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With inputs from Garima Sobti

First published in Jammu Enquirer

Jammu after a long time is emerging as a place of investment. The opening of Wave mall, is an example of that. But, are people ready to adapt to this western concept?

Raghunath Bazaar, one of the oldest bazaar in Jammu, holds a special place in the hearts of the localites as well as tourists. Most believe that this bazar is what Jammu is famous for and this is where they shop, not in mall. Small dhabas like Billu di Hatti and Pahlwan di Hatti are preferred over KFC or McDonalds. Apparel brands are available in local markets too so what is the need of a mall here? The Jammuites who love their local flavours are not yet ready to give it up for the ‘mall culture’.

The irony that lies here is there is no electricity for household consumption but the mall is lit till night despite being virtually empty.

The population of Jammu, be it lower class or upper class both are proud of their local markets. They don’t want the glam of the mall. Though the mall is only three months old and it might take time for Jammuites to get used to it, but the spice of old markets won’t leave their palate.

Other metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have taken a decade to be mall savvy. It wasn’t instant. And it might be the same with Jammu. But like Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, Raghunath Bazaar would never leave its charm for people. Things which are traditional will always have an impact over people rather than materialism.

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