Pune’s Flea Market – Juna Bazaar

While there are surely roadside markets specialising in secondhand goods the world over, India must be outstanding, in this respect, for many reasons. For one thing, most of us have less money than those in many other countries. For another, it’s a country with a whole lot of ancient stuff. Given that we’re a very vocal democracy, roadside markets are hard to eradicate, though they can cause traffic hell and other problems.

To my sparse knowledge, Delhi has the best ones. Pune, I discovered, on relocating there, also has one to its credit.

I forget who told us about Juna (Marathi for old) Bazar but do recall seeing a certain sprawling market on one auto rickshaw ride through the city sometime before we finally moved there. I’m not really fond of being in jostling crowds but do adore the concept and an occasional brief visit to public markets where milling hordes haggle over trinkets.

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Apparently, Juna Bazar is also called “Old Market”.  From antique coins to every kind of screwdriver, this market sells crockery, knives, axes, hardware, clothes, furniture, duplicates of branded products, electronics, old music and film cassettes/CDs, antiques, small copper/ brass statues and other artefacts, household goods, wood carvings, cheap costume jewellery, suitcases, automobile parts, footwear, agricultural tools, and even vegetables! We were amused at the heaps of rusty gym weights which are there in abundance.

I seem to have only taken photos of the area where second hand clothes are sold and that would mainly be because it would be awfully hard to take pictures in the main pavement stretch that is the Juna Bazar!

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The market survives, wedged amidst living spaces, themselves very makeshift.

Cheap clothes, second hand or merely factory rejects, enable a uniformity of appearance amongst the youth in India. Labourer and entrepreneur alike sport jeans. Gone are the days when the underprivileged gratefully accepted your old clothes!

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Juna Bazaar operates on Wednesday and Sunday on a pavement of the Veer Santaji Ghorpade Road, near the Maldhakka Chowk (Pune) and it’s open from 9 to 5.  Locals go there to find a good bargain but it’s mostly the not-so-well-off. 

With nothing really worthwhile for a tourist, it’s still a must-see place if you want to catch a glimpse of the chaos of a local “antique” market.

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Gems to avert/attract bad/good fortune? 

It’s sights like the one above that you will find, glimpses of worlds now fast fading out of daily life.

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