Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jodia Bazaar - Karachi: The Price Controller of Pakistan

There are many famous bazaars of Pakistan like the Anarkali Bazaar, Lahore, the Zaib-un-Nisa Street aka Elfy, Karachi, Raja Bazaar of Rawalapindi, Kissa Khawani Bazaar of Peshawar and Liaquat Bazaar of Quetta. But there is one famous bazaar of Karachi that is the main hub behind price mechanism control of the entire country - the Jodia Bazaar.

Jodia Bazaar or Jodia Market to be exact is located in the fold of old Karachi off M A Jinnah Road in the naroowand congested allys. One can hardly walk into the crowded streets of Jodia Market as all types of transportation means throng the market which make it difficult to move about freely.

I once had a chance to visit Jodia Bazaar with a friend who was to meet someone imprtant in buisness. From its outward look, as can be seen from the photos below, it looks like a wholesale market of everything that can be sold. 


From all sorts of spices to mobile phones and objecs as small as wooden tops, everything is available in wholesale. But that is the visible part of the market.

Everything from products of cottage industry, homemade items for daily use to imported goods are available in Jodia Bazaar - only you have to be accustomed to the how to go about and strike business deals with seemingly simple and ordinary clothed shrewd businessmen.

What actually goes on the market is the big business - business that matters in the adjusting and maintaining the price mechanism for the entire country as everything from here moves up country. Talking of the friend I was accompanying, he took me through a shabby entrance of a three storied building, outside which an old worn out Opel Rekord of 60s and a brand new Mercedes were parked, besides many other vehicles. Inside the building there were numerous offices, of which one we entered. There in a almost dark room due to load shedding, sat an old man and a young man, whom I was intorduced as father and son. And suddenly my mind wandered to the tow cars parked outside. And I was to found out later that my hunch was right - the Opel Rekord belonged to the father and the Mercedez o the son.

My friend and the old man started talking in terms that were very vague and terms of long gone Anas were used instead of paisa or even ruppes. Then from three and a half Ana, something at three and quarter of Ana was settled. We were offered what should have been a cold drink, but due to load shedding the drink was just cold enough to give a feeling of being cold. I wondered why these peple werent using any generator to keep at tleas the fan working.

When we got out, I complained to my friend how miser the father and sn were for not making them comfortable. He smiled and said that that is how they savemoney even at the cost oftheir health and comfort and earn huge profits and amass money in unaccounatble extremes. As for the commidity prices in Anas, he told me that this was the wholesale profit of the item he was bargaining and imagine a profit of 3-4 anas per kg when talking of tons and tons of commodities spread over dozens of trucks.

This was Jodia Bazaar and the way business carries on from almost 10 AM to late at night. Traders from all parts of the country come here everyday, strike business deals and then there starts road journey of hundreds of trucks up country every day.

Next time sugar price surges, you would now know where has the adjsutment taken place in the country.

Photos Source: Funzug