The Foreigner Girl
Coming to Dehradun felt like coming to the Mountains. Peace. Fresh air. I stood still in the vibrant weekly market drinking in all the bustle with my senses. Amidst the chaotic place, a vendor yelled practically assaulting me with a vial of his unusual pheromone.
“Madam 400 per piece. Come and take it.”(400/ piece)
“No,” Riya said making a wide berth around the vendor to escape, as she dragged me while I was drinking in his form.
He was sporting a white turban and a white dhoti, his skin darker than many Asian men while his barrow filled with colorful clothes. Sarees. It was the cheapest I would have ever seen.
As we walked forward the stench of people’s sweat dissipated replaced by the aroma of food quarter, spicy, savory, sweet everything in between. My stomach growled but I ignored it. Shopping first. We stopped by a few stalls browsing the wares nonchalantly. There were perfumes, flower pots nail paints. One stall even had some imitated pearl set that appeared to be real from afar. Rarer things of greater worth were some books. Both academic as well as old fiction.
An argument caught my attention, a woman adorned in a pink banarasi saree with piercing in her nose, and some keys firmly attached to her saree as she held the nose-shaped bottle of perfume.
“Lower the price Brother. You are charging too much for the scent.”
I closed my eyes, inhaling the smell. The fragrance was sweet and fruity.
‘Probably what I comprehended as perfume was a scent.’
Indians had the finest collection of scents and the strangest tradition of bargaining. They bargain till they could with the shopkeepers.
Riya didn’t bargain though as she purchased me a pink saree.