Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sabzimandi Monday

'Sabzimandi' refers to our vegetable market here in Pakistan. 'Sabzia' means vegetables. Since late last year, I have started joining our staff in going to the market for our weekly supply of veggies. Monday is our 'sabzimandi' day.

We usually leave our place early in the morning so we can buy real fresh vegetables and avoid the crowd and the traffic jam.
I always look forward to our Monday market 'tour'... since it is also one of the few times I am able to go out of our compound.
But other than this, the market is a nice place for interacting with people, 'the locals' especially (that means practicing my Urdu as well) and in getting to know a little more about Pakistan's culture and tradition.The sight of vegetables too in various shades and shapes is refreshing especially in the morning. It truly is a nice way of starting the week.
Over time, we have also developed some friendship with our favorite 'dukhandars' or store owners. They know that we come on Mondays and so they wait for us and if we're not in a hurry we also share a cup of tea with them.
It's also a nice way of doing business... and of keeping the loyalty of customers.
We sometimes spend practically the entire Monday morning in the market. Often when we reach home I feel exhausted but I always look forward to returning there again. It seems absurd that one gets refreshed in a place like the vegetable market, more so in Pakistan's sabzimandi, but that's it. Didn't St. Ignatius ask his good Jesuits to meet God in the market place?
Today is Saturday and it would not be long before I'd get to see the market again. And quietly, in the sabzimandi, thank God as well for His gifts of vegetables and fruits, for His grace of nourishment and delicious food and for His many other bountiful blessings.

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