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A visit to flea market – everyone displays the unwanted items they want to dispose of, and at the same time ogling at the wares of fellow ‘displayers’ – coveting, wishing to trade own for theirs.

Flea market in Eminönü

“How I wish I had that Black & Decker tool set!”

“I wish I had the pink Picnic hamper with matching umbrella!”

“Yo, that CD deck really looks cool man – I wonder if I could ever get my hands on it.”

“His significant other looks much better than mine. I wish…..”

You get the thread of thinking? Well, that’s what happens when you visit a flea market. You display your unwanted items, and desire the wares of fellow displayers.

The other day I had a weird dream! God, in his infinite wisdom, was holding the flea-market. And she told her followers – human being – to get rid of their unwanted wares.

“You mean my in-laws?”

“My husband?”

“The grumpy boss?”

“My teenagers – yes, let’s trade them.”

God smiled – and she said “Much more unwanted than these. Think, think hard and arrive at a decision.”

A wise man said:

“I want to get rid of my suffering / pain – the ultimate ‘UNHAPPINESS’. Can I get rid of it?”

God again smiled – and said “Yes, that’s what this flea market is about”.

So there was a clamour – everyone trying to get rid of his / her unhappiness. Ruckus started – elbows bruised, jostling, whistling. All clamour and no glamour!


“QUIET!” God thundered.

And there was absolute quiet.

“Let the market begin.”

Everybody silently stared at own unhappiness; and then at the wares displayed on the neighbouring tables. The people in the vicinity also gawked first at own table and then at the other tables.

The wheels in the mind were churning fast – comparing, calculating, weighing the pain and suffering of own with those of others around. There was total silence. Not even sound of air being inhaled or exhaled. A small cough here and a sound of hiccup there – that’s all.

The wise man was the first to get up. He collected his own quota of ‘unhappiness’ and walked out of the door.

Soon another lady gathered her own merchandise, said a quick prayer – and left the flea market.

Within a few minutes, everyone had picked up their own ‘unhappiness’ and went to their respective places or homes.

For each one found that compared to the unhappiness of others, their own was insignificant!

No more yearning, no more longing – for other persons’ merchandise!

At this stage, I woke up smiling – and thanked God for this wonderful dream. A small pebble in your shoes seems like a mountain and hurts you a lot – till you see a person either without shoes or without legs!

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Last modified: March 30, 2023