Skip to main content

A walk in Chor Bazaar, Mumbai


Many big urban cities around the world have real markets where you get cheap stuff, replicas and some genuine treasures. Mumbai too has its own such flea market; the Chor Bazaar. It is off Sardar Vallabhai Patel Marg, which itself starts from Opera House, south Mumbai, runs past Harkisondas Hospital (now Reliance Foundation Hospital) and then goes on to meet the J.J. Flyover. The SVP Marg was earlier known as Sandhurst Road. If you go down straight this road, past the JJ Flyover, right down this road till the end and then turn left, you will reach Sandhurst Road railway station; India's first- and possibly the world's- split level railway station. This means that few platforms (No.1 and 2, in this case) are at ground level and the remaining (platforms No.3 and 4) are at an elevated level or a bridge.



Coming back to SVP Patel road, go to Gol Deval (round temple). This was earlier a temple as a roundabout but over time the authorities added the extension and made it look like a boat and less of a roundabout. Take a look at the building just diagonally opposite to the temple, right opposite to Null Bazaar. Look at the top. You'll notice a bust. It is of King George V who landed in Bombay in 1911 at the Gateway of India. It is said that he came to this road and the bust atop this building was in his honour. 



We hit the Mutton Street and start walking inside. It's a place of nostalgia. You find all sorts of things; antiques, artefacts, paraphernalia, furniture, posters, decor items, and every other item you'd have probably seen in yours or your grandparents' home, growing up. But not everything is what it seems. Rajan Jayakar, the legal luminary and our guide for this Intach Heritage Walk, Mumbai, told us that 60% of the items you get at Chor Bazaar "was manufactured yesterday, but you can't usually tell the difference." Jayakar is an expert at collecting artefacts and there are very few like him who know what you can get where at Chor Bazaar without being taken for a ride. 

Naturally there are items original available that have either been restored or in same condition as they were sold by their original owners. The Bohra trust nearby is now said to be buying out the area and Chor Bazaar is diminishing in size and a large section would soon vanish. That's a pity; a part of Mumbai's heritage would soon be wiped out. Yet, Jayakar tells us, some portions of Chor Bazaar would continue to live on. Hopefully, for generations.  


 A candle flame blower. A good device for us Zoroastrians who worship fire as the symbol of our Lord Ahura Mazda. We aren't supposed to blow out candles as there is a chance of our saliva or traces touching the fire.  




 Brass cutlery 



 There is no better place that Chor Bazaar if you wish to collect original posters of old Hindi movies and other movie memorabilia



An old bell that was once used in a ship / steamer. You'll also find compass and other sailor memorabilia if you wish



This shop sells old phones that are now antique (before the push button phones were came) and also new phones manufactured yesterday but look like old models. 



An old transistor radio 


Where else you can get old LP (Long Play) records that you could play on LP record players, other than Chor Bazaar! Ofcourse, you could still find some in old Parsi homes in spick-and-span condition, but never ask a bawa if he wishes to sell them! 


An ancient fan that runs on kerosene


A world clock that is on sale. Price? Rs.1 crore. It is in working condition I am told 


 You would remember these old type switches and regulators from your childhood days



An old Analogue Taxi meter that is now an antique 



A traditional room separating apparatus 



A gigantic cupboard. Or as Rajan Jayakar, our guide, puts it: "A one BHK (Bedroom-Hall-Kitchen) cupboard!"


The roof of an old-styled wooden cupboard 


Casablanca poster 



Left: A jug and dish to wash your hands.  Centre: A large-sized jar and its exact replica in small-size. Both the items are original though.


Lobby cards of old Bollywood movies. In olden days, cinema halls used to put up lobby cards (pictures of scenes from movies that were currently playing) in the corridors leading up to the cinema hall. You could find many original lobby cards as well as movie posters at Chor Bazaar 


A beautiful door handle

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

US-64 DRAWS TO A CLOSE; WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…