December in Delhi can be quite weird. It comes with mist, fog and smog all gift-wrapped in a suitcase. Despite the chill, however, there is no dearth of people who can be found wiling away an afternoon shopping in Lajpat Nagar. You know Lajpat Nagar, right? It is South Delhi’s stereotypical open market, frequented by a majority of Delhi’s cinematic Punjabis and C.R. Park’s Bengalis, among others. So, when a female cousin of mine from Kolkata fidgeted about how I should buy her a sweater courtesy my new job, I agreed to take her to Lajpat Nagar.
We hopped out of the auto-rickshaw – the driver rather scornful of our lack of ‘change’. How we are supposed to always have exact change on our person, is something I am yet to discover. As also, how these autos always have to “come back empty” from wherever you ask them to go. “It’s all a Delhi thing, Di.” my cousin made a wry face. “Back in Kolkata, the auto walas get bundles from the bank.” Before she could embark upon a full-blown eulogy of the ‘great city of Tagore’, I pointed out a winter-wear shop. “50% Discountt” it lovingly announced. “Shall we go check that one out?” I pleaded. “Of course not di. What kind of store has a spelling mistake shouting right from the door?” So much for her dratted English tuition. Would she mind a lecture on starting salaries in IT firms?
A red overcoat at a shop down the sixth lane appealed to her. This, after she had rejected a lovely (or so I thought) fur coat because it was priced entry-level and “couldn’t be of good quality di” and also a grey jacket with a trendy zipper since “it would look too tomboyish for my curls”. Last time I knew, she had perfectly straight hair. “But I would be curling it for New Year, you see.” Course I do. I saw the afternoon sun slowly slide down the horizon and the hands of my wristwatch complete their fourth complete round. I also saw a few wads of notes dissolve in the goodness of “banta” – lemon soda with masala salt, panipuri, chaat and lunch at Mac Donald’s.
“They don’t have a trial room, di!” my cousin announced at a roadside stall, waving a purple cardigan at me. “How on earth are we supposed to see if this fits?” “I think that’s the point. You need to take a risk.” She shook her head and proceeded to undo the buttons of her sweater, followed by the zipper of the one she had on underneath. I think I heard at least seven pairs of eyes pop out. A mangled dog that arrived at the scene and prepared to sniff all my cousin’s toes salvaged the situation. We fled.
Two hours down the line, we were at a dress store. In Karol Bagh or basically, as far away from Lajpat Nagar as she could manage. I handed out a debit card to the assistant and swallowed as I signed the receipt. The cousin’s eyes lit up as the assistant packed a glittering blue cocktail dress in a supposedly “eco-friendly”, plastic bag. “I think I made a good choice di. This is so New Year-sy! We can always get the sweater sometime else.” she smiled in contentment and hugged me a “thank you!”
In the ride back home, I focused my energies on the comforts of the quilt, a hot-water bag for my sore legs and next month’s salary to compensate for the consequences of “the gift”.“So, see you soon di?” she beamed as the auto stopped near the hotel. Sure, I mumbled. Sometime in the next century.
* This post is a part of the contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Badhai.in. Thanks to Badhai.in, gifting just got simpler this festive season!
He he he he
This is hilarious!
Glad you liked it! 😀
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Hahahaha! That is SUCH a smart girl, will do wonders in life! Think, would it have worked if she had specified before hand that she wanted a cocktail dress ;)? But being an IT professional, you am sure already know of last moment URS modifications and stretch targets? 😀
I dare say you are right. She must have charted her plan accordingly, the smart one. Anyhow, if nothing else, I am now better prepared at sniffing such plans out. 😀 Oh totally DI – in fact, not only did she achieve a stretch target but also manage to well expand the set budget. 😛
From Lajpat Nagar to Karol Bagh! From sweater to cocktail dress! That has to be one smart girl 😀
Ha ha…you bet! I only wish I had known as much earlier. 😛
Hmm…. one thing I miss after moving away from Delhi is shopping for sweaters and winter stuff. So colourful… sigh. Your post reminded me of the good old days.
Colourful is right… Winters in Delhi are super beautiful. 🙂 Glad the post brought back pleasant memories, Ashwathy! 🙂
My God. That was hilarious! It must have been quite fun! All the best for the contest Debs 🙂
Oh fun it sure was! 😛
Thanks a lot, Rebel. 😀
It’s hillarious! You must be all chuckling at your end while writing this post. 🙂
All the best! 🙂
Indeed. And also thanking my stars for gifting options now available. 😀
Welcome to P&P, Gayatri. Thank you for dropping by!
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That was hilarious….I did my engineering in Rajasthan and hence have done quite a lot of shopping in the markets of Delhi…SO the post was kinda nostalgic 🙂
Lajpat is immensely nostalgic for me too. I manage a trip there somehow every time I am in Delhi. Thanks, Jaishvats. 😀
you really took such a cousin to lajpat ??
dint you think of sarojini too after that 😛
Of course your legs would have run away from you 😀
The only place I then thought of was home! 😛 I love my legs too much for any further (mis)adventure. 😀
You need to take me with you I do wonderful things.. like run around shoutin fire fire fire..
He he he he
Let’s do it Birkram bhai..that would be so much of fun 😀 😀
Evil intentions Debo 😛
Bhavia – I am party.. but deb’s might need to leave pune ha ha ha ha 🙂 and she will hate me for that ha ha ha ha
@Bikram: ha ha ha 😛 Perhaps Bhavia and you could do a field trip first and see if the ground is safe. 😛
@Bhavia: way to go. Plot and plan to complicate my shopping. I will improvise on ways to make your shopping ‘interesting’ as well. 😛
OMG!! this sounds evil than sarcastic 😛
Hee hee haw haw! 😛
@Bikram: The ‘Fire’plan sounds like fun. Like, actual fun. That way you will at least clear the crowd so I can check out roadside junk jewellery at leisure. 😛
Lol… your cousin is sure one sample… 😀 Don’t know how much fun the shopping was but it was sure fun to read about it.. 😀
That she is! 😀 I hope P&P doesn’t reach Kolkata. 😀
Thanks, T. Glad it was fun reading…and yes, fun or not, this is an experience I will never forget.
hahahaha…this is hilarious. i usually just hand over my wallet and stay away from the “ordeal” 😀
You are one wise lady, Priya. 😛 How have you been though? I haven’t seen you around for a long time!
😆 The dog appeared on time but couldn’t save you from being a victim 🙂
Indeed a memorable shopping experience. Good luck for the contest!
Yeah… sad, I know. But I am glad he arrived anyway. I dread the proceedings otherwise. 😀
Thanks a lot, ME! 🙂
Please come for shopping with me next Sunday 😛 😛 😛 I’m sure you would run back to your cousin sister 😉
What an inviting invitation, Bhavia! 😛 I am sure it would be one amazing experience. 😛 Let me get back to you on this…