Fragrance of Bangalore.
Like most visitors to this blog, I'm a desktop traveller. We explore the world by meeting people from across the world online. Unlike regular travel, desktop travel allows the people we meet to see the world we live in too. And for me, this blog about Bangalore streets, adds colour to what I have to show about my part of the world.
The advantage about being a desktop traveller from Bangalore is that I do not have to explain where it is anymore, be it to people from Thailand or Brazil, Eritrea or Bangladesh. While it is IT and outsourcing that has made Bangalore known to the Western world, for people in other parts of the world, their interaction with Bangalore comes from another product they use everyday - Incense sticks or Agarbhattis. Especially for people in Bangladesh, Thailand, parts of Africa and many parts of the near-east and west.
Shanthamma - Ambassador of Bangalore.
The Rs. 1,000 crore Indian agarbhatti industry, with Bangalore as the main manufacturing and marketing capital is supported by an army of approximately 12,00,000 workers like Shanthamma. The labour intensive work is outsourced to women like her toiling away on the roadside like her or in the many lower middle class localities across the city and outskirts. These agarbhattis hand-rolled by Shanthamma will then be taken to small and medium scale factories to be immersed in fragrances, packed and shipped to all parts of India and the world.
So the next time you light an incense, chances are they were made with care by Shanthamma.
The Which Main? What Cross? The Exhibition - Is on until May 31st.