As Gargi College buzzed with the crowd of society fests and the hum of music on the morning of 24th January, the Literary Society set up a Flea Market with the slogan: “Come break capitalism!” After weeks of both students and teachers bringing in jewellery, household utensils, clocks, photo frames, scarves, etc. in good condition, and things like milkshake bottles and coffee jars that could be repurposed into something new, stalls were set up to sell the same at extremely affordable prices.
The stalls lined the garden boundary of the college, greeting everyone who entered the premises with an array of clothes, photo frames, accessories, and even footwear. Accessories saw starting prices of as low as ten rupees, while useable things like earphones too were sold at just thirty-five rupees. Coffee jars were transformed into cute home décor with ribbons and glittering hearts – just in time for Valentine’s Day! – and glass bottles into vases that looked as good as new. Handmade notebooks and folders were a couple of the biggest attractions, with their printed covers giving them a unique advantage over the ones seen in markets.
Fliers were distributed all over the college, to Gargi students and students from other colleges alike; the Flea Market attracted throngs of people to its display of affordable goodies. The accessories stall, glittering in the sunlight of the afternoon with its golden bracelets and rainbow earrings, attracted the largest crowd – mostly consisting of girls, but guys found themselves browsing the stall too! The handmade and repurposed goods also found themselves being sold by the minute.
Most things were sold out by the end of the day as the Flea Market began winding down and the crowds in the college started dwindling. As a few people browsed the remaining items lazily, the evening winds fluttered the stringed decorations and the colourful banner proclaiming “LIT SOC FLEA”, which itself was made out of newspaper. By the end of the day, most things were sold out, and teachers and participants who had been waiting till the end to buy their share bought out the rest.
Everyone who had participated in the Flea Market had lent a hand to the breakdown of capitalism, the competition of rising and falling prices and the rat race of one company trying to outrun the other. In contrast, this was a uniquely peaceful experience for all involved, not having to be bothered by things that look good but have prices to beat out their looks.