Sarojini Naidu is a poet of Indian thought and culture and her poems described Indian flora and fauna, Indian customs and traditions, festivals, men and women, places legends of kings and queens etc. In her poem, In The Bazaars of Hyderabad, she has sketched the image of a typical Indian bazaar in Hyderabad. Please go through the summary of in the bazaars of Hyderabad if you haven’t!
The general style of the poem is in the form of question and answers. Each stanza begins with a question and ends with an answer. The poet enquires the sellers and vendors of the bazaar about what they are selling which brings out the grandeur of the traditional Indian bazaars. It also adds a special charm to the lyrics of the poem.
The poet has used vibrant rhymes to describe the magnificence of the bazaars and the products sold.
It also adds life to her descriptions. Examples of the rhyming words are, ‘brocade-jade’; ‘rice-spice-dice’; ring-wing-king’; ‘red-bed-dead’ and many more.
Lyrical poetry is a form of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings of the poet. In The Bazaars of Hyderabad is a lyrical poem. It celebrates the life depicted in the bazaars of Hyderabad, the occupation of the common folk, their joys and sorrows of everyday life.
The poet has touched upon all the five senses of the human body to describe the splendor of the Indian traditional bazaar.
Visual imagery is depicted by the use of vibrant colors- silver, crimson, purple, amber, blue, azure, red and white.
Olfactory senses are stimulated by the use of the fragrances-sandalwood, henna and the smell of flowers.
Auditory imagery is created through the music played by the sitar, the sarangi and the drums. Also the chanting of the magical spells by the magicians produces an auditory image in the minds of the readers.
Gustatory imagery that is the sense of taste is created through the portrayal of the fruits like lemons, pomegranates and plums, staple Indian food lentils and rice.
Finally, the tactile imagery which is the sense of touch produced by the bells made for the pigeons.
Simile: A simile is a figure of speech in which two dissimilar objects are compared and the comparison is made clear by the use of terms like ‘like’, ‘such as’ and so on. Here, in In The Bazaars of Hyderabad, ‘frail as a dragon-fly’s wing’ is a fine example of simile. The bells of made for the feet of the pigeons are compared with the delicate wings of a dragon-fly.
Repetition: Sarojini Naidu has repeatedly asked questions in every stanza about the different kinds of goods sold in the bazaar.
What do you sell, o ye merchants?
What do you weigh, o ye vendors?
Folk theme is one of the dominant themes in Sarojini Naidu’s poetry. In The Bazaars of Hyderabad deals with one such theme, the loveliness and vibrancy of a traditional Indian bazaar in the city of Hyderabad.
The poet has vividly described the bazaar with vendors selling different kind of wares. Sarojini Naidu visits the stalls given by merchants, maidens, pedlars, goldsmiths, fruit sellers, musicians and flower girls. She questions them about what they are selling about what they are selling and who in turn politely answer.
Through the poem, we see the bazaar witnesses both sorrows and joys of life. They witness happy moments such as wedding when the bazaar is crowded with people buying garlands, jewelry etc and also during the festive occasions like Holi, Diwali, Eid etc.
The bazaars also witness occasions of sadness like death when kings and soldiers die and the flower girls are seen weaving sheets of white flowers to be used for the dead people’s grave.
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Another theme in the poem is the Swadeshi Movement. Though this theme is not explicitly mentioned in the poem but it can be deduced from the time period when the poem was composed. As we all know, Sarojini Naidu was a freedom fighter and she actively took part in the freedom movement and was an ardent follower of Gandhiji and his ideals. . During this time, publication of Indian newspapers was banned so she might have thought the best way to spread the message to people was through her poems. In this poem, she is asking the people of India to boycott the foreign goods and buy products from the typical Indian markets which she has beautifully depicted in her poem In The Bazaars of Hyderabad.