Essay on “A Busy Street Scene in a City”

A Busy Street Scene in a City:

Ours is a little town which has only one street. The main road which passes through the street is lined on either side with shops of different shapes and sizes. The street is narrow, full of heaps of dirt and all sorts of smells. Naked children run about getting under your feet. Hungry dogs and bulls pull something from the rubbish heaps to eat. The donkeys groaning under heavy loads stand blocking the road. People walk up and down, buying and selling things. Sadhus and fakirs, with begging bowls in their hands, go about the street, begging from shop to shop. Here a merchant throws a paisa to them, there a dealer gives them a handful of rice. The street is a very noisy place- men shouting, children screaming, babies crying, dogs barking, horses neighing, asses braying, cows lowing and blacksmiths hammering.

Several of the shops belong to grain sellers. Rice, pulses, peas and barley are piled up in heaps. Some baskets are filled with chillies and other spices. The dealer sits cross-legged on the floor with all his goods placed within his easy reach. He holds a big pair of scales in his hand and weighs out the grains.

Then there are the fruit-sellers. You can get fruits like oranges, bananas, mangoes, apples and vegetables like potatoes, cabbages, onions, carrots, tomatoes, radishes and cauliflowers.

Here is a sweetmeat sellers shop- perhaps the shabbiest and most mean looking- the haunt of flies, and next to him is the tiny shop of the cloth merchant. Then there is the goldsmith. He mends the rings or ornaments, brought to him. Further on there is a chemist’s store. The chemist sells such a strange collection of things. There are salts and sherbets, dried flowers and opium or strange powders for all kinds of complaints. Next to him, is the pan-seller. The Indian is very fond of chewing the betel leaf and smoking a cigarette.

Here sits a pedlar with all his toys, hosiery and other fancy goods spread out before him. There sits a tailor turning his sewing machine. Here is a carpenter making tables and chairs, their blacksmith reddening a piece of iron into the fire and hammering it on the anvil. Here women grind corn and spices, there the shoemaker cobbles old shoes. Here a hawker shouts at the top of his voice, there a buyer uses hot words to cheapen this or that thing.

Such is the scene in a busy Indian street. An Indian city street presents a sight too numerous and varied to mention.

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