of black sludge between the road and footpaths all along the length of the road. Suddenly i found myself amidst trucks that were bumper to bumper parked. With space in between just enough for fit, muscular men carrying loaded jute bags and transferring them on to the trucks. I wouldnt mind being lifted by one of these men and thrown to the other side of the road. Only i dint cry for it but was near tears by the time i got out. I had no space to maneuver and everytime i did move a bit, i came face to face with a man and his weight - i was being pushed around, i had to oblige....such an annoying thing to do in the circumstance. I looked back and i could see nothing but trucks and the impossibility of me having gotten so far into the mess ! And the impossibility of moving ahead....and i still dont know how i made it out. I was laughing and crying at the same time when i was able to cycle again after what seemed like eternity of hell.

After the Nagarathpet incident i was down for a week with mild viral fever. Wasnt bad but i think it was because of all the stress. Now i have found better and more trustworthy (!!) routes from IISc to home. I give market a near miss....not altogether. Cycling is fun and these experiences although painful, i consider them a learning, an adventure.

I cycle more, walk even more. "go slow*....but never get stuck."

*city market is probably the only place where you can get stuck with a cycle or even walking. Anywhere else cycle/walk gives you the advantage of being on the move always even if slow.


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