They say that you shouldn’t take your wallet in these streets or park your car nearby, cause there is a chance that you’d get pick pocketed and someone will steal the tires off your car. Interested? Surely made me interested as hell, so Partha, Anondo and I went off to Mutton Street.
Now some time ago Partha had written this, but to be honest that was more of a sophisticated approach to the bazaar of thieves. Here is a more gritty approach to what we went through.
Most say that this market is illegal and that’s the reason why it’s only there early in the morning. And the truth is that it is actually illegal. Not because it’s selling stolen goods, but because it’s on the street and these people don’t have any sort of commercial licenses. “Stolen!? Did I just read that”, is that what you’re thinking? Well not so much stolen as junk. It’s actually a mix of both. The whole market is made up of assorted old things, which people might have thrown away, they might have been stolen and got here or just stuff which are cheap and is being sold without a shop to save on margins. So the reason it’s on only in the mornings is that when the street actually opens for business at about 9am, these vendors have to pack up and leave.
As you’d walk around, you’ll find everything from old posters to old LPs, both Hindi and English. You can find old furniture, clocks, wrist watches, coins, old broken cameras (we were able to get hands on a really good condition Yashica Minister & a Poloriod Land 350 Rangefinder, both cost us about 50$), speakers, cell phones, old vintage boxes and lots and lots of junk. The best part about this market is that it’s not really focused on anything so there is a chance you’d find the best of the things thrown about. Now that could mean an old Coca Cola metal box from the 50s or old Kodachrome slides which someone might have thrown out.
So here is the down and dirty on the checklist and tips :
1.Do not wear expensive stuff down in that market, they will not steal things off you but you’d get a bad bargain.
2.Carry cash but not that much. Just about 50$ worth.
3.Check, check, and check your goods before buying. There is no coming back here with warranty cards and no returns for ANYTHING.
4.Keep a lookout for things, you can find almost anything here, cameras, cars, DVD players, watches and even brand new phones.
5.Go with friends, alone it’s no fun. If you’re not from India, then go with an Indian friend. This is very important. As a foreigner, you will NEVER get to the level of bargaining which an Indian might (simply because people see a foreigner and think money). So don’t take it as a bad thing, but do go with a contact.