Money from Junk

Hey guys I am back!! I am feeling really good while writing a blog again. Last few days have been sad as well as tiring for me. My uncle who was fighting cancer since last 3 years expired on 22nd April. It was a huge fight for us and a great loss for me. Since I was a child, I have grown up with my uncle more than my parents. I was quite devasted for the last month in hospitals and after his demise as well. I was planning to write a blog when I completed 2000 ‘approved uploads’ in here, but never got time or the mood. So here’s one that’s coming late but then might prove very useful.

Since I mentioned of the hospital due to uncle’s illness, I have been quite confined from planning any shoots or going somewhere outside the city to shoot the rural areas which often do. Doing photography without a plan and concept in my mind is something I cannot do. There has to be a definite thought and direction. Thinking for a long long time I decided that this time I wont do people ‘though they sell more’. I felt I should go for objects this time. Again it wasn’t much of an excitement to sit down home collecting my objects and setting up a shoot. I neither have a studio nor an SLR. I decided to go off the hook this time.

There are markets in India which some of you can relate to as flea markets or garage sales. But they aint so small. This is a market which is called as “CHOR BAZAAR”. Chor means Thief and Bazaar means Market. In the old times, smugglers and thieves offered many things for cheap than market price here. Later on the law put a curb on it but then this market ended up becoming one of the largest USED ITEMS market here. A huge road almost a kilometer long is closed one day for the market to be setup. Its all set up on roads. Like a tent for every shop. You can get all imaginable items here right from clothes, food, music, tools to antiques, gym equipment, computers and other electronic items.

It started with suitcases in all kinds of sizes available. There were weapons like axe and choppers which can also be used as tools for gardening but the people selling them were tribes who mostly use them as weapons and are often used by low-profile criminals for murdering. Tools were in abundance. Things like hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches/spanners, pliers and many more were stacked in huge piles or sets containing different sizes. There were some old rusted tools also. There were auto spares which consisted things right from horns to gears within the assembly of an engine. Anything could be found in this market.

Computer accessories were also quite in demand. You could buy loose motherboards or a whole bundled CPU. There were accessories like mouse, speakers and keyboards stacked up as if they were in a garbage dump. There were microprocessor controllers which were used in 80s and early 90s for training of engineering students. These often helped students learn programming in HEX. Some of you who have done engineering might remember the 8085 and 8086 processors which were used for such purposes. There were other electronic items like music systems and cameras.

The fashion section had anything from normal clothing to trendy sunglasses. There were many blankets and fabrics available in traditional Indian handloom designs. These fabrics or blankets have a huge international market. Such items are one of the highest exported materials from India. There were antiques like brass lamps, God sculptures and also crafted small shoes in brass. A huge collection of antique coins from the 15th Century and strangely also some government documents or laws passed by the british government in the past. There were memorabilia like the Newspapers declaring Indian Independence or the demise of Mahatma Gandhi.

The overall shoot was quite tedious. Consider a 3 hour walk on a stretch of 1 km under the blazing sun showering temperature of 40 degree celcius. It is a less distance traveled but more tiring because the place is so crowded. Its even hard to stand at a place. Someone is always pushing you or nudging you. Again you doing photography in such places creates the usual inquisitiveness amongst the shoppers and the shopkeepers. Was fun though. I have posted a few pictures in this blog, there are a lot more available in my portfolio.

Now you can imagine why named this blog “Money from Junk”. Is it only the shopkeepers who made money out of that junk or photographers like me too? What are you waiting for?? Grab your cameras and rush to a strange place like this in your town :).



Photo credits: Nikhil Gangavane.

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January 23, 2009


I know this comes a bit late but sorry about your uncle. We keep people we love in our hearts when they are gone. They stay there for ever...

Well, about the shoot. I think it's great what you did. I will try it. I have places like this to go in my home town, Buenos Aires. I'm just wondering about the comercial value of the images. While I like them, I'd thought they might have been rejected for not being stock oriented, or something. But I'll give it a shot (or a hundred shots... ).

Best regards,

May 06, 2008


well done for the pictures ...

May 04, 2008


His memories in time will replace the pain from your grief. Sharing your hurt is one step closer. I am sorry for your pain. Think of all the good times and joy you gave him in his life.

May 04, 2008


Am so sorry for your loss. I wish you and all your family the strength you need for this time.

Also wishing you all the best with the images above, they are great!

May 04, 2008


Thanks Denise for the condolence. Its really hard to watch them go through the treatment.

Its nice to know that you feel like shooting some sales like this. I guess in open market its easier but at private homes maybe you could take permission from people you know. After-all you are not shooting people.

May 04, 2008


i am so sorry about your uncle. i know i lost my dad to cancer, it is a horrible thing to watch them go through.

wow what a great blog and images. i want to do this sort of thing and never get out to do it. ours are mostly yard sales at private homes, a little harder to deal with. but occasionally there is an open air market, i will be more anxious to go after seeing your shots.

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