A flea market, also known as a ‘Swap Meet’, is a type of bazaar that leases a plot to individuals and firms that want to sell, advertise and distribute antique curios and talent. Hand me downs, low quality items, and high quality items at low prices are usual at this souk. Parth Shah tells us what flea markets have in store for all those conventional street shoppers who desire an escape from well-lit boutiques and the bling of shopping malls
From in-vogue street style to regional fabrics, and cottage antiques to modern chinaware, one can find everything in sharp colourful display, with brash shopkeepers attracting the crowd. It creates the atmosphere of a conventional ‘mela’. Their charm stems o from the hustle and the colours of the place with good music. Shopping plus music! What more could you need?
Flea markets are known by different names in different countries. In India they are known as “gurjaris” or “shrukawadi bazaar” or even as “joona bazaar”. In France they are called “marché aux puces” which literally means market of the fleas, hence the name.
What’s with the flea?
Many flea markets oer fresh produce, unique products, old clothes, and plants from local farms. Renters of the flea market are vendors. It may be indoors (warehouses or school gymnasiums) or outdoors (fields, parking lots or under marquees). Flea market vending is not to be confused with street vending. In the latter, the market itself, and not any other public attraction, brings in buyers. On the other hand, flea markets have food vendors who sell snacks and drinks to the patrons along with musicians, artists and painters looking to peddle their art. A flea market is similar to a ‘braderie’ – a type of grand yearly street fair and street market found in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Northern France, mostly held in the summer months. There, nearly all towns and large villages have their own braderie and, especially in villages, they often are one of the key social events. Typically, the local vendors put up stands outside of their shops in which they sell their goods at reduced prices.
Is shopping the new yoga?
Have you ever heard of trade healing or retail therapy? It is a fantastic way of rejuvenating yourself through shopping! A good flea market is a shopper’s paradise and Mumbai is definitely one of that. The flea or the street markets in Mumbai offer myriad opportunities for the shopaholics to indulge without spending a fortune. Who would miss a chance to buy the most stylish and fanciful attire that too at a good bargain? After a day of full of haggling and shopping, one can never be tired to go home and trying everything on. Let’s admit it, those three to four hours of shopping made you forget about all the snags you were having or going through. at’s the charm of retail therapy!
Where to catch the fleas?
1. Colaba Causeway
This is one place where you will get everything from handicrafts, furniture, and adornments to clothes, books or jewellery; anything that you could possibly think of. And when you drop dead aer buying more than your hands could carry, drop-in at the Leopold’s Café, one of the most famous hangout areas in Mumbai or just walk and enjoy the street food of Mumbai, if you crave for it.
2. Linking Road
A vibrant amalgamation of traditional and contemporary marketplaces, this place is one of the most crowded places of Mumbai. The place can get pretty crowded on Sundays, so plan something else out if you are claustrophobic or loathe congested places! Or probably get used to it if you plan to stay in the city for long.
3. Crawford Market
Nestled in a historical colonial building, this is one of the oldest markets of Mumbai. Fruits, vegetables, knick-knacks, and essentials for home and office are its specialties. There is also a special area devoted to pets and their daily requirements.
4. Fashion Street
This place has the highest fashion quotient in Mumbai and the locals can swear by the same. With over 300 stalls near the Azad Maidan opposite the VSNL Office, Fashion Street is quite hip amongst the youngsters and elders alike who set out to discover great quality street fashion and ethnic Indian wear mixed with western accessories. Street fashion at its best!
5. Chor Bazaar
No, this was not actually a thieves market. The mispronunciation of the British changed the name of this place from Shor Bazaar to Chor Bazaar and then eventually stayed that way. If vintage is your taste, stroll through the crowded lanes of this market to get your hands on some of the most unique items that seem to be stuck through the sands of time.
