Every time we, Mumbaites, go to a suburb of Mumbai, we see new malls mushrooming up, but surprisingly, the mall are not doing too well. There are hardly any people out there. I am beginning to get worried, are they able to meet the overhead expenses? We hardly ever visit malls, we find them too expensive and the sales people are always hovering over our shoulder treating us like some kleptomaniacs. Many a times, I tell them that I am just surfing and if I find something interesting I will beckon them but still, they keep staring at me from a distance, Such a boring place to shop!, practical only in rainy season or when the weather is too warm. It is wet and dirty out there on the road, and we would prefer to walk in a safer, cleaner and air-conditioned venue.
But otherwise, we all prefer street markets.
We like to walk down the busy streets where smaller shops are lined side by side, we walk in open air, we don't mind inhaling the polluted air that is full of fumes from moving traffic, we like to walk on a footpath and see many interesting things.. good and bad, all are there in equal proportions…..
We like the colorful display of merchandise on the road.
Walking down the street markets, we like to visit the specialized stalls, some selling only tomatoes, others selling only greens and some selling only white variety of fresh onions.
Shopping for assorted vegetables is fun. We love to bargain, argue, select, weigh and check again, haggle on over-priced items.. we promise the seller that we will never visit his stall again, but next day, we are there, back again ...at his stall for another series of useless haggle but we come back home each day with fresh products...victorious at saving few pennies...street markets are fun...any time...cannot compare to boring malls.....
And we can walk all day, braving the traffic, stopping at various stalls, eating the chaats and enjoying the outing on the streets of Mumbai City.
The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),
.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.
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