Friends of mine, Maulish and Anju, a sweet Indian couple, took me to the markets in Rajkot.

First we went through the vegetable markets. The old vegetable market where you can call the vendors and have your order delivered to your house. The new, city-run vegetable markets where you can bargain. Now, the meat market.

Maulish and Anju are vegetarians. (Yes a couple of life long vegetarians took me to the meat market!) They will eat eggs if they are traveling, but they do not cook eggs in their home. Maulish knows there’s a meat market in the city, but he has never been there before. Anju doesn’t even know there is a meat market in Rajkot, even though she has lived here for 16 years.

After some inquiry in his office, Maulish confidently walks us down a street, just off the main road, a couple of blocks from his office.

AH HA! I see a butcher stall!

Oh wait, there are a few more butchers … the market bends and spreads itself through the back streets. There are goats,  chicken and fish available in this slightly hidden marketplace.

Afterwards we sit down at an ice cream parlor (Rajkot is famous for ice cream) and I want to know their reaction to the meat market.

Anju says with a huge smile, “It was like a honeymoon! It’s great that Maulish asked his District Manager if he could step away for a little while so he could show us the market. I’ve lived in Rajkot for 16 years and I’ve never been to that market before.”

“Was it hard to see all the dead animals?”

“Its nature’s law,” replies Maulish. “Just because we don’t eat it doesn’t mean that we don’t accept it. It wasn’t hard to see. The cutting of mutton is no different than cutting vegetables. It might be hard see the actual killing though.”

Today, Maulish and Anju venture into a new part of their city where they’ve never been before. The discovery of something new, some place new, irrespective to how far or close to their usual surroundings is an adventure.  They feel important and part of something as Maulish was granted leave by his boss to help this Chinese American photographer / writer on her book.

It is important to venture past your boundaries. Amazing experiences, undiscovered delights and perhaps even the holy grail await you.

It is important to feel you are a part of something greater than yourself. The dedication to a goal that is beyond your needs and comfort will inspire you to venture into the unknown.

Go on, take that left turn down that alley and see a part of your city you’ve never see before!

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