Markets of Mimisal
I was in the arid land of Chettinad when I decided to explore the coastal area around Karakudi. Thanks to the folks at The Bangala they drove me down to Mimisal 43 km from Karaikudi, Tamilnadu in the Pudukottai District. The major city closest to this place is Madurai around 114km. A small town, I spent around an hour in this hamlet scouting through the market and its coastline. This town has a weekly sandai as called in the Tamil language for a market. A dominating population of the Muslin community resides in this town and one can find them in their traditional garments wearing white coat over their saree.
The Sandai was teeming with life as the locals had come down for stocking their supplies of vegetables, fruits, snack items, sweets, papads, eatables, masalas, spices, grains, fish, baskets, mats etc. As I walked through the noise and the chaos I loved the cacophony. The locals were eager to get their photos clicked when they saw me armed with a camera. Grandmas, middle aged men and women were shy as well eager for their face to be captured at the click of the shutter. Makeshift tents in the scorching heat and the calls of the hawkers with the colors radiating across was indeed a great scene to click.
As I walked into the fish section the auction event caught my attention. People surrounded the auctioneer who stood next to a platform. The seller came with a sack of fishes emptied the contents on to the platform. The auctioneer would then call out the rates and the interested buyers would nod their head vertically which was a short nod and a continuous action. I found this quite amusing and interesting .
I couldn’t decipher the meaning of their act and started to imitate them by nodding my head profusely. The auctioneer questioned me as to why was I nodding my head? I in turn questioned him ” Why are the others nodding?” He then said the nod meant the buyers are bidding for that particular rate. But all this happened in microseconds and many a times you would find the buyers continuously nodding. The one who was left nodding till the end would then be the owner of the fishes. When I watched the events unfolding in front of me the buyers were ladies who belonged to the fishemonger community. It was a wonderful experience and I missed having captured it in a video.
I moved ahead to explore the sea shore. The fishermen and their wives were busy mending and cleaning the nets. They occupied the shore in groups and were very busy with the days work. Trawlers bobbed in the waters close to the shore and the sky was clear. It was a calm and peaceful scene and I stood lost in the ambiance. Mimisal had intrigued me and I am wanting to go back to this hamlet and explore its untold stories. Do you want to accompany me?