My Adventure to the “Theive’s Market”

A friend and I decided to go to Mumbai’s one and only Chor Bazaar, located in South Mumbai. “Chor” means robber or thief in Hindi, and “Bazaar”, as some of you may know, means market. Even though I am originally from Mumbai, I have never visited this place and was excited to see what the noise was all about.

Chor Bazaar is supposed to be an “organized” flea market, and that’s exactly what it was. It was this huge area, this mass of land, divided into several avenues, each catering to a different clientele. I was stunned to see the crazy kinds of things one could shop there such as auto body parts, paraphernalia from merchant ships,  old cameras from the 30’s and 40’s, original film posters from the late 50’s and on, artifacts from temples in South India, remnants of palaces in Jaipur, antique furniture, clothes and shoes, and little nick-knacks that one could feast their eyes on.

We walked into a little shop that was draped with Hindi film posters way back from the 50’s. On inquiry as to how this man/owner possessed thousands of posters, we were informed that he was the grandson of a big film producer in India who was fond of collecting all the posters of the films that were released in cinemas. Is this fact or fiction? Who knows! Who cares!  Here are a couple of posters to give you and idea of what Hindi film posters used to look like, back in the day:

Movie Title: How much Man has Changed

Movie Title: How much Man has Changed

Indeed, how much man has changed for which he must atone and repent at the hands of a woman!!! Here are some more posters:

As I was getting out of the shop, I had to do a double take, because what I saw, I had never seen before: I witnessed a man, possibly in his late 30’s, going in and out of a store, with some fleshy bits in his hands. I noticed there were two street dogs right next to him, munching away, as if they had not been fed in days. When I looked closer, I saw the dogs were eating tiny chunks of meat that the man was feeding them so generously. Have a look:

Happy Dogs

Happy Dogs

I was even more stunned when I saw the man throwing chunks of the meat in the air, flinging them on the roof top of the shops, attracting several crows and eagles that were ferociously competing for a piece of the action. Notice all the birds soaring above the feast that they are about to indulge in:

I have zoomed in on this one so you can have a better look at the electrical wires that are swinging in the open air, easy trap for any bird:

I even saw a cat on the roof trying to compete with these flying creatures…..I don’t think it got anywhere. There was too much commotion for it! Apparently, the man feeds these birds and dogs everyday.

Now, what was intriguing to me, was the name of the main road of Chor Bazaar. I was a little wide eyed when I noticed that every shop I went to was located on “Mutton Road”. Check out this shop’s address:

Mutton Street

Mutton Street

We passed rows and rows of shops and peered into some and were overwhelmed by the gaudiness of others. Here are some images of some of the artifacts that I liked; some from India and some from Burma:

From the temples of South India

From the temples of South India


And finally, my favorite object of them all: an antique standing telephone. One day, I know I will waltz into Chor Bazaar and pick me one for the house, working condition or not:

Antique Phones

Antique Phones

But then again, the phones could all be gone (it’s a flea market after all), but I know I will find something equally delicious there when I go back next.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. John
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 09:45:10

    Hi Dr. Suri,
    Great post, it gives me good info. Thanks for sharing.


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