What you see – Located in the Janta Market of Sector 27-D, Chandigarh, Manjit Music is an old booth which has been selling musical instruments since 1995. As you take the shaky metal stairs to reach the first floor of the market complex, you will see Manjit Singh, a Sikh gentleman sitting on a bench, in front of his store. Usually, his teenage son gives him company at the shop and both of them have details of the stock on their finger tips. So in less than a minute, you will know whether you will or won’t get what you are looking for.
What you get - Apart from six varieties of guitars in the shop, all the other musical instruments found here are those used for the purpose of classical or folk/traditional music. These include dholak (a form of drum), dhol (another form of drum), dafli, harmonium, tabla, manjeera, chika, kharthal, and chimtaa. Barring the first five instruments, the rest are available in wooden as well as plastic form. Their price ranges from Rs. 50 to 300. The starting price of a new guitar here is Rs. 3000 and an old one can be bought for Rs. 1200-1500, if available. They also have foot ghoongroo for dancers, both hand-made and factory made types, which cost about Rs. 250 per pair.
The instruments sold here are brought from different cities like Delhi, Amritsar, Ludhiana etc. They sell company-made instruments as well as instruments developed by craftsmen themselves. It is interesting that for some instruments they buy parts from different places and assemble them together at their shop. They often do this for dholak, dafli and tabla. It is for this reason that they have deep knowledge of making of musical instruments too. They also offer instrument repair services, even for those which have not been purchased from their shop.
There are two major advantages of shopping at Manjit Music. First, they offer to accept back their previously sold instruments and even give back 1/3rd of the purchase value to the customer after six month or even a year of sale. But they insist that the offer is valid only, if the instrument is in working condition. The second advantage is that you get to bargain on the already low price range.
They do not seem to take their popularity and great reputation in market for granted. Mr. Singh shares, “If it ever happens that our shop is closed when a customer comes, they can simply call us on the mobile number written here (he points at the number provided below the shop`s name) and we reach here as soon as we can. New customer or old, all are special to us.”
The mode of payment accepted here is only cash.
Our verdict - Manjit Music is a very simple looking shop and yet another example that a book should not be judged by its cover. They remain open even during lunch hours and rarely close on festivals.
Anytime between - 10 AM - 8 PM (Sunday closed)