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Shop and party till you drop

Want to pick up a stylish pair of earrings or have your fortune read with a tarot card reader as you party with your friends? No, it's not a bizarre idea. You can do just that at the Opium Sunday Night Bazaar.

Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Opium Sunday Night Bazaar: plenty to choose from.

WHAT DOES one do when there is no time to shop during a busy work week, and weekends are spent catching up and partying with friends? Easy — shop as you party. Does that sound absurd? Well, you can do precisely this now at the Opium Sunday Night Bazaar, a unique shopping space that opened on Sunday last, at Opium, a restaurant-cum-pub on Airport Road.

"The idea behind the night bazaar," says Anahita Bhatia, organiser and spokesperson for the event, "was to create something like the Goan flea market." Though the Opium Sunday Night Bazaar is far from the Goan flea markets in terms of prices, they do present a good variety to the shopper who can come in as early as 5 p.m. to have a look at the goods or later to party and shop together.

The bazaar, which kickstarted with nine to 10 designers this time, may have a few more joining them in the coming months.

With prices ranging from Rs. 50 for the Hyderabadi lac bangles, with mirrors, glass, and stones embedded, to Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 for garments, the bazaar on Sunday last presented an opportunity to many designers to showcase their goods. All the proceeds from the sales go directly to the designers, many of whom were seen manning their own stalls and giving shoppers details of the items.

Embroidered kurtis seemed to be a special attraction. With Azra selling her black-and-white prints in short salvar kameez sets (starting at Rs. 1,200) and Esha offering multi-layered georgette tops and kurtis, the youngsters had quite a bit to choose from. The typical Lucknowi kurtis in cotton, silk, and georgettes were also available.

Household goods were available in plenty too. There were paperweights with bead mosaic (priced around Rs. 300). Priced around Rs. 500 were Arati Rao's trays, painted glass, picture frames, pine wood photo frames, and lampshades with painted glass. Candles and chocolates by Phiroza Rustomjee were also available.

There were many personal accessories on display, with semi-precious jewellery by Lalita being a special attraction. With prices ranging from Rs. 500 Rs. 5,000, she had uniquely-crafted jewellery in various stones such as amethyst, turquoise, peridot, carnelion, lapis, pearl, topaz etc.. The jewellery in silver-and-gold combination was particularly beautiful and different. Also available were scarves and stoles in silk and crepe by Mili Tharakem. Played with various shades of blue and orange, Mili had carefully designed each scarf in hand with delicate batik work. Ranging from Rs. 600 to Rs. 1,500, the scarves had various fluid lines and oceanic themes, with one even resembling the falling letters of the film Matrix. Textile designer, Divya Jayant, had a fascinating collection of co-ordinated shoes and hand bags in corduroy, suede, silk, and denim, with the prices starting at Rs. 1,700 for a pair.

Giving the bazaar a quaint and enchanting feel were the tarot card readers, charging Rs. 100 for a reading of three questions, and a nail art specialist, Gayatri Basapa, who painted all 10 of your nails with daisies and glittering designs for Rs. 400.

There were also little pav bhaji, chole, and chaat stalls to give the bazaar a street-side look. The Opium Sunday Night Bazaar will be held on the first Sunday of every month.

TINA GARG

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