Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lamps for Sale!! New and Old!! Lamps for Sale!!

- by Deepa Krishnan
I know I have an overactive imagination, but I swear to you, some shops in Chor Bazaar look like they are straight out of The Arabian Nights.

Pottering among the shelves, you feel you might chance upon Alladin's fabled lamp, or some other magical object to transport you in time and space to some distant Caliphate.
There are all sorts of combinations of brass and glass, there's a clinking and tinkling, and everywhere, there is a thin layer of dust that reminds you this is a flea market, not an upscale boutique. But it all adds to the experience, the rickety chairs you sit on, the way you have to hunt for treasures...
We were shopping for antique looking light fixtures. My friend had bought a traditional heritage house in Penang and was looking to refurbish it. A brass chandelier we saw hanging from the ceiling seemed just the right thing. We had them take it down from the ceiling for closer inspection.

Then we tried different types of glass holders, to see what designs we liked. We had just one night - she was flying out the next morning, so we had to be patient while stocks were checked to ensure we had enough numbers of glass holders. The price was a fantastic bargain at Rs 15,000 for the chandelier, a set of 17 glass holders (2 spare ones), and all fittings.
The deal was clinched; and we waited some more while the little screws were fixed, the chandelier polished and scrubbed. The more I looked at it, the more gorgeous it seemed. Even in that very ordinary setting, I could see that when this thing was finally transported and installed in a heritage home, it would look amazing. What is it about burnished brass that's so alluring?
There were lots of other things in the shop, some were art deco, some ornate and colourful,...depending on your taste and the kind of decor that works for your house, you could end up buying a lot of things here. I loved the art deco, actually. Some of it was funky and fantastic. But even the colourful glass stuff was full of character and would add interesting drama to a boring living room.

It was late, almost 8:30 p.m. by the time we left the shop. I was starving. When we walked out to the car, we found this street-side treasure: Sweet potato!!

Roasted on a coal sigdi, and served with a dash of salt and chaat masala...sigh...what a treat. Have you tasted this before? The potato skin was darkened to black over the coal fire, but inside the flesh was white and steaming hot. We clambered gratefully into the car, and headed back home tucking into our little treat. I'm totally convinced now- every shopping trip ought to end with great street food!!


Meena Kadri said...

I love those roasted sweet-potatoes! I used to get them regularly in South China also. Perfect winter street-food.

Haddock said...

Aha .... sweet potatoes

Tamanna said...

Too bad... I am not in Bombay to go raid Chor Bazaar off all its lamps :) Next time maybe..

Super Babe said...

That's awesome. We visited a lamp antique store in Jaipur when we were there but at the time we didn't even know when we would finally have our own house! So jealous!

Penelope Potty Snooper said...

I love Chor Bazar too!

Anonymous said...

didn't see your email address so i'll leave my comment here -- a take on mumbai from an outsider that you may find interesting:

Anonymous said...

hiii. im frm penang. what a coincidence..


Roma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deepa said...

There are so many stores like this in Chor Bazaar that it is hard to keep track of names. Ask for Null Bazaar. Stand with your back facing Null Bazaar, and cross the road. You will find a lane going straight inside; that is called Mutton Street. Ask someone if not sure. On Mutton Street, just keep your eyes open and you'll find what you want.

Deepa said...

I looked up my photos from this visit, this shop is called AL ANWAR LAMP SHOP, 121, Mutton Street, Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai - 400003. TELEPHONE +(91)-(22)-23455087 CELL 9820022524, 9869977203 MR HUSAIN, MR AZIZ

Unknown said...

My new number(aziz jhummerwala )