There were very few things I knew with as much surety about my Manipur itinerary as I did about wanting to visit Imphal’s women run market – Khwairamband Bazar; also known as Ima Keithel, meaning mother’s/women’s market.
Evidently, being an only women-run market – the oldest and perhaps the only one of its kind across the globe at that – makes it an intriguing phenomenon. From the different sources I have been reading up since my return, no known date seems to emerge for when the market was established. Some records attribute its origin to the late 18th century.
This post is in continuation to my Micro Stories from Manipur where I’ve shared my experience of walking through the market, observing and being observed.
In this post, through the photographs taken, I’ll show and won’t tell without further ado!
“The earth laughs in flowers” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The entrance to the market is lined with women selling flowers – irrespective of the hour of the day one visits.
|“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right” ~ Henry Ford
Something about catching another person lost in thought feels intrusive as well as serves as a tiny reminder that we’re wired the same
|“No one is ever satisfied where he is….Only the children know what they’re looking for….” ~ The Little Prince
Lost in conversation with her fellow lady-vendor, my muse in this photograph is wearing the Manipuri phanek — the wraparound/sarong with horizontal lines, that is typical to the Manipuris alone.
|“Belief, hard work, love–you have those things, you can do anything.” ~ Mitch Albom
If there’s anything I thought I saw the women consistently embody, in spite of my extremely short stint of about three hours at the market, it would be Albom’s words.