Colours to attract: Walking hawker covered in coloured products.

The imaginative power of hawkers like this who hang huge colourful decorative pieces on their bodies astonishes Sen.

 It reveals to him how they know the technique of keeping their own clothing sober so as to create a huge colourful selling impact as they walk along the streets. 

These are all decorative wall hangings to be used in homes and temples, or on festive occasions they will be adorned on elephants and cows. 

Sen admires the resourceful approach of this hawker on foot, and how he catches the attention of diverse people on the street to buy highly colourful objects that are quite outside their basic daily requirement.


When India was partitioned 1947 to create Pakistan, a new country for Muslims, about 20 million people of Bengal and Punjab were displaced and brutally victimized. Sen’s wealthy, literate family had huge landed property in erstwhile East Bengal, the present Bangladesh, which was carved out to be East Pakistan for Muslims. So for being Hindus Sen’s family was overnight evicted from their home. Without taking any possessions, they fled for their lives amidst people warring over religion, and so became squatted refugees in West Bengal.