Pushcarts are so ubiquitous in India that it doesn’t take very long for them to become so common place that you hardly notice them. On their own they are quite unassuming, like tables with a molding on big wheels. Yet they play an essential role in the day to day lives of the ordinary person.
In residential neighborhoods all over India, vendors pass through proclaiming their arrival in a distinct and memorable nasal twang and sing-song voice. Each vendor has his own signature “tune” that the locals can easily recognize. Historically, women in north India hardly left their homes due to the constraints of purdah. This helped to encourage the popularity of itinerant vendors. The use of pushcarts continues today.
Sometimes these carts transport goods and even people, though this isn’t as common as it once was.
Some entrepreneurs have become very creative with their pushcarts, devising all sorts of additions. Pushcarts are economical and have a low impact on the environment, too. In the west, it is easy to forget that they are literally pushed and don’t require any fuel.
But mostly the locals and visitors alike, hardly notice the presence of pushcarts. They fade into the scenery but they are everywhere.