There is nothing a girl can't find here, especially if she is looking for accessories. Bhura Market braces up for the festival onslaught

The colours are dizzying, the sounds loud and varied. I am at Bhura Market, the city's watering hole for artificial jewellery and accessories. After ‘Bobby' bangles, ‘Nadhiya' earrings and ‘Anjali' ribbons, of course it is now the turn of ‘Enthiran' bangles. With Deepavali just round the corner, the Market is a buzz of activity. Shoppers, mostly women make a beeline for the market, straight from where they have bought new clothes.

They wade through accessories to arrive at the perfect Deepavali outfit. Walking along the small passageway lined with shiny stores on either side, I notice how every one is deeply engrossed.

From tiny stone-studded bindis to glittering glass bangles that promise to tinkle at the wrists the market is full to overflowing. “Most women come looking for glass bangles that match their attire,” says Nazrin Banu, owner of Ashika fancy store. “The place is a one stop shop for soon-to-be brides and beauticians.”

Deepavali and Ramzan is when Bhura Market is at it's best, she adds. Basha's shop, though small, is always crowded. “This is my father's shop. It's over 40 years old,” he says. “We have customers spanning three generations.” Basha stocks cosmetics and temple-jewellery sets that brides can rent. “With gold prices soaring, a lot of women find solace in micron gold-plated jewellery,” he says. Bhura Market also has electronics stores, watch, textile and footwear shops that cater to shoppers on a small budget.

Peering into a vintage magnifying glass at his tiny watch service centre is Ismail, the oldest person on the block. The 67-year-old has spent most of his life at the market. “I was 22 when I set up my watch shop and service centre here,” he says.

Ismail gets nostalgic as he recalls his childhood spent roaming about the many rooms of the building. “The complex belongs to Bhura Sait; he is a gem of a person. I've lost count of the number of times I dined on their kanji when I was a toddler. His family lived here till the early 1950s.” Pointing to a side entrance to the building, he says, “This was the main entrance those days. The sait owned a huge car – the only one in the street. The sight of it rumbling up the pathway is fresh in my memory.”

Ismail says that the sait and his family occupied the first floor, the ground floor being the servants' quarters.

“The building, with its maze of rooms is almost 90 years old. Certain parts were given a revamp about 15 years ago. Almost every room has been rented out. It now has 52 shops in all.”

Keywords: Bhura market