If Puja shopping were a cricket match, then Sunday’s would be a 20-20 humdinger.
With the countdown to Puja entering the slog overs, shopping destinations across the city — from New Market to Gariahat — were bursting at the seams.
The scorching afternoon sun could do little to subdue the spirit of Calcuttans as they, armed with overflowing shopping bags, made the most of super Sunday to tick as many items off their shopping lists as possible.
Metro joined them in some of the busiest shopping districts to check out the festive fervour.
Perhaps the busiest of all as police estimates suggest over 20,000 shoppers squeezed into the lanes and bylanes of the central Calcutta market hub at 4pm.
Some arrived as early as 9.30am to beat the rush. “We have come all the way from Uttarpara and have already spent over seven hours here as we need to complete the Puja shopping today itself,” said Barna Mukherjee who had come with daughter Amba Mukherjee.
If salwar suits and junk jewellery topped the shopping list of women, shoes and T-shirts were the picks for most men. The diehards fought their way through the chock-a-block streets, dodging swinging shopping bags, while many returned home to fight another day. Perhaps a weekday would be better!
“It is impossible to even cross the lanes, leave alone search for clothes and bags,” said Amrita Das, 23, an MA student at Calcutta University.
Pop Picks: Anarkali salwars and junk jewellery
22 Camac Street
A quieter counterpart of the chaotic New Market, it matched its Chowringhee rival for shopper enthusiasm if not footfall.
Most shoppers emerged from the twin buildings with a pleased smile. Said they preferred this place to New Market because it had everything under one roof.
Brothers Riddhiman, 14 and Ritankar, 12, showed off their stuff — shirts. “We bought a total of five pairs of shirts and are looking for a good watch,” said Ritankar, who had come with his mother, Mousumi, from Ballygunge Place. Casual clothes and accessories were the fastest off the shelves at this shopping destination.
Pop Picks: Printed tees and shoes
South City Mall
The queue to enter the Prince Anwar Shah Road mall had nearly reached the footpath at 6pm as shoppers patiently waited for their turn.
Branded clothes and merchandise drew the shoppers in droves to the mall.
The main lobby, escalators and corridors in the mall were brimming with a sense of urgency as shoppers tried to stay a step or two ahead of each other in the crowd.
“It took me 10 minutes to select a pair of jeans but I had to wait for over 20 minutes outside the trial room for my turn,” said Soumyaroop Saha, second-year BA student at Asutosh College who was shopping with elder brother Diptaroop, 23.
Pop Picks: Branded clothing and coloured pants
Honk honk, yell yell! Shoppers trying to cross the road in the traffic, vendors shouting their lungs out to attract buyers in the din. From bags to shoes to clothes, Gariahat is an extended one-stop-shop — at affordable prices. “Haggling helps and I always get what I am looking for,” said Sutapa Chatterjee who had come with her mother, Alpana, from Dum Dum Park. “Today was a little suffocating though,” Alpana added.
Since stalls have taken over the footpaths, shoppers spilled on to the roads.
Pop picks: Handbags and saris