Tuesday, 5 February 2013

“Shut” day shopping: Central Market

(Text and photos by Pupps Roy)

Some work on Sundays and some rest on Mondays. Cycle of life rotates entire Delhi stopping in a loop for a day in our man made seven day week. Business Delhi. Bizzare bazar. Do they actually shut in any day? Every Market area of Delhi chooses to stay closed once a week. Really? Have you ever visited any market on such day and came out lugging shopping bags in two hands? Delhi is unpredictable. This can happen to you if you visit any market which is especially close on that particular day of a week. You can even get better deal specially marked for that day. Yes it happens!

Enter Central Market at Lajpat Nagar? Isn't lajpat nagar only known for Central Market? This phenomenal Market is officially close on Mondays. But the entry area is open and also there is a syndicate for Delhi Police and there are two cops controlling the security measurement and watching every entrant carefully. No there is no restriction that you cannot enter the Market. Why are they entering? What will they do in the market on such day? Is this a residential area? No not at all. Then?

The huge corner shoe shop upon entering is open and is displaying Sale. Two middle-aged women are coming out empty handed. Array of clothing, cheap cosmetics, hair accessories are being sold on the road by the hawkers under kerosene Hazac light. Everything is available here. This market has to offer a lot on Mondays like any other day. Sandals, junk jewelry, skirts, shawl, kurtas, fashionable t-shirts, harem pants, shorts, scarves and lot of inexpensive pretty looking wallets and bags are being sold. You will be baffled exploring the scene on an official close day. Some salesman and hawkers are even aggressive on selling their stuff. The arguments just started between a customer and the salesman. Not much sell happening today so why not trying a bit with the customers? They might end up buying some. Customers won’t give up and hawkers too. This goes on!

So what is the reason? Ajit a local hawker says “The market needs cleaning once a week so we close it on Mondays." He is fibbing or does not know the reason because the market is equally dirty like any other day. Litters are everywhere from plastic packets to crushed coke cans. "This market is actually close today, only we small time hawkers come with our stuff to sell", this guy is wrong too. "Incense" the biggest chain of Delhi urban fashion is open, even "Ritu Wears". They are big ones. Another comment from a salesman, "We are open for this marriage season, otherwise we are close". It looks like people just need some reason to keep their shops open. There are Autos waiting outside, The Car Parking guy is shouting and directing cars to park properly, Delhi police PCR Van is waiting around the corner, many food stalls are selling mouthwatering greasy snack. The entire market is lit up with 60% open stores and many customers going in and coming out maintaining the hustle-bustle of the market atmosphere but maybe little less than other day. So what are you waiting? Shop till you drop. Are you open or close? Yes or no?

How to get there: Nearest Metro station: Lajpat Nagar.

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