Khari Baoli in Delhi, Asia’s largest spice market, comes alive.

The delicious tingle of fragrant masalas reaches you before you enter Khari Baoli in Delhi — Asia’s largest spice market. Enveloped in a perennial buzz, the market constantly needs you to ‘watch out!’, or run the risk of colliding head on with rickshaws and bullock carts. 

The lasting impression one has of the market is of the daily wage labourers and their endless, and apparently tireless, loading and unloading of sacks of spices. “I have been doing this job for 15 years,” says Kumar, a daily wage labourer, “It is tough, but I have no complaints.” His son, an adolescent, too, has joined the profession to escape studies! 

Unlike Kumar, there are many newcomers, adolescents to middle-aged men, who found their previous professions not paying enough or redundant.

Mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, these men have left their earlier jobs as tailors, drivers, shop-boys, and mechanics to come here in the hope for better work. 

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