Did you know, the Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, feeds at least half of Mumbai?! In fact, few years ago, I read a report that said that there is so much vegetable that comes there every day, that the market alone can feed each of Mumbaiâ€™s then, 2.02 crore people, almost 100gms of vegetable, every single day!
Now thatâ€™s saying something! And were we all even aware of its existence?! Possibly not!
The APMC market, is one of the lifelines for Mumbai â€“ it caters to Mumbaiâ€™s most basic need â€“ FOOD! Food, in its most basic, raw form! Thereâ€™s nothing fancy about itâ€¦ itâ€™s just a wholesale market that facilitates and makes sure that each of our stomachs are fed. And yet, to me, thatâ€™s what makes it most attractive and fancy!
The APMC market, has been sitting on 122 hectares of land, right in my backyard (I too live in Navi Mumbai) and Iâ€™ve never really paid too much heed to it. All I knew, was that it was the place where everything was found cheap â€“ from veggies and grains, to plastic!
While planning our â€˜Inside Mumbaiâ€™ series, my photographer (Sonalee) and I, had APMC as a non-option. Why? Because no one ever thought of it as glamourous or exotic. It was always, just there! A boring old wholesale marketâ€¦ rumored to have dirt and flies all over!
So, in search of an exotic location, we first went all the way to the Mazgaon jettyâ€¦ to the largest fish market in Mumbai. And then, we got thrown out of there because well, it was the docks after-all! No Photography allowed!
On hindsight now, weâ€™re glad that happened, because it was desperation that made us come back into our neighborhood and head, very reluctantly, to APMCâ€¦ to the fruit marketâ€¦! And then, almost as if magically, everything fell into place!
Firstly, the sight of the millions of watermelons stacked into picturesque piles, creating a beautiful symphony of colours was breathtaking!
Then somehow, this outfit, that Iâ€™d actually planned in order to contrast with a vibrant fish market, was even more apt for the fresh and colouful fruit market, representing the happy burst of favours!
And finally, in the end, the pictures ended up looking great!
But what was even more precious to me, was the whole experience of being there! The sights and smell of fresh fruitâ€¦ and to see entire markets dedicated to watermelons, pineapples, pomegranates and mangoesâ€¦! Everything so fresh, so beautiful and so edible! The fruit lover in me, literally wanted to go diving and rolling in those piles of melons!
It was like food fashioning the soul!
For this street style look, Iâ€™m wearing these purple, linen dhoti pants from Jaypore with a white silk shirt which I bought from Promod,Â and a contrasting bright yellow leather jacket from Cover Story.
Also added Combat Boots and my momâ€™s vintage silver tagdi (wait belt) to complete the look!
Also, that little beaded hand harness that Iâ€™m wearing, is from a local artisan woman who I met in Kutch ðŸ˜€
Hope you enjoyed reading this and liked the pictures. Do leave your comments and let me know what you think about the series…
PS: Photography by Sonalee Das