Lost in the Meat Market

Life – and death – hits you without warning. I spent the day walking through the interconnecting streets and alleys of the city, eventually making my way up to Bara Bazaar. Also known as the Iewduh (first day of the Khasi week) market, this bazaar is one of the northeast’s oldest and largest traditional markets and trading centers. People navigate their way through the narrowest of paths, squeezing past one another to carry out their errands. I decide it would be interesting, in a fruitful way, to get lost and find my way back out and home. I am unabashedly an expert at this, and soon find myself in the meat district of the market (a recurring trend), talking to a butcher as he shows me how to decapitate a pig. I enjoy my time here inquiring vendors about their goods, which makes up for the blood and stench I carry with me as I get lost once or twice more on my way home.

The notion of “getting lost,” of losing my geographical bearings in the city, in the day time, is of little concern. The future is foreseeable. The eventual way out is always clear, and ultimately available. The disorientation is temporary. I wonder why I can’t view losing, or failing, in the same light. Is my vision of losing in any aspect of my life that short-sighted? Or is my forecast of the future that cynical and skewed?

Music: nitin sawhney – scratch



  1. As long as you’re not pressed for time, getting lost in the city is a great way to experience your surroundings from a completely different perspective, isn’t it? Do it more often! Uhh.. just be careful though.

    I’m sorry I can’t answer the question in the last paragraph.

    1. Yes, all about perspectives.

      Perhaps it’s like Man vs. Wild, turned down a couple hundred notches. (Wo)man vs. (Wo)man? Human vs. Human? What’s the vs. for? Human and Human. Humans interacting together in a cooperative and mutually beneficial manner for the betterment of both personal and social well-being.

      Also yes, I will. Hence getting lost in the daytime as opposed to the (more dangerous) night.

  2. well. you choose to get lost. there’s not really a choice in failing most of the time. it just happens to you. in fact, you probably worked towards avoiding that failure but somehow, things don’t work out the way you wished they had.
    while there’s some truth that life goes on anyway, and its not as if having a failure led to the end of all things as we know it (in fact, sometimes it leads to new doorways), I suppose the hardest part about failure is letting go of a dream, letting that particular door close on you and choosing to forge a different path.

    anyway long story short. I think its perfectly natural to be myopic and fearful when it comes to losing any aspect of our lives. its not intrinsically bad to feel that way. I guess, however, its more of how we deal with it and how we continue to live our stories even after coming face to face with our inadequate but whole selves.

    1. I hear what you’re saying, and can identify with that position as well since I know what real life experiences and processes you’re going through at the moment. The longing from the post is for a courage generated by a blessed assurance, if you will, that is beyond human comprehension. Nothing we conjure up by ourselves can really provide us with an guarantee. That “dream” might, upon actualization, not make us happy. That career path to that ultimate position might not actually be what we wanted/want/will want. And so thank goodness humans are adaptable (to a certain degree) but the point is, rarely are people so blessed as to know early on their path in life; most of the time, that knowledge and awareness seems to come only upon multiple, significant failures.

      You know, upon further reflection, getting [really] lost (in the context of traveling) can be an adverse experience – painful, stressful, tiring, dangerous, negatively consequential. The bodily reaction that kicks in after walking around for an hour and a half and not finding your residence in a foreign land… the sweat, the increased heartbeat, the dehydration and fatigue – all of these are current reactions to a very immediate problem in the now.

      I suppose what I’m trying to manage is my fear/worry/doubt, namely, not letting my foresight over-dictate my current actions, because that vision of the future is questionable, and informed by (probably) factors which might not be that important (okay, I guess I answered my question). Simply put, the fear of failure shouldn’t be self-paralyzing. Further, for my own sake, the fear of not being the best at something and constantly comparing your [inadequate] self to [more adequate] others is not a sufficient reason to not pursue a certain path.

      But all this may seem trite anyway since I don’t know [anything] anymore(?)!

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