A visit to the Poo Market was planned by Zone by The Park during my trip to Coimbatore (and stay with them) in January, earlier this year. Disclaimer: Because I'm a decent, mature adult, I have promised myself I won't make any poop jokes over the course of this blog post. With a name like Poo (which means flower in Tamil) Market, Coimbatore's largest and most famous flower market is really making things quite difficult for me! Sigh, it's fine - character building will ensue.
What I adored about this market is - perhaps unsurprisingly - the riot of colours that assaulted me at every turn of the head. And accompanying their 'wares' were the flower merchants, who very enthusiastically showed off their pride and joy to us as we made our rounds of the market.
The market is a hotbed for all things floral, with flower farmers, merchants, traders, and of course, buyers, coming here to interact and find the best of the blossoms. The market is at its busiest in the wee hours of dawn (particularly 4:00 - 9:00 am), where there is lively frenzy for the best deals and freshest flora.
I've been told that the blooms you get here are so good that they're often exported. This doesn't surprise me. Flowers of all colours, shapes, and sizes lulled me into a state of bliss and I had an absolute field day with my camera!
What was one of the most interesting things to note during my visit to Poo Market was our interaction with the sellers. We were a big group of women (with a sprinkling of a few men), with each accompanied by a camera bigger than her head. As each and every one of us took pictures like there was no tomorrow, the market's original inhabitants looked on with much amusement.
While I love the energy and emotions that are found in marketplaces, I am often discouraged from exploring them as much as I'd like to - especially in a place like Delhi. The reason behind this is the omnipresent male 'gaze' and hassles associated with meandering through these markets as a single woman. At Poo Market? Not so much.... Read on!
What I found so refreshing about my experience at Poo Market, however, is that it was nothing like the other markets that I've visited till date - not just limited to India but around the world. The sellers were humoured by our sudden invasion and keen to explain their offerings - even despite the language barrier!
Questions of "Where are you from?" were aplenty and a very kindly man even gave me a beautiful lotus to keep after I showered it with compliments. Not once did I feel uncomfortable - and I can only hope that we didn't make anyone feel like we were invading their space.
My memories of Poo Market come flooding back when I revisit my photographs - as do most of my travel memories when I glance through my hundreds and thousands of captures. I hope you enjoyed my first photoblog (of sorts) and enjoyed travelling through a very colourful part of Coimbatore with me. I'll be back with more poo power very soon. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it...