A walk in Chor Bazaar

Did you know Chor Bazaar was originally called Shor Bazaar? Till it became the place where stolen and smuggled goods found their way in South Bombay. Today, there is no shor; on that Sunday afternoon in the month of Ramzan, Chor Bazaar is quiet and sleepy. The five of us walk the streets, feeling out…

The bouquinistes of Paris

The bouquinistes – outdoor booksellers – of Paris, by the side of the Seine are one of my absolute favourite things about the city (the other are the parks). There are over 200 of them now in Paris and between them, I read somewhere, offer over 300000 old and new books and magazines. Recognized by…

Prague welcomes Easter

Early April was for me the perfect time to be in Prague. Winter was over and it was cool without being too cold and the summer visitor crowds had not started pouring in. Just yesterday, a friend tells me that she was barely able to walk in Prague when she visited in July. We stayed…

KR market: Bangalore markets series

Welcome to KR market, locally known also as city market… Named after the king Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, this is one of Bangalore’s oldest markets. The highlight of the city market (for me, definitely) are the flower vendors – lording over the pinks and oranges and yellows, jasmine, marigold and kanakambaram, coils and coils of pure white….

Gandhi Bazaar: Bangalore markets series

There is no way to describe the colours and chaos of this market (yes, I know, how can anyone describe any Indian market?) Here is the first part of (what I hope will be) a series on the markets of Bangalore on this blog – a walk through Gandhi Bazaar. In the heart of Basavangudi,…

Saturday at Chatuchak

I am not very fond of shopping, even in a place like Bangkok. Or perhaps, particularly in a place like Bangkok – all the malls seem the same after a while – all glass and steel and selling characterless branded (whether genuine or spurious) clothes and electronics. It was on my second trip to Bangkok…

Crawford market calling…

Published this month on Himal – the heritage mass market In a city where the skyline has long been defined by massive hoarding boards, there was one on Marine Drive a few years ago that captured Bombay’s ethos perfectly. Restless to get ahead, it proclaimed, and that is exactly what the much-touted spirit of this…

Dubai or not to buy?

The Dubai Shopping Festival had just began – earlier than usual – when I went to Dubai. And it was the weekend before Christmas. Half the world seemed to have landed in Dubai at that time, to shop, and shop some more. One crazy evening at the maddeningly crowded Mall of Emirates, and I decided…