LIFESTYLE, Mumbai Diary

Original shopping mall

Traditional market or original shopping mall?

While Shopping Malls are a recent shopping concept, I like to think that the world’s biggest shopping mall is the Bhuleshwar, Kalbadevi, Lohar Chawl Crawford Market area which literally has everything you could ask for right from a glass bead to a shower fitting all under one sky.  Each road with its narrow side lanes comprises of specialist  shopping enclaves like the Thieves Market,  the Copper Market, the Wholesale vegetable and fruit market. The  Wholesale fabric market includes a lane dedicated to laces and the other to buttons and beads. In the Plastic market  you get every kind of plastic container and furniture.  I love the Jewellery market  too.  The area is crowded with people and wares, impossible to take your car into, with shop numbers and lanes with names that are hard to find this is still the best place to shop.
Since most of the shops are wholesalers, I don’t venture to this market more than once a month.


Revamping a 150 year old Bathing Beauty

A 150 year old  bathing beauty

It all began with a 150 year old copper vessel that belonged to my grandmother-in-law. This traditional copper double handled basin was a common bathroom accessory in the olden days . Three generations of our family have bathed with it. Sadly though, this too is now obsolete. Like  the brass bucket it is relegated to a show piece. In our house I use it  to keep newspapers. However,  in some homes the ghangal is used in a divine capacity for the daily  bath of the household Gods. Hence it is still found in markets selling traditional pots and pans.

Was grandma gypped?

Grandmother-in-law knew lots of things about maintenance. At 97,  she could read without spectacles, recognise people without prompting and eat with her own teeth. So I was surprised  that the ring on which the “ghangal”  rested was made out of iron and not copper. Scared that  the rusty ring was a potential  source of Tetanus, I took it to Girgaum’s main road to size up a replacement.  I was shocked to find that several shops, formerly selling pots and pans had gone! They had morphed into mobile phone sellers, pastry shops and other stores  unlikely to be seen in my grandmother’s time. I spotted an old man in a dusty, old shop who disdainfully dismissed me and the rusty ring with advice to return a week later as everyone was too busy watching the cricket matches for the World Cup!

I was even more determined to get it fixed as the ghangal was a family heirloom.

Tamba Kata or the Copper Weighing Scale

TAMBA KATA roughly translates as Copper Weighing Scale . At one time it  was a Wholesale copper market and people bought pots and pans by the kilo. Officially known as Kalbadevi Road on a half kilometre stretch from Pydhonie to  the Cotton Exchange, you can still buy pots and pans on weight. It is  lined with shops of  aluminium pots on one side( at Kansara Chawl)  and copper, brass and stainless steel on the other. It is perfect to browse around for regular cooking pots and traditional vessels

Surprisingly, I found the ring in the very first shop. I made the transaction in minutes. After I paid Rs.650 for a copper ring 3″ wide and a diameter of 7″, I realise that this was at least a 1000 times more than the original cost of the entire vessel!

Useful tips

  • it is worthwhile checking Commodity prices before venturing to this market.
  • most  shops don’t accept credit cards so take a stash of cash along if you intend making any purchase.
  • you can have your name  engraved on every kitchen utensil in the squiggly handwriting of Guejrati masquerading as English.

[ctt title=”Tamba Kata despite the heat and dust, is more fascinating than any mall and is definitely worth a visit.” tweet=”Tamba Kata despite the heat and dust, is more fascinating than any mall and is definitely worth a visit.” coverup=”gN8R_”]

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Author: Bellybytes

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

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