Chunky jewellery, trendy clothes and colouful footwear welcome you to Linking Road in Mumbai's Bandra suburb, a street that gives you ample choices to stock up your wardrobe in style.
In fact, the mile-long road is a conglomeration of New Delhi's Janpath, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar markets that are popular for trendy clothes, Indian wear and footwear respectively. Linking Road offers everything these markets have and more by way of branded goods too.
Depending on which side you enter from, the first thing you will notice is an array of shops offering both practical and fancy footwear in different shapes and colours that will tempt you to buy every pair, while designer bags and clutches at throwaway prices add to the temptation.
The place is also a haven for accessories, belts and street food like spicy and tangy pani-puri, bhelpuri and sev puri, as also regular coffee shops and food joints that get their share of dedicated clientele.
The stalls are grouped according to the goods that they sell. If you are coming from the Bandra station side, you will come across Indian traditional clothes first, followed by shoes, bags and then accessories. Further along is the regular branded wear.
If you are keen on buying stuff from here, just remember that bargaining is the key word. As a thumb rule that, of course, doesn't apply in the branded stores, don't pay more than half the quoted price. If you are not good at bargaining, forget about coming here. For instance, one can easily get a clutch for Rs.100 and footwear for Rs.150, if one knows how to bargain hard.
The road is always thronged by people, starting from college youngsters dressed in hot pants to burqa clad ladies, from foreigners to outstation visitors. This is not surprising as the market has everything for everyone.
Arif Khan, who owns a shoe stall, can't keep count of the shoppers he gets every day. "The rush here never ends. We are occupied all the time and every day. I have a work force of five and still, it sometimes becomes very difficult to attend to each and every customer," Khan said.
"Especially before festivals and on a holiday or Sunday, it becomes very hectic. There are times when we don't get time to eat our lunch. You can't take it easy. If you don't attend to a customer, he or she has a choice to go to another shop. We have to be attentive and good to every customer," added the man who has been in the trade for over a decade.
Sugandha Pathak, a college student, comes here regularly to upgrade her wardrobe. "It is a one-stop-shop for everything. I come here mainly for bags, shoes and accessories. There is something new or the other every week. If you are a regular here, you will know what is the latest in the market," Pathak explained.
She also pointed out that one should first stroll around and check out the market completely because the many options can be quite bewildering.
"Don't be in a hurry to buy. If you are getting a clutch for Rs.150, in the next shop you might get it just for Rs.100. Patience is the key and to get the best item at the best price, you need to put in some efforts," Pathak pointed out.