Street Play – the bazaars of Noida

by Panchami Menon

Noida bazaar

Living in Noida for almost two years have made me grow extremely fond of Sector 18 market, Gautham Budh District, Noida.

Being a South Indian, what amazed me about North India is the extremity of culture. In this Sector 18 market which is adjacent to the Sector 18 metro station, you can find different types of clothes-western and ethnic, wallets and travel bags, etc and the best part is the bargaining. What would be labelled for Rs 500 can be bought for a mere Rs 250 or Rs 100 if your tongue knows how to dance.

Now, when I visited in summer, you’ll be welcomed by the cool drinks, the hot parathas, the ice cream cones, the golas, and everything that gets your mouth watering during a hot sunny day. The market is crowded with biriyani stores where a kg of chicken biriyani is sold for Rs 100! The smell of melting butter on hot paneer parathas will make you forget how dehydrated you are during the summer rush. The jalebis, gulab jamuns and rasgolas are definitely going to get you into a sugar high.

However, watch out for the street kids. No, don’t worry, they don’t steal, but the harsh reality is that they are denied their right to education and are forced to beg. Please do not encourage this by giving them money. What you can do is buy them food. I always do this.

Now it’s the time of chills, cool breezes, sweaters and warm mufflers. Enter sector 18 market during the winter season. You’d be surprised by how the scenery changes. The buttas or the charcoal heated sweetcorn have always been my favourite. Would you believe me if I told you that once, I’ve travelled all the way to this market to just savour this delish? The mix of lemon zest and peppery salt on buttered charcoal-heated corns will leave you craving for more. And if you’re a weight watcher, there’s sweet potato chaat available which is too tasty to be ignored.

Everything from cycle repair shops to chaat points, best-selling books which are sold at half the original price are available. You can also find a beautiful plant nursery from where you can enhance your green thumb.

Visit this market once and you’ll experience a day in the life of a local Noida-wala.