Shopping in an 'out of the box' way, literally!

Alefiya Rashiq takes a look at the street shopping scene in the city and how we can do ‘out of the box’ shopping!

Scores of boxes lined up one after the other, each one, offering something new. Such an assorted mix of the latest styles and fads in vibrant colours and affordable prices that you just cannot decide where to stop and where to let go. This, folks, is just a trailer of Street Shopping in Pune.
We’ve always had malls and the local stores in the city to shop from, but in the past few years the trend of selling things out of a box has certainly caught up, what with MG Road and FC Road transforming into buzzing markets for sellers and buyers both.
We went for our very own street shopping spree and completely lost ourselves amidst the varieties of t-shirts, bags, chappals and accessories being sold at the scores of box-walas that have popped up. Mumbai might have its own Linking Road, and Delhi might be proud of its Sarojini Market, but Pune too isn’t any far behind with its street offerings either.

Shopping boxes laid out on the road
Shopping boxes laid out on the road

Located centrally, MG road and FC road have always been two of the most happening streets in the city. They represent Pune’s old world charm, with conveniently placed shops and eateries. Not just youngsters, but hoards of people of all age groups head here during the evenings. And now, with the thela-walas opening up their boxes of pandora here, they have all the more reason to scurry to these places.
The best part is that you find everything at cheap prices and hence, you will not mind shelling out the bucks cause they are totally worth it. Another important attraction of this experience is the bargaining. While picking up an eccentric piece of neckwear, we ask,
“Bhaiyya ye kitne main diya?”
“Only 300 rupees madam!”
“Bhav thik-thik lagana bhaiyya”.
“Madam, 300 rupees se aur kitna kam karega? Margin hi nahi hai.”
Trying out the funky jewelry
Trying out the funky jewelry

“Bhaiyya, 200 rupaye mai aage mil raha hai.”
“Madam, ho hi nahi sakta, chalo 250 de do”
“Acha chalo bhaiyya, na apka na mera, 220 mai de do”
“230 final, iske niche toh profit hi nahi hai madam”, and you have to give in defiantly, as if the extra 10 rupees dug a hole in your pocket. The place is such, the energy is such. No matter how sophisticated you are, you will end up doing what is required out of you!
Plenty of options to choose from
Plenty of options to choose from

At the end of the day, it is just great to see so many happy people. Happy shoppers, happy sellers, and this time, happy us, as we returned with 3 full bags, and a total spend of 1200 rupees only. Contrary to the times where prices of everything, including the basic necessities are skyrocketing, this experience was a good respite.
Punekar and IT professional, Sonal Jain, says, “I get so much for so less from the streets! My wardrobe is generally filled with branded clothes. But you won’t believe that I have found some really different and refreshing styles while shopping from the boxes of MG road!” If the street shopping spree is on MG road, make sure that you treat yourself with sandwiches and cold coffee from Marz-o-rin. You won’t be surprised to see your fellow shoppers munching on goodies at other tables, discussing how the deal they got is better over their friend’s. You can also try Pasteur next door or grab a snack at Ramakrishna or Coffee House.
On FC road, the weekends are extremely crowded so you need to be prepared for some pulling and pushing. And if you plan to grab a bite at Vaishali later, be ready for a really long queue. Funnily, a meal at Vaishali is indeed completely enjoyable only if you have bravely received your table after vying for it against many suitors! Alternately, you could also head to Roopali or Wadeshwar next door.
If a day of shopping and fun with your girlies is what you’ve been waiting for, go ahead and hit the streets of the city. It’ll definitely be an out-of-the-box experience!