Having a rich history of more than a decade, Jummeraat Bazaar, which is popularly known as Chor Bazaar is a flea market that is set up every Thursday in the Old City of Hyderabad. Its name “Jummeraat” is derived from the Urdu name for Thursday.
The environment that surrounds the market clearly says that this is meant for the poor. But the spirit is rich in terms of re-usability and recycling.
There is a misconception that the goods sold here are stolen. But to the contrary, the sellers in Jummeraat Bazaar get the goods from rag pickers, scrap yards and raddi waalaas, who buy used articles from house holds. Besides that, they also buy used goods from the customers.
People often describe this bazaar as the place where anything from pins to planes are available!
Historically, it started more than a century ago, during the Nizam’s rule in Hyderabad, when goods used by Nizam used to be sold at “Ghode ki Khabar” (a place where a horse is buried) in Dhulpet near Hyderabad’s Old City. Slowly, it transformed into a place where a wide range of used articles are sold on a weekly basis, which is visited equally by the poor, who come for a good bargain, and by the rich, who come to buy rare antiques.
Now this market offers used spare parts of automobiles, equipment, furniture, decorative items, bicycles, rickshaws, carpets, antiques, tyres, clothes and even horses! That’s not all…you even get computers (components of computers that is…), mobile phones, TV sets and other electronic goods. The condition of the goods varies a lot. Some are repaired, some are shabby, some look like new and some are new.
Editor’s Note – Anil Cherukupalli
One common motif throughout Srinivas’s engaging photo essay on the Jummeraat Bazaar of Hyderabad is that of a circle. Be it the frame of a cycle’s tyre or an old umbrella lying on its side his photographs include a circle somewhere, either hiding on the edge or standing proudly in the center. The circle is a particularly apt motif for an essay that deals with the topic of recycling. In India, nothing is ever thrown away. Things are recycled and reused endlessly. Srinivas’s photo essay highlights this by focusing on the myriad objects one can find in abundance at this particular market.
While the toning of the photos is something of a distraction, what elevates them beyond mere random documents of the market is the quirky sense of humor evident in some of the photos. Be it a sole running shoe framed by bare sandal clad legs or the surprisingly animated heads of a trio of mannequins his photographs make you smile involuntarily and want to visit the market yourself.