Flea Market Fun

 

 

Whether your idea of shopping involves good old fashioned haggling, or slurping on a green tea ice candy while indulging in retail therapy, Ahmedabad is definitely the place you want to be…

The Weekend Window – shopping carnival and Ahmedabad’s biggest flea market! May 6th-8th 2015, saw Ahmedabad live it up at the 6th edition of The Weekend Window.

This three day shopping extravaganza has everything you would expect and more -from household items to fashion, but with an artistic twist that only the modern day flea market can bring.

Banana fabric handbags and shoes, chandeliers artistically crafted from elegantly tinted old bottles, dream-catcher earrings, and neo hippy couture & décor…are just some of the beautiful things on offer.

But what makes Weekend window special is its festive, almost carnival like atmosphere. At the YMCA Lawns, the venue for this edition of Weekend Window, the energy was palpable. You could feel an aura of excitement and joy crackle in the atmosphere the moment you walked in.

The lines of food stalls with their cornucopia of delicacies ranging from ice candies to very unique takes on street food, the live band belting out national and international songs guaranteed to make you groove, the uniquely vibrant color and charisma of the event – made shopping here not an activity , but an Experience you wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

If you missed it this time around, make sure you mark it in your calendar later in the year. This is one event that is worth the wait.

However, If you prefer your shopping with a healthy dose of good old fashioned haggling or are  just really into crowds and old stuff; the Sunday market at Ellis bridge, Ahmedabad, is the place for you.

Known locally as the Ravivari and set up in the heart of old Ahmedabad, this quaint little weekend market teems with life- chaotic and colorful.

Initially started as a flea market with second hand goods from all sorts of categories and antiques, the ‘Ravivari’ or literally – Sunday Market – has now evolved into a full-fledged bargain hot spot where you can get everything from electronics to clothes to garden gnomes.

First things first; do yourself a favor and leave your vehicle at home, take a rickshaw. The roads are narrow and congested and parking is well neigh impossible.

Makeshift stalls and handcarts piled high with wares fight for space on both sides along with the milling throng. The raucous cries of vendors create a symphony of cacophony that engulfs all. Onward! Brave bargain hunter!- for at the other end of this chaos lies Xanadu. Take your time at each stall, linger and browse, because amidst the clatter clutter of common stuff you find priceless gems.

Hardware nuts and bolts merge seamlessly with cheap Sony knock offs and shockingly atrocious but gorgeously kitschy copies of Ed Hardy t-shirts.

Tucked away among a bunch of cheap radios; apristine oak wood gramophone!

A coin dating to the Mughal period rubs grooves with faucet washers.

Second hand books as far as the eyes can see! Vintage comics, out of print detailed manuals on automobiles and photography, a well thumbed through copy of ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’ complete with an adorable scribbled dedication on the front page from a father to his son – are just some of the treasures unearthed.

Wax LPs in Mint condition; The Yardbirds, Buddy Holly, ABBA, Soundtracks of Indian classics like Satyam Shivam Sundaram, for Rs. 20 apiece.! Not even a dollar!!!

Do not hesitate to bargain. It’s the norm here. They WILL bully you, but stand your ground.

Little hint- dress down. You don’t have to be a foreigner to be quoted a higher price – if you even look like you’re not a native Ahmedabadi – a species most famous for its deal making abilities – people will try and wangle more money out of you.
But that’s the beauty of any old world market. Half the fun is in the bargain. So if you don’t mind a little dust, noise and chaos, the Ravivari is a unique experience, a throwback if you will to a simpler bygone era. An era of air horns, cycle rickshaws and vendor calls…

For more pictures click here.

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