Friday, January 28, 2011

Mumbai's best kept secret: Chor Bazaar

While the world is rapidly progressing towards shopping malls and online
stores, there are some of us still stuck in rewind mode. For fellow
lovers of dusty thrift stores that gleam in myriad shades of bronze and
gold, a visit to a flea market is long overdue.

Mumbai, in spite of its urbanisation is home to a number of flea markets like
Crawford Market and Mangaldas Market. However, the famous Thieves
Market, otherwise known as the Chor Bazaar, continues to be the most
intriguing. Located in the interiors of Bhendi Bazaar, it is one of the
best kept secrets of Mumbai. It houses antiques and vintage goods stolen
from various parts of the city. The fact that it has existed for over
150 years adds to the overall mystery of the place.

At first, it seems no different from an everyday market. It has more
people than it can contain, who make enough noise to permanently impair
your hearing. However, once you start looking through the stuff it has
to offer, you are transported to another era altogether. Shops sell
antiques right from gramophones and vintage telephones to brass statues
and ancient vases. If home d├ęcor is the reason for your visit here, the
chandeliers on display are absolutely enchanting.

For those looking to update their closet with some vintage, Chor Bazaar
provides a fascinating range of beads, brooches and grandfather glasses.
If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon a classy pair of shoes and
trench coat that look straight out of a high street boutique. In
addition, the market has a range of hardware and automobile parts that
men will find absolutely fascinating. Here’s a closer look at some of
the interesting finds.

Ancient Coins:
These cost around Rs 50 for one and Rs 1500 if you buy all of them
along with the tray. The shopkeeper claims it belongs to the Mughal Era.
The inscription on the coin resembles Arabic.

Brass statues:
This one among the many carvings in the store. It looked like it was in excellent condition and cost Rs 650. 

The absolutely stunning range of chandeliers that is available here would cost you anywhere between Rs 600 to Rs 1200.

Mini bicycles
For those of you how love collecting random artefacts, this one would
look perfect in your living room and costs around Rs 500.

Coca-Cola Tray
They costs Rs 150 each and are guaranteed to up the kitsch quotient of your house. 

Gramophones and telephones
While I’m not sure they’re actually vintage, they sure as hell look fabulous and will set you back by around Rs 1000.

Vintage glasses
Because normal frames are too boring, right? You’ll find the strangest shapes and colours. All of them at Rs 100 flat.
So who’s headed for a costume party this New Year? This mechanic jumpsuit costs as little as Rs 200.

While walking down Chor Bazaar there is unwritten rule you must never forget. No matter how cheap the goods are, it is almost offensive to purchase them without haggling at first. Also, try not to draw too much attentiont to yourself. You don’t want all of your goods stolen now, do you? But that doesn’t mean you leave your adventurous side at home. Take a trip to Chor Bazaar and prepare yourself to feel like a tourist.

(Name: Karishma Rajani
Roll No: 42)

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