The Lil Flea Mumbai’s favourite flea market gets bigger and better. Every year, one can expect quite a show – live-band performances, food stalls, several pop-up stalls you can shop from, and many fun activities. The Lil Flea team is part of Apricot Media Pvt Ltd, a media company setup nine years ago by a group of IITians, MBAs, lmmakers, and webdesigners. Over the years, they have made ad films, T.V. shows, short films and documentaries. They have also created India’s first and largest reality T.V. show on entrepreneurship and have since then helped both set up and scale up
many small businesses and have encouraged the youth to pursue entrepreneurship skills. The Lil Flea is their latest venture and out attempt to pay respect to creativity.
The three-day-long festival has seen approximately over 20,000 people in the previous editions. The Raghu Dixit Project, Madboy Mink, Prateek Kuhad, and Kabir Café are just a few names from the exhilarating line up of artists that have performed live at this flea. Brands like Radio Rani, Moha, Fizza Designs, Gentleman’s Community, Organised Chaos and many more have set up stalls as well. Foodies can surely rely on brands like Mystry Box, Sustenance, Raw Pressery, and Mexican Express.
Goa is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and those little bric-a-bracs that never seem to run out of fashion. The most famous ea market of Goa is the Anjuna flea market. Here’s a little trivia: the hippies of Goa started this market. One can find everything and anything in these ea markets and they are a must-see on the itinerary. Not just clothes and souvenirs, one can also find country-pop musicians, tarot readers, palmists, magicians etc. sitting to amuse tourists. These markets are also the best place to try out local Konkani cuisine, which is abound of seafood. Dishes like Prawn Balchao, fish curry, Sorpotel and also the Pork Vindaloo are dishes, which are a ragbag of aroma and flavours. At the flea, some of the favourite souvenirs that are bought by people are beachwear, trinkets made of shells, sarongs, bandanas, bamboo work, crochet, etc. Another popular item that is bought by most people is the salted cashew nuts. It is normal to see people haggling over the prices and this practice has almost become an unspoken rule. So now you know where to go when you’re way over seeing churches and chilling at various beaches in Goa!
The most glamorous shopping area in the heart of the city is the Connaught Place, built during the British Days, with a beautiful fountain and park in the centre. Radial roads branch out to all the areas of New Delhi and houses an underground shopping plaza “Palika Bazaar” where one can find extensive items ranging from saris, bags, shoes to jewelry. For the brand conscious, we have the posh markets and branded showrooms in the areas of South Extension, Vasant Vihar, INA (Indian National Army) Market. A handicra market called Delhi Haat, located right opposite INA market, offers traditional handicrafts of rural India. You can also pamper your taste buds at the various food stalls of the Haat. From Chhole Bhature to Aloo chaat, from Pani Puri to Chicken Tikka, one can find the best of the best North Indian street food at Chandni Chowk and Chawri bazaar. In the central region of Delhi, we have the Khan Market that has a good collection of clothes and shoes along with junk ornaments. Towards the west of Delhi, there is Karol Bagh, which is infamous for being perpetually crowded! It provides for a flea market, shopping district and a place to satiate your appetite.
In Chennai, the renowned Mount Road has several emporiums ruled up that cover a distance of almost 8 kilometers from North to South. The emporiums and malls oer a wide range of products that include clothes, jewelry, bags and shoes along with lip-smacking south Indian cuisine. The more branded and expensive items are available in Anna Nagar area, which is located towards the northwestern corner of the city. One can easily find the famous Indian Kanchipuram silk at Mylapore, Panagal Park and Pondi Bazaar at T.Nagar.
Egmore is an upmarket shopping area that is dominated by various Shopping Plazas and big Departmental Stores. One need not roam the entire city for quality at a bargain as this place has both luxury and low-prized goods to offer.
The former capital of our country still has its trams going up and down the city but it also boasts of different government emporiums and cottage emporiums located at the Chowringhee Lane. One can find wonderful handicrafts from all states over here. Another trendy shopping center in Kolkata is the Bentinck Street that sells leather shoes, Travel gear and leather accessories. It is also replete with sweet shops. It’s almost impossible not to find a sweet shop on a street in Kolkata. Do you have sweet tooth to take up the sugar rush that this city has to offer?
Volume 5 Issue 2