June 8, 2023
Millions of people make a living around places of worship. They are integral to every temple, church, and mosque in India. Usually, they occupy the roads that lead to the shrine and, in many cases, the peripheral streets. Typically they sell sacred offerings worshippers bring to the presiding deity. But seasonal produce and traditionally handcrafted items and refreshments are not uncommon. Pushcarts, handwoven baskets, little straw huts, and mats laid out on the pavements are their storefronts. These vendors add a lot of colour and character to the city. Like the temple towers, murals, and the stained glass in churches and mosques, these vendors are a part of every place of worship. They are brilliant in their spirit, luminosity, and colours. Here are some of these luminous lives from my recent trip back home, interspersed with photos of the places of worship.