Monday October 23, 2017
Home India Echoing sound...

Echoing sounds of Feriwala is a brilliant form of advertising

In 2003, artist Rashmi Kaleka recorded the sound of some of the New Delhi feriwalas', as a way of preserving their art

Feriwala in South Indian village
Feriwala in South Indian village, Wikimedia Commons

By Akanksha Sharma

Every person must be familiar with the echoing sound that reaches every home in the residential cities of India. This repetitive sound piercing the streets is the sound of ‘feriwala‘ (the peddler).

These feriwalas do not have fixed location but they wander around carrying a Pushcart or cycle shouting the name of goods they are selling. Each area has its own feriwalas, who sells only one type of good and is usually known to the residents. These small business persons play a crucial role in providing convenience to the customers.

hawker is different from feriwala
A hawker with a fixed location, Wikimedia Commos

To make the customers alert to their presence because they cannot see them from their homes, they call them by crying the product’s name in a catchy tune , for instance, every day around 11pm to 12pm a peddler cycle around our block ‘nariyalpaani‘ (coconut water) or ‘meethe kharbooje‘ ( sweet muskmelon) and changes the pitch his voice in the exact same way each time giving it as if the word is lyric of a song just like a musician does. which compels us to buy it in this summer heat.

Related Article: The lost Kashmiri pandits in India

In television, we see advertisements are accompanied with a catchy jingle having a background upbeat music which remains captured in our memory, this genius technique is used to attract customers. But peddlers have discovered this amazing skill long before advertisements came and they project their voice at different frequencies with a strange but catchy tune that persists in our memory.

female peddler (feriwala)
A girl selling plastic containers for carrying Ganges water, Haridwar, Wikimedia Commons

With the development of shopping malls, supermarkets, and online services , the number of feriwalas has reduced but still in small town and villages you can still find them selling vegetables, fruits, and other essential products.

In 2003, artist Rashmi Kaleka recorded the sound of some of the New Delhi feriwalas’, as a way of preserving their art. Her project ended up lasting several years. “When I ask the pheriwallas to look into the camera, they start performing,” Kaleka said in an interview conducted by . “They know immediately that they are the artist.”

If you listen to her recordings, you’ll find one recording, in which a feriwala shouting ‘palangvaleh‘ selling folding beds , ends the word every time with ‘eh‘ sound every time.

Akanksha Sharma is a student of Journalism in New Delhi. She currently works as an intern in Newsgram. Twitter @meganme456



  1. “Desi Jugaad” is what we Indians are good at. Be it advertising or bargaining. Really this is truly a commendable thing how these toddlers have used their talents in such a effective manner. I think our media should take a look on these toddlers to gain some ideas. After all that’s what our media is good at. “Copy-ModifyPaste”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Next Story

Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

asia cup
(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

Next Story

India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.