Postcards from Chor Bazaar, Mumbai

Every photographer worth his/her salt has been here. A bustling corner of Old Bombay, Chor Bazaar is literally translated to Robber’s Market. Allegedly, its original name was Shor Bazaar (Noise Market) but the British couldn’t pronounce it and would end up calling it Chor. Apparently it stuck. Contrary to popular belief (well, with a name like that) it isn’t filled with robbed goods. It’s a crazy busy market where you can find pretty much everything under the sun, from old timey furniture to full sleeve shirts, from “original copies” to real antiques and of course, a few robbed items.

Earlier this year (yes, all these posts are long overdue) I forced myself to wake up at 6.30am on a wretched Saturday and dragged my butt to my very first Insta-walk. Come to think of it, it was the most fun I’ve ever had on a Saturday morning. Most of the market was closed, but the point wasn’t shopping. It was lovely watching a mad market slowly wake up. I think we were there for less than 2 hours, where we saw a sleepy old Bombay come to life. Shops with half shutters still opening their eyes, boys who do odd-jobs waiting around drinking chai, pet goats munching on leaves, stray cats playing hide and seek… it had it all.

Confession. I did shop a little. Bought myself a blue lungi material that I will get stitched into a dress and a “first copy” of Apple headphones for bloody Rs 350. And it’s been over 6 months, still works like a charm!

I wonder how Chor Bazaar looks in the day time, in all its lunatic glory.

I’ve got to do more of these Insta-walks. Have you ever been on one? Would you like to?

I regret not buying this gorgeous tin box
Fresh flowers sold early in the morning 

This beauty was hanging around

Robbed of time

Stone buildings are my favourite. Look at this beauty

It’s too early in the morning to open shop

Iron works

Breakfast prep: Folding samosas for the fryer. This man was a machine. The sheer speed and precision with which he made these stuffed triangles blew my mind

There is just about everything here in Chor Bazaar

Even large cane baskets lying unattended

Like a fortress

These were lying beside a shop. I quietly turned one around and it was a really old portrait of a couple. Before I could react, the shop keeper suushed me away

Not exactly at Crawford Market. But I love this building. Look at the details, the lines and how to perfectly align. They don’t make them this way anymore

This tiny kitten oblivious of her surroundings was playing in-between salvaged items. I tried clicking her quietly but she noticed me. 

There are a lot of old things here. Come to think of it, the few shops that were open only sold old things.

Movie theatre seats. I love them. I also love how Sirawon’s shoe laces are in complete contrast with everything else around it. Such vibrancy

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