‘Saddar’ is one of the busiest and happening market in Karachi. Empress market which is a huge wholesale market is mostly crowded with domestic consumers and hawkers, selling household items. Grocery which includes vegetables, fruits, meat and diary products of all varieties which are available in abundance. The cheaper prices and the fresh vegetables compels majority of individuals to make their daily purchases from Empress market, along with the pro’s the inevitable con’s makes it very complicated for young women to shop. The male dominated region makes it a favorable place for male consumers to shop. However the irony in our society is, it’s the women who participates mainly in grocery shopping.
The Empress Market History– Constructed between 1884 and 1889, the Empress Market is one of the busiest and renowned historical structures of Karachi that traces its origins from the British raj era. The name commemorates the Empress of India, Queen Victoria.
Physicality: The open ground is occupied with various small hawkers, stalls and selling agents. The sellers are like the bosses ruling over prices and distributions. The unrefined ,crude ,dis-respectable and foul way of communication is something very normal. The walking space is quite conjusted and thus makes it very difficult for buyers to make their purchases quickly.
This makes shopping for grocery very time consuming. majority of the laborours are busy attracting consumers so that they can get hired for carrying the load.
How I feel in the Space:
Visiting Empress Market was never a plan as I was forced by circumstances to accompany my mother for the grocery shopping. My childhood experiences for the Empress market have never been fascinating or positive ones. The unnecessary staring of different buyers and sellers makes one feel like an alien and uncomfortable. The noise pollution, the never ending negotiation and bargaining between the buyers and sellers instigate unnecessary mental stress.
The street cats and dogs munching on animal waste makes the place unhygienic. The fear of wild street dogs chasing was a constant concern. The crowded place makes it very vulnerable and allows diseases and germs to be passed on. The spitting of pan and the clear staining on the floor and walls, trash and animal waste disposal attracks dangerous insects and bees.
References Pictures: http://www.pakistanaffairs.pk/threads/58504-Karachi-Time-Machine