The Madras Market this weekend promises to offer a range of food, shopping and entertainment options
Elaneer souffle. Gucci hand bags. Ferragamo shoes. Tiramisu. Foot reflexology. Zorb ball. Paintings... We are not randomly throwing up words. Instead we have found a place for you to hang out this weekend — The Madras Market. And yes, it will have all of the things mentioned above, and more.
Organised by the Chennai Shopping and managed by Full House, this two-day carnival will have a mix of food, entertainment, live performances and, of course, shopping. “Chennai often has high-end exhibitions in five-star hotels or on Island Grounds, but there isn’t really anything in between or any place where people can eat, shop and relax. This market creates a bridge between the two,” says Sarah Natasha, who started the Chennai Shopping Group (CSG) on Facebook.
Here’s a peek at what the market will have. To start with, there are 120 stalls and 10 food stalls by Sandy’s, Crimson Chakra, Sukh Sagar, Spoonbill, home bakers, among others...These also include displays by retailers from cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Jharkhand, Erode, Coimbatore and Chennai. Of these, about 50 per cent are members of CSG. The things on sale include clothes, jewellery, accessories, home decor, furniture and artefacts. Through this event, they are trying to promote artisans and their works. It’s also a way of bringing together retailers on CSG and putting a face to these online vendors who people have bought from but never really met.
So what does this market have that the other fêtes lack? “For people who don’t want to shop or eat, they can always try adventure sports. Wild Tribe Ranch has set up activities such as bungee run, trampoline jump, and mechanical bull. And we have an art corner organised by Art & Soul, where well-known artists such as Jayaraj S., Johnson and Nasar Mohamad are going to be doing live painting,” explains Sara. And shopaholic parents needn’t worry themselves silly about which relative to entrust their kids with for a few hours while they shop, for Madras Market has quite a few options to keep the young ones engaged. There is a pottery workshop where children could get a feel of how urns are shaped or try their hand at a craft workshop organised by Creative Ladder. The free game corner allows enthusiasts to get together and play board games, UNO, Live Angry Bird, XBOX or even JAM.
Those not acquainted with garage sales can get the feel of one here. “The first ever event to be organised by CSG was a garage sale in February last year. So we thought it was fitting to have one at this event too,” says Lavanya Dothamshetty, in charge of the flea market. According to her, when they first put up notices about it on portals dealing with second-hand products, the response was tremendous. “Around 60 people wanted to put up stalls but we had to short list and now we have 15 to 20 people displaying their products. This includes second-hand books, jewellery, western outfits, bags, shoes... You can find brands such as Coach, Aldo, and Guess. In addition, we have two NGOs — Little Drop and Rehoboth — selling goodies.”
And if all these have tired you out, just sit back and catch live performances by Agam, CinC, Mohiniattam by Usha Suresh Balajee, Rock Show by Thermal And A Quarter and Grey Shacks till you catch your breath; though chances are they’ll leave you even more breathless.
(Madras Market is on February 23 and 24 on Wesley Grounds. The entry fee is Rs. 50)