Yes, the first post of the Delhi Diaries is finally here!
The first thing you do when you get your salary is to start planning how to save it and ration it. Hence on a day when we had nothing to do, we chose the most rational way out! We went shopping!😉
Now, we had already been to Palika Bazar (Post coming up somewhere in the future), but we hadn’t had the chance to grace Sarojini Nagar Market.
So, armed with a bag each.and our mobile phones, we set out to visit one of the most thriving and colorful markets I have ever seen.
If you live in Mumbai and have visited Vile Parle East, you can probably imagine what Sarojini Market looked like.
The entrance to the market is colorful, with hawkers spreading their wares out on a colorful mat(chaddar ). Pretty tops and shrugs hung from the fences, scarves lying in a heap, people drawing wares like lotteries, bargaining left, right and center.
How can I possibly forget the earrings, baskets full of all types, beckoning me with their reds, blues, greens and blacks. Jhumkas and feathers and studs, calling out to me to try them. I love earrings, you see.
This was just the entrance though and we had yet to see the labyrinth like Sarojini Market.
We wouldn’t be Indian girls/women if we didn’t bargain a little at least, so that’s how we started off. With Key chains. Red fluffy Teddy bears and cute bunnies on a key chain. Who could resist such a beautiful item. He didn’t agree to our price, sadly and we bid the smiling teddies goodbye.
Our sorrow was not for long.
Picture a labyrinth.
Now make it three times more complicated than you imagined.
Now add stalls all along the walls.
That, my friends, is Sarojini Nagar Market.
Earrings, Bags, Junk Jewelry, Kurtis, Tops, jeans, skirts. You name it, they have it. At affordable prices.
We had quickly realized that we needed more tops and kurtis if we were to live in Delhi for 6 weeks, and honestly, the ones I bought from this Alibaba like treasure trove have served me well.
The bags at the beginning seemed perfect for my mom, so I wasted no time in laying claim to one. My friends had wares they were looking for, and while following them, I came into this little nook, almost exactly like the Vile Parle Market. A light blue short kurti with three quartered sleeves, flapping in the wind in the light rain. I had to have it!
I did believe that I was done shopping, helping my friends pick something for themselves and their friends and family, when I saw it.
Hanging on a hook, was the most beautiful kurta I could imagine. A light parchment background highlighted the charcoalish drawing of a 1980s city. The red border added a splash of colour to the piece of art. And old soul with a spark of life, exactly like my mom. No gift could be as fitted as this one was.
In total, I believe I bought 1 bag for my mom, 2 sets of earrings for myself (one has black feathers! Yes, I love feathers. Although, I did have to convince the boys that they weren’t real.😅), 1 short kurti , 1 shirt, 1 kurta for my mother and a pair of shoes for myself.
As the day progressed towards dusk, we realized that we had to leave this treasure house. We felt like we were abandoning a ship full of treasure, rare gems and exotic silks as we left the same way we came.
The day still remains clearly etched in our minds though, the five of us, Rinkal with her hunt for shoes and a teabag(a type of top, not an actual teabag), Rutuja – with her enthusiasm for earrings matching my own, and her choice of bags- a favourite of mine, she helped me pick out the kurti and the bracelets right at the start! Sonali, yes, I have a friend with the same name and her hunt for shoes and a nice top, her excellent choice and bubby infectious excitement, Mugdha and her wide smile, hopping from shop to shop with Rinkal, searching for the teabag! And Jay, the calm, quiet boy, who searched and found the shoes he wanted ages before any of us had even picked one!
And so we bid farewell to our Alibaba treasure trove, arms loaded with shopping bags, faces beaming, the Teddy bear key chains that we ended up buying hanging merrily from our bags.