As the month of Ramazan come to a close, it seems like everyone in the capital city is heading towards Jinnah Super Market, especially in the evening. The posh market almost always draws the biggest crowds in the run-up to Eidul Fitr.
Being upscale means the stuff sold here is expensive and many among those swarming the market are not serious buyers and come only to window shop, some shopkeepers say.
“Although there’s a big crowd out there, not all of them are buyers,” said a toyshop manager, who did not want to be named.
Despite its reputation of being expensive, the place attracts not just the local people but also those from Rawalpindi, especially on ‘Chand Raat’ when the mood is festive.
With hundreds of people pouring in, finding a place to park your car becomes troublesome. Traffic, in and around the market often gets stuck but it fails to dampen the spirits of visitor especially young enthusiasts spending hours to experience the festive environment. Although the Islamabad cops do their best, the traffic appears monstrous.
“Blaming the cops is easy, yet considering the fact everyone heads to the market after Iftar does create immense problems for the police,” says Yasmin Ahmed who lives nearby.
Parking at the market has remained a big problem, as elsewhere across town. However, some smart people park their cars in the nearby residential sectors and then walk down to the market.
Tariq Farman, who once did business here, knows the market’s culture really well. He suggests parking a short distance away. “People who come here spend a lot of time; they are not serious shoppers and most only come to do the rounds.”
As the activity at the market gathers pace, the shops doing roaring business, however, are the
bangle sellers — an item on every girl or woman’s ‘to-do’ list as is the ‘hinna’ or more popularly the ‘mehndi’.
The high prices of bangles do not seem to bother buyers. “Eid and weddings are the two occasions when we wear bangles; otherwise they hardly ever get a mention,” says college girl Sofia Nasir.
Her mother regretted traditional jewellery had become restricted to just formal occasions. “I think we should be proud of our traditions and keep them alive as this is our identity.”
Women and young girls familiar with the quality of bangles elsewhere point out those at Jinnah Market were the best. “They look very good to me — the colours and designs,” said Sarah Khan, a student.
As always bangles remain a hot item but the juice stalls at the market are also seemingly doing well. The bigger shops though find it hard to draw customers.
All in all Jinnah Super, for years, a favourite spot of the people continues to hog the spotlight.