Rituals at Lajpat Nagar

Central Market

*Picture from http://im.hunt.in/

It was a ritual of sorts. They couldn’t return from Lajpat Nagar without a chocolate ice-cream and a pair of earrings. “How many earrings does your shop now have?” Onlookers and neighbours who came to visit them would often ask, putting on mock-serious faces. That was when she decided to keep an inventory though nothing could tempt her to let her possessions out on rent.

Mom was always a swift shopper and would stack her bags with whatever she needed – items from a neatly prepared to-buy listbefore her companions had even got started. The crowded open-format market had stores to appeal to all sensibilities. However, the crowd was sometimes too much to accommodate dilly dallying from people like her aunt from Assam who took an hour to select a cushion cover for her drawing room. The aunt would finally decide to buy an umbrella instead.

Lajpat Nagar competed with Sarojini Nagar, Janpath and Chandni Chowk as a market for well, everything. They always ended up choosing it over the other, more romantic and oh-so-old-Delhi options. As far as she was concerned, the ice-cream had turned more delicious with time and the market offered her abundant stock for her earrings shop. There was little reason to look beyond Central Market, as Lajpat Nagar was also called by the more anglicised friends of hers.

They told her Mom could not go along to Lajpat Nagar as often anymore; she wasn’t in town. But when she wandered along the alleyways on her own, now grown up enough to go without company, Mom whispered into her ears unseeingly and gave her tips on the newest designs of earrings. She then went ahead with the ritual in record time. She had grown up to be as swift a shopper as Mom.

*             *             *

Dilwaalon Ki Dilli

For all the badmouthing that Delhi receives, there lies herein undying charm. Every Wednesday, find on Saddi Delhi a fresh story from life in the capital. Right from delicious food in Delhi’s alleyways to dreamy winters that paint the skies white.

For a tour through Delhi, from then and now, click here.


30 thoughts on “Rituals at Lajpat Nagar

  1. Pingback: Smell-o-Philia | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I didn’t ‘get’ the story – earrings shop? You mean the girl used to collect earrings for her personal collection like she were opening a shop? Please to pardon my ignorance!

    BTW, I have never visited Lajpat Nagar market. The husband and I usually go to Sarojini Nagar market whenever we are in Delhi – it is more convenient for us. Should go to Lajpat Nagar market too, soon. 🙂 You tempt me.

    • Do excuse me madness. I sometimes tend to ramble. 😀 Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. 😀
      Ah, yes, Sarojini Market is bigger too. But Lajpat Nagar has its own charm. Do let me know the next time you visit. I shall give you tips. 😀

  3. Pingback: Craziness | Saddi Delhi

  4. …of all the markets in all the world, you cannot beat the hustle, bustle and adventure of markets in India, and Delhi for that matter. “Rang Barangi” suits and salwars, shiny jewellery and colourful bangles.
    You have managed to pass over a snippet of Lajpat Nagar into a bitter London. Warm like soup I now feel.

    • Cheers to that! Indian markets are amazing for their splashes of colour, variety and people. 😀
      I am so glad the post warmed your heart. Shopping can do that to one’s soul I have heard. 😉 Thanks a lot!

  5. One other thing that I associate Lajpat Nagar with is the momos and the super spicy dip that you get in Central Market. Slurp!

    I hope you’ll be in Delhi still when I am there next 🙂

  6. Though lajpat has not been on my list since i live far from there , i well connect with the sentiment of shopping in time and the love of earrings is just too much to ignore !!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s