India Summer ’22: Panjim Market

I haven’t been to a place until I an in the market. So here I am, back to the markets in Panjim. First, the fish market.

I stood right by Ramesh, in the blue shirt, at Panjim fish market. Each little pile of fish sold for 100 Rupees. Each space occupied by a seller has a number (in yellow circle) that ties to a permit. The permit for all these sellers you see is held by Crystal Madam, seen my sketch and in the photo on the right. Madam Crystal sipped a nimbu pani while keeping an eye on everyone selling in her spaces, reminding them to greet passersby a little more enthusiastically and holler about their fish a wee bit louder. But she didn’t mind my chatting with Ramesh and the other sellers as I sketched.

The fish market is crazy and chaotic with cats running underfoot, eating the fish too little to sell. By contrast, Panjim’s fruit market is modern, clean, and organized. Which made it easy to settle down to a long sketch.

I was offered a plastic stool like the one in the sketch to sit on and a crate for my art supplies.

Next, I went to the top floor of the market, to make photocopies of my sketch for some of the vendors, and I ended up staying and sketching Ayesha Ladies Tailor. Ayesha, in pink and parrot green at the sewing machine, does the main stitching while her three assistants attach a fall to a saree or finish up garments with handwork. All four of them work happily in a space that is 4 feet wide and less than 8 feet deep. These little shops have no air conditioning and it is hot in summer. Ayesha makes sure the fan points directly at the girls who work deepest in this little space and her three assistants banter happily as they work.  I stand just outside the little space and draw them.

Outside the market sit vendors with wicker baskets of produce. These are not the stall owners who stock a range of vegetables. These sellers either buy what they sell by the basket and resell it for a small profit or bring what grows on small family plots to sell. It’s a tough sell when you have only one item to sell and their earnings are meager. Grapes and green mangoes are on sale here, but most people just hurry past today.

I return to this market much later, towards the end of my trip, and sketch these mango sellers in colorful sarees. I think I was actually there just to be engulfed by the heady smell of a room full of mangoes ripening in the summer heat. I wish I could bottle the smell and bring it back with me!

This is post #2 in a series of posts of sketches from India. The first post in the series is here and there will be more to follow.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in India, people, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to India Summer ’22: Panjim Market

  1. Paul says:

    I can only imagine the fish market smell in the heat!!! Love how you capture crowded places with your multi-layered mixed media approach 👍👍.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Susan Wilson says:

    I love all of your market sketches and hope that sometime in the years ahead when your kids are off to college you’ll plan a sketching trip to India. Count me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sandra mac diarmid says:

    I can smell the mangos and love the smiles you capture.. its obvious you are home and love it..I hope in the series, you draw your family as you usually do.. the colors are amazing and what sharing, kind observers offer you..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ccaatt01 says:

    I spent a considerable amount of time in Bangalore a few years ago, and I loved to go shopping. I bought saris for my sister and cousin and they loved them! However I always felt a little awkward and asked one of my local co-workers if I wore woman’s Indian clothing if I would fit in better. She kindly laughed and told me no way could I fit into the Indian crowd at the market 🙂 So I find your post fascinating and it brings back some fond memories

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m Indian and I have never fit in. It’ just means you get a few more curious people asking questions, but if you understand that an Indian sense of personal space is different from a Western one, it’s not offensive, and most people will let you have space if you ask for it nicely.
      I lived in Bangalore for years but haven’t been back in a long time. Next time, perhaps. But to the old Bangalore, I’m not too fond of the high-tech version.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ccaatt01 says:

        Yes, you are right – I remember that, but didn’t put it into context. I worked in the high tech area and used to love to stay at the Oberoi Hotel – old style India — now everyone stays at the Lela Palace.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Love that you went beyond work and explored more of Bangalore. Now you make me want to be back!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terry H says:

    I love the energy of these market drawings! Wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Michele says:

    Your love of people and place shines through. So enjoy your work! Inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Barbara Beynon says:

    These marketplace sketches, and your commentary, are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us. What a joy to be able to be part of these important post-pandemic re-connections.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A God-gifted art. Truly admirable 🙌🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Annie says:

    Phenomenal. Love it! 🙂 Annie

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lekhak says:

    How lovely these sketches are ! Thank you for sharing 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lekhak says:

    Soothing colors 🤍🤍🤍

    Liked by 2 people

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