Monday, August 11, 2008

Supermarket Series V

Why Supermarkets? In my mind they are places wryly sad, but then so is every fluorescent tube-lit store with cluttered and bright plastic and deep shadows; but then, so is Wal-Mart late at night, so is Ikea. The oddity in Kathmandu is in the plenitude, is in the convenience, is in the tension of a store whose value-add is time saved in a country where time is the resource most in abundance. There are clutches and clutches of everything in the supermarkets of Kathmandu--stores that combine groceries with shoes and school notebooks and kitchenware and towels and clothes floor after floor--for the word here denotes bazaar.

In a country of scarcity, they are loci of abundance, not so much of abundant things as of feelings of the absence of lack, of want.

Bluebird Mall Supermarket, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu

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