Friday, April 11, 2008

Shopping : Colaba vs. Bandra (Hill Road/Linking Road)


Some debates are never meant to end but are just meant to get more heated - and this is one of them! But it is always nice to analyse both the contentions and read a harmonic conclusion.

Ask any youngster In Mumbai about the hottest, cheapest and trendiest shopping jaunts and Bandra and Colaba always are spoken together, sometime one first and sometimes the other. But funnily when you ask them to pick one, they’d most likely hurl the f word and then more soberly say that its as hard to choose between the two just as a mother fins its hard to choose between two kids!


To begin with, both the shopping hot spots are placed an hour apart. Depending upon where one stays or is at that point of time, that area becomes more convenient to access. Thus, for me I’d rate Colaba a point higher than Bandra just because it is nearer to my house and also to most colleges/work places and hence convenient for students as well as those employed in the near-by work districts (unless you happen to be working in BKC). - 1 up for Colaba!


Comparing the branded showrooms, both are equally placed. Big sports brands, shoe brands and some designer boutiques are at both the jaunts, but Bandra is slightly ahead because it has Kink and other stores that sell MTV and TV merchandise and clothing that the hip- and happening VJ’s and TV anchors flaunt! – 1 up for Bandra! (It’s a tie)


Accessory shops are plenty at both the places ranging from jewellery, bags, belts, shoes etc in both rasta fair and brands. If you compare jewellery stores, Colaba edges ahead because it not only sells junk at throw away prices, but also vintage silver jewellery which goes well with western as well as Indian clothes. In terms of bag stores, Colaba has some nice designer stores, so does Bandra, but Bandra has more variety in the lower priced bags, so overall, Bandra wins in terms of bags. For belts and shoes, it’s again a victory for Bandra linking road. I mean can 10 shops compete with 50 shoe shops in the same proximity?! But for bags, belts and shoes Colaba is less choppy on the pocket! I cannot seem to reach a trade-off so if its style and variety go for Bandra, but if its money also, them Colaba isn’t so bad! (Tie again!)

Clothes horse

For clothes, it’s again a personal preference. If it is dresses, club wear and use and throw cheap clothes you’re looking for, Bandra is way ahead. But if it is lasting stuff, yet affordable stuff, Colaba is a teeny-meeny bit ahead. Colaba even offers Tees in bigger and extra small sizes unlike what I’ve seen in Bandra. Even the proper built up shops in Colaba are cheaper than the one’s in Bandra. Further, Colaba that are more wearable clothes in daily life, unlike Bandra which is more hip. Thus, Colaba inches slightly ahead! - 1 up for Colaba!


One thing Bandra cannot beat Colaba in is antiques. Colaba offers antiques at highly negotiable prices on the streets and in dedicated shops! You can buy anything from a record player, to vase, to elaborate carpets, to brass items and more at unbelievable prices. - 2 up for Colaba!


I am conveniently including eat out joints because isn’t that shopping for food?! Both places have the usual suspects like Mc Donald’s, Subway, Barista, Café Coffee Day, Baskin Robbins etc but both greatly differ in the other eat out joist in terms of cuisine offered. While Colaba is famous for Theobroma (everything sinfully chocolaty), Café Churchill (Italian), Kailash Parbat (Chat and all that), Kamath (South Indian treats), Piccadily/Falafels (Middle Eastern cuisine) etc, Bandra offers Cream Centre (Italian), Kentucky’s Fried Chicken (American heaven), Bamboo Shoot (Thai), Hotel Siddharth (Gujarati Thali) and much more. Plus, Bandra has the famous Elco chat wala and solely on that ground, it wins in this parameter! – 1 up for Bandra (Colaba still leads)

Surprise surprise!

Lastly a surprise parameter is the proximity to other tourist spots! And *drum rolls* Colaba wins without convincingly in this category!


On comparing the scores, Colaba wins by 2 whole points!! But Bandra isn’t far behind! I guess, I have contributed my bit to this debate and have reached a conclusion, can’t guarantee if it’s a harmonious, that’s for your readers to decide!


P.S:- The parameter of proximity to tourist sports has nothing to do with shopping experience, but I added it to show that my darling Colaba wins convincingly *winks* Teeny-meeny bias is acceptable, right?!

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