New market or Sir Hogg’s Market. It is a market I went to as kid in Kolkata. People talked it as you find every thing: Toys, Sarees ,Salwar Kameez….
To me as kid in the 1980;s visiting India from Jeddah Saudi Arabia was :
I love it ,even though this place is primitive ,but lots of relatives here. The luxury of Jeddah, Saudi might not have been in Kolkata. But we never stayed in the city ,we went to the Villages:Hooghly.
Trying to find a cold drink:
Gold Spot— Equivalent of Mirinda or Bangladeshi Fanta.
Well the cold drinks was two companies:
PEPSI Company was popular in Saudi in the early seventies to mid 80’s.
They had the following drinks:
- 7Up(bottled by PePsico)
I used to thin as kid Pepsi owned all these brands.
In Kolkata, really used to look for drinking a soft drink. It was either Campa Cola or Thumbs Up or Gold spot. These were not easily available.
But it was a diffent world then. An age where there was no smart phones, cell phones or anything wireless.
In 3rd grade I learned of CB.(wireless) . My Scottish teacher with a large mustache taunted me :”They do not have CB in India!” This was in a international school in Jeddah,Saudi Arabia. I asked my mother at home,does not India have CB?(wireless). She said why not.
New Market, Kolkata has a life and environment of its own ,like bazaar in Turkey or Balad in Jeddah,Saudi. But I would say it is mixture of Balad and Bab Makkah market in one.
The New Market now is a combo. The New Market is from the days of British Raj! No wonder building was red.
They have everything:
I remember buying comics from New Market :
DC Comics (for 4 Rupees—1983)
TinTin—My ad bought in 1986…don’t remember the price. It was a market you find anything ..as my mother said. I just cared about comics, books and toys. Who cares about rest.?
Scrabble and Monopoly Games I bought in 1986 from New Market. The Year Rajiv Gandhi(former PM) visited Kolkata.
Biryani at Shiraz! Delicious.
Later on after 20 years, revisited New Market . Looked more closely. It had a life .A life’ that vistors would not understand at first. This Life’ was from the days of Raj Era.
Cakes were popular in British times for Birthdays in West Bengal. These cakes were bought from New Market. As my mother recalls ,despite eating cakes in Saudi,US,Australia,Dhaka she still recalls. I later assume it was from Nahoum and Sons Confectionery.
The Last Jewish bakery since 1916! Even before birth of my mother. Her dad was 16 only but then he started a job of the British since he was 25 years old.
The owner I think currently is Isaac Nahoum .
Location: Address: F20, Bertram St, New Market, Kolkata-700013
Open from 9 AM to 9 PM every day
Weekly close on Sundays
Contact: (033) 2252 0655
Then around New market when you are really Hungry. You want Go to Nizam;s. They serve Delicious Biryani and don’t forget their Rolls. Shiraz was founded in 1923 somewhere.
But if you are here for shopping do it. If you want to experience life’ coming in the morning around 6 AM or 7 AM . Some where around end of October.(normal times)
Coming Early to New market area or Dharmotola. It is like they still have the charm’ of British Raj somewhere. But it is lost in some ways.
There was Cinema Halls like Light House ,Metro and New Empire Cinema ,showing good classic movies for 25 Rupees.
New Empire Cinema
It was one of the properties owned by Major General Jung Bhadur Rana . The cinema was setup in 1932. It is not just move but the experience too!
If you want ICE Cream
It is in cinema Hall of New Empire. Nice tasty ice cream. Every place (most) have a story attached.
Walk around have Mix chat(non covid times),street food. The Cool air around 7 Am ….Have tea. The French travellers were having tea on a bench in new Market. Usually local shave it in a restaurant. Experience New Market setup by Sir Stuart Hogg in 1860’s. You experience an environment which money cannot buy. Sure you get shopping Mall like South Mall….But the pleasure felt in the heart while sipping a cup of tea and feeling cool breeze of morning can be experienced in modernized malls nor whilst shopping in Amazon.com or online. Something the present generation of late 2000 won’t understand. Same way we had trouble understanding our parents from the Golden Sixties.
You need bargaining skills but 1st time you will be fooled.
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