Friday Feature: A Trip to Liaquat Market

Asalam Alaikum,

I have been meaning to get this posted for a long time. The biggest market in our area is Liaqat Market. It is not a mall type where everything is enclosed, but more like an American style flea market, very open. In much of the market the shops are basically little alcoves, and the center aisles are roof less, or sometimes there are big sheets tied up to provide more shade.

We usually take the Honda 50 to go shopping as it is older(less likely to be stolen), and has the "dubba"(box area in the front), to hold stuff. Tariq is the in the middle, Saad sits in front of him, and I sit "side saddle" at the back. InshAllah I'll get a picture of all of us sometime, now that his sister is here to hold the camera. :-)

Tariq and Saad ready to go

When we get to the market there is a motorcycle parking area up front. It is five rupees to park and the watchman gives you a little ticket(half goes on the bike and half you take) so that he know you payed.
Motorcycles all lined up

Sometimes it gets a bit crowded

In the front section of the market is where most of the dry goods type stores are. All the chawal(rice), dals(lentils), masale(spices) and other things are in bins. There are usually a whole bunch of different bins of rice, some for biriyani, some for regular cooking, some that are better for kheer(rice pudding).
All the food lined up out in the open.

Also in the outer section is the vegetable and fruit wale(sellers). There are alcove type shops on the sides of the main road area, and then there are carts lined up in the center and anywhere there is space.

Inside the market is kind of like a maze with narrow little aisles. There are stores for shoes, kids clothes, cosmetics, tailoring materials, gents clothes and many many shops for ladies clothes. Usually one of our first stops is for ladies shalwar suits. The little alcoves that make up the shops have shelves on most of the walls stacked with bolts of fabric and suits already cut into sets of shalwar/kameez/dupatta. There is usually a small stage type area where the shopkeepers stand and show off the suits, and a line of seating for the customers to sit and relax while they look at the suits.
Wall of a shop with stacks of suits.

The suits rejected by the customer end up on the floor of the stage, to be folded after the customers leave.

After you have selected your suits, the next stop is the bale(edging) store, for any ribbons, laces, or beaded trimmings to go with your suit.
Oooh, shiny things. Sometimes I just like to look at the bales, because some are very pretty.

After you have your suit and your trimmings, then its off to buy your chudiyan(bangles). The walls of the bangle store are also filled with row upon row of shiny things! You give the shopkeeper the dupatta to make a matching set of bangles, and he'll make a set up and show it to you for approval. If you like it he packs it up and if you don't then he'll change out some pieces until it fits what you want.