11 May 2011

Magazine Galli, Off Murzban Road

Magazine Galli.

Magazine Galli? No, it's not some Army, Navy, Mumbai Police or LeT arms dump in the Fort area, it's a narrow, dead-end galli near CST that sells only 'new' magazines printed on paper from all parts of India. And for a discount.

Those who work in the Fort area will already know this damp, narrow lane stuck between two buildings. It's situated in a narrow crack between the junk food central McDonald's and New Empire Theater.

Since you are likely to miss it even if you look for it, the above picture will tell you where to find the entrance. From the outside, no one will guess that a wholesale market for all kinds of magazines exists here. Books don't smell. The only clue to what happens deep inside this hidden lane are these posters below the McD sign.

Once you walk inside the lane, you will see these two fire extinguishers but no sign of the Magazine stalls. That's because this long, narrow lane is more like a cave. This is the entrance as well as the exit and it's filled with books and as you know that Mumbai is the capital of fire accidents in India. I hope that they will never have to use these extinguishers.

And then you see the good news welcoming you. Discounts on new magazines.

When you enter the galli through a narrow entrance, you realise that this is a large wholesale market that distributes the latest magazines from all over India and the popular international ones. I never knew that so many different types of Magazines are produces every week or month in India. From trade magazines to News. Sex to children science magazines. You will find hundreds of magazines to choose from. But only the most recent editions. You will not find any old editions here.

You will find Caravan magazine here. The new children science magazine from Amar chitra Katha called Brainwave is here. At 11 in the morning, there were selling the day's newspapers from Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi. That's the kind of stuff I like to look for.

Missing home? Then, you can choose from Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, etc. Name the language and you are likely to find magazines in the that language. Retailers buy magazines and sell them in their niche pockets across Mumbai.

You will also be surprised by the number of 'sex' books on sale, different tongues but same language. I now know that Bambaiya SMS is a popular language. There are best selling books with naughty short messages called Bambaiya SMS with a picture of woman on it. This is how mobile companies make money!

Here's bachelor boy Ganesha, Saraswati, Venkateshwara and Laxmi sharing a shelf with some hot books.

The above photographs could be a square pie-chart of the buying habits of Indian youth. Hot selling naughty books followed by Perfect English Speaking Books, Hanuman and Ganesha stories for eternal bachelors and finally general knowledge. Here's an idea for a magazine. Why not just publish naughty books in English sprinkled with General Knowledge and covered with a nice picture of a bachelor god so that you can read it in a crowded train?

But the truth is that the books mentioned above are just a small fraction of the total sales of the Magazine Galli. There are hundreds of interesting mags to choose from. Make sure that you go there in the morning or early afternoon when it is least crowded. It can get pretty crowded and claustrophobic in the evenings. The market also closes early and is closed on Sundays.


Debu Barve said...

Lively pictures! 'Feel' of this Galli is very well captured.

Curry Spice said...

Wah! my school was right down this galli. I guess. in a parallel lane. Never saw this before. must be cos the school bus dropped us and then picked us up.. not wandering allowed. Will check it out one of these days.

Aakanksha Singh said...

Heya,this is an awesome post! I ve been studying near fort, and have gone to macs many times but didnt know that a magazine galli existed there! Thanks for this info. Will prob check this out!
Keep it up

satish said...

awesome pics, I love the narration behind every image.

cheers and keep rocking.

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