Blog Friday Market at Chor Bazaar

Friday Market at Chor Bazaar

Posted by Author on in Blog 49

If you're ever near the JJ Hospital on a Friday afternoon, head for the Juma Market at Chor Bazaar. On Friday, the regular shops at Chor Bazaar close their shutters. Instead, a vibrant street market appears in the narrow lanes, selling everything you can possibly dream of. As you wander under the awnings, with the backdrop of the mosque and the sound of prayer, you feel like you're in an Egyptian or Arabian souk.
I don't know what it is about markets that fascinates me. Perhaps it's the sound of vendors calling out their wares briskly. Or perhaps I just like to watch people as they wander around, idly examining goods, or bargaining in earnest.

This young boy was having a good day, sales were brisk at his little plastic store.

Pencils had to be bought by the dozen, but the prices were half that in regular shops. I wondered where the pencils came from. They said Natraj on them, but I don't think they were genuine.
The Friday Market usually has more men than women. But I spotted several women looking for bargains at footwear shops.
There was a big crowd of people - both men and women - scrambling to buy buttons and thread. Apparently pink is the new black. And blue buttons are hot.

There were no takers for water-proof watches, although their water-proofness was beyond doubt!

It was near lunch time, and big dishes of rice were being cooked on coal fires. Cooking had begun early in the morning; and now the saffron and bay leaf flavoured rice was ready. I was pretty sure there was a layer of mutton below the white rice.

"What's underneath the rice?", I asked anyway.

"Mutton", came the very satisfactory reply.

"Is it ready?", I asked.

"Almost. We only need to add a little ghee on top of it now, and it's done."

I would have stayed to watch the ghee layering, but didn't have much time to spend. So I walked away, photographing everything I saw. A lot of the shops had hardware for sale - nails, hammers, screwdrivers, brushes, and other implements. But I also photographed roller skates, weighing scales, mixies, grinders, music systems, car horns and all sorts of other things. The only thing I didn't photograph was a little shop selling male underwear. It looked like branded underwear, Jockey perhaps, or something similar. The guy had a mike announcing his wares. By the time the announcement came crackling out on the speakers, I couldn't understand a word of what he said. I was quite grateful to be spared my blushes.

  1. Anonymous
    what a great slice of life...sorry I missed this when I was there....I bet that rice dish was delish...!
    November 11, 2008
  2. Dharmendra
    hey Deepa.. I m Dharmendra...just 17days old in the city called Mumbai. working with Lowe Lintas

    As with no friends here in the city...just started to search on the net to find somebody to give me company to roam in the city and there I stumbled
    October 30, 2008
  3. CanisLupus
    Its a function of time.

    ChorBazar in it heyday was an awesome flea market, where one could buy hard to find stuff for motorcycles, machinery, tube radios, car parts (sometimes stolen), Nike shoes (back in days when owning a pair made one cool),
    October 24, 2008
  4. Ravi Ramakantan
    >>I did see a lot of that kind of spare part stuff

    Sure; some of that stuff is still there; but it is somehow not the same hunting ground that it used to be.. difficult to put a finger on it.. it looks all too "plastic" these days
    October 22, 2008
  5. Deepa Krishnan
    Ravi, I did see a lot of that kind of spare part stuff, wires and pliers and rusted screws and transistor parts and broken car horns and engine parts and all sorts of metal and plastic junk. I have lots of photos in case you want to go down memory lane!
    October 22, 2008
  6. Ravi Ramakantan
    This may be surprise yuu; but I have been to Chor Bazaar about a dozen times in about 2 decades mostly on Fridays.I have not been there though in the last five years or so.. simply because.. I got "disillusioned". If you have seen the Friday Bazaar of yes
    October 22, 2008
  7. Suren
    Hey dude..This is Suren and i work as a radio jockey with Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM...Gr8 stroy honestly...Wanna do a story on it...Lemme kno if u can gimme a li'l time....U can reach me on or call me on 40983000 and ask for me...
    October 22, 2008
  8. Rada
    Deepa, that last photograph, the Mutton Biriyani one, broke my heart!

    You had to do it, didn't you? :-)

    Now I am hungry and quietly miserable!
    October 22, 2008
  9. Satish Krishnamurthy
    This is a great post! I've always wanted to check Chor Bazaar, and this is a perspective I'd have never got. Thanks.
    October 21, 2008
  10. Kavita

    How the hell did you know that there is mutton underneath the rice? Was it the aroma or have you seen this kind of stuff before? Imagine an ignorant vegetarian person justt walking up to this stall and ordering a plate of rice just bcoz he's
    October 21, 2008