Thursday may seem like a routine day for many, but for some locals in Hyderabad, it is time to go shopping. Once a week, the stretch between the Muslim Jung Pul and Purana Pul in the old city of Hyderabad witnesses a complete makeover.
As dawn sets in, the streets and pavements of the area, which come under the jurisdiction of the South Zone of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), are packed with hawkers and vendors.
The area is called Jummerat Bazaar (Jummerat translates to Thursday), a place where crowds throng for their shopping needs once a week, while keeping alive a tradition that has continued for at least 80 years.
Whether it’s an old TV set or an antique watch, there is nothing that one can't find at Jummerat bazaar. That includes everything from tiny safety pins to crockery, clothes to shoes, furniture to steel utensils, blankets to old cycles. There are also electronic parts and accessories available.
Although the times have changed since the market’s inception, its popularity has remained intact. People travel from every nook and corner of the city to make their purchases. The vendors hail from different parts of Hyderabad and other states as well, as do some customers.
One such customer, who came to visit from Maharashtra, tells TNM, “I am a regular visitor of the Jummerat Bazaar as it is famous for items at a throwaway price. I bought many items for my home. Everything is handy here for everyone.”
Most of the items are second-hand and do not come with a warranty or guarantee, but that doesn't deter customers.
Another buyer says, “I'm an electrician by profession. Electrical accessories, starters, a variety of switchboards, ceiling fans, wires and even parts of old TV sets are easily accessible here. I have never found any cheating and negligence on the part of the sellers here. This bazaar is manageable for me as the products are low cost.” he adds.
Antique items are also accessible here. People who want to decorate their homes with antique pieces often lineup at the market on Thursdays. The market also attracts several coin collectors and history buffs looking for interesting finds.
So where do these items come from?
When contacted, the owner of a shop Anwar Hussain, who hails from Musheerabad, says, “These items have been taken from various marketplaces and collated here."
Another vendor says, “We are selling the items after getting them from an auction held in different places, such as Mumbai and Surat. This place is special for me and I have been coming here for many years."
One of the older women, who sells different accessories and utensils, remembers the olden days and tells TNM, "I hail from Mangalhat, which is close to the market. I sell steel utensils daily in different areas of the city to make a living, but every Thursday, I sell my products here. I have been doing so from a young age."
"I was young when my grandmother used to come to this market to sell different items. I once accompanied her, and now I am more than 60 years old. Nothing has changed in all this time, except that the market has gotten slightly bigger," another old woman says.
The market opens around 6 am and is open till dusk, as traders begin packing up by 6 pm.
Wajeed Ullah Khan is a Hyderabad-based freelance journalist who writes predominantly on the issues surrounding Old City. He can be contacted at email@example.com