Ramzan Razzmataz: Glimmer, garments, colours and crowds back at Meena Bazaar
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Ramzan Razzmataz: Glimmer, garments, colours and crowds back at Meena Bazaar

April 22, 2022

By Shadan Muneer

Ramzan is here and along with it comes zeal and fervour that was subdued during the pandemic-hit last two years. Month-long prayers, piety and charity culminate with the celebration of Eid. The markets are already abuzz with hustle and bustle of shoppers, giggles, shimmer and shine and the sumptuous feasts of culinary delights line up the city streets.

Meena Bazaar’s charm stands out in pulling the shoppers in hordes as the entire stretch on Sawday Road has its own significance. During the last 10 days of Ramzan it converts to a 24×7 market.

“After months of restrictions, business is gaining momentum. Ramzan mela has begun at Meena Bazaar which lasts for a month, and the traders are hoping for a revival and expecting business to go back to pre-pandemic times,” says Nasiruddin Babu, Ex-Corporator and President (to be) of Meena Bazaar Merchants Association and Social Welfare Committee.

Every year, this season is enjoyed by people from all communities. Buyers from neighbouring districts too visit Meena Bazaar during Ramzan for bulk purchasing as options and varieties are available in abundance, he adds. 

Crowds are increasing with each passing day and all the basic facilities have been arranged to benefit both customers as well as traders. “The place is cleaned everyday and vehicular parking on Sawday Road has been restricted for free movement of public. Parking arrangements have been made at Nizamia High School Grounds and the surroundings of Kantharaj Urs Park. Drinking water cans have been placed at every alternative shop and Police security has been provided. 

Shopping with a free mind

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Commenting on the Ramzan fervour at Meena Bazaar, Mohammed Saleem, Ward President of Meena Bazaar says, “The charm of Meena Bazaar is back to mark the Ramzan season after a gap of two years, the street comes alive especially in the night, bustling with shoppers who visit stores till late in the night. Now with all COVID restrictions being lifted, people are seen shopping with a free mind and the shopkeepers are more than happy to welcome them and do good business.”

Glimmer, garments, colours and crowd is how one can define Meena Bazaar during this time of the festive season. Trendy jewellery to shiny outfits, customised embroidery to replicas of designer dresses, intricate borders to beautiful beads, natural perfumes to imported abayas everything is available here in different varieties at reasonable rates.

People hesitant to spend

Abdul Gaffar, co-owner of Sagar Traders, running his business in Meena Bazaar for the past 43 years, says, “Our business is yet to pick up and the number of customers have reduced. With the school admissions round the corner and rising inflation, people are hesitant to spend like before on shopping. Compared to the pre-COVID times, we have achieved only 10 to 15 percent of the business so far but I am hopeful that the crowds will pick up in the last two weeks of Ramzan.”

The shop stocks up a variety of beads, laces and artificial jewellery-making material. “I am here to buy beads and decorative items as a wide variety is available here. The last two years were dull for all of us and even weddings were held in a simple manner. Now everything is picking up and getting back on track,” remarks an excited Tamanna, a specialist in trousseau packing who was spotted shopping at Sagar Traders.

Festival mood all around

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Commenting about the average sales, Mohammed Jaffer Sait, owner of Zam Zam Bazar, a fabric store trading from the past 27 years, says “The pandemic-imposed break has dealt a severe blow to all traders in Meena Bazaar. Our business has not even crossed 50 percent of what it used to be before. Financial constraints are a major challenge for both traders and consumers. However, the atmosphere has become nice with festival mood all around which is a good thing. I am hoping that the business will pick up in the last 10 days of Ramzan.”

Syed Nooruddin, proprietor of Raja Bangles Fancy Store which has been functioning from the past 55 years, says, “This festive season I feel relieved as customers have started coming in. So far we have done average sales and I am expecting the rush to rise further closer to Eid and also with the upcoming wedding season I am hoping to witness bigger crowds to buy bridal bed-sets, trousseau trays and other fancy items.”

Shakeel Pasha, owner of Facebook Boutique, a specialist in customising gowns, says, “I am happy that the business has started. It may take some more time to get back to the good old days and we need to accept this. All of us have incurred losses during lockdowns but the current situation demands us to accept whatever is coming. So far it’s been pretty average but I am hopeful that there        are better days ahead.”

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