As Ramzan gets closer, rush to buy shoes heightens in old city near Pathergatti and Madina
A stream of shoppers troops out with their bags full of footwear only to make way for another set waiting for the space in a shoe shop to get vacant. The few new additional hands hired in the store to meet the festive shopping rush are flummoxed with the never-ending rush.
On the pavement there is yet another melee, of people choosing from heaps of fancy footwear, edging out other buyers as the vendor hopes for a fewer shoplifting episodes for the day.
“If you are looking at quality stuff you opt for a good store. But the use and throw footwear sold for Rs. 150-Rs.300 is also good enough. The best part is that today one finds footwear being sold on pavements wherever there are markets in the old city in places such as Mallepally and Asifnagar,” says Mizba, a resident of the old city.
As the festival gets closer, the rush to buy shoes, along with all other things new, heightens in the old city near Pathergatti and Madina Building. So is the case in Abids where footwear stores are choc-a-bloc with happy shoppers. “We start planning the supplies over three months before Ramzan,” says Ismail S. Ajani, partner of Hollywood in Abids, one of the oldest footwear stores in the twin cities. “The store was started in 1946 by my grandfather Jumma Bhai Ajani. Now my brother Asif Ajani and I run the store. We close at 12.30 in the midnight during Ramzan else people keep walking in. The flow is non-stop. On the eve of Eid we are open till 6 a.m.,” says Ismail.
“Ramzan is a pious month and people prefer buying new things from a car, house to clothes and footwear. Our sales perk after 10 p.m. daily during the festive season,” agrees Farooq Khan, partner of Footprint, which supplies stilettos and Roman footwear to Hamstech, NIFT and other fashion schools for their ramp events. His collection for Eid also has a dash of haute couture.
Unlike earlier times when Mumbai was the preferred source of footwear, today one finds designer lines from Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Jalandhar, Nagpur and Dehradun making their presence felt in the city.
And irrespective of religion, there is a rush to pick the latest of designs from the stores. “We have come all the way from Begum Bazaar and have picked up 10 pairs of footwear. The collection is fresh and affordable,” says Satyam.