The Magic of Karol Bagh

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Karol Bagh is one of the larger markets of Delhi, and is a must-visit wedding- shopping destination. I did not have much history with Karol Bagh. I didn’t really visit it in my university days, and hardly ever went there in my childhood. I did, however, make a bunch of trips there for the wedding, and so that is how it is imprinted in my brain.

My wedding was right after Diwali, so all the markets were decked up. Wherever I would go to shop, there was festivity in the air. For the first time in my life, Diwali was a secondary affair. I would even forget that the festival was around the corner. As far as I was concerned, the markets were decked up to celebrate our wedding (narcissistic, I know).

And so it was a ‘Diwali’ Karol Bagh market I visited. And it was super fun! I have already written about my first trip there for the Sagan clothes shopping (here).

When we went home that day (after finalizing our sagan outfits), I was a little uncomfortable about the choices we had made. The trouble was that we had picked out A’s clothes before mine and had finalized a red Indo-western outfit for him. We headed over to Frontier after that, and picked out my red gown.

When I got home, the colours didn’t seem right to me. I worried that if both of us wore the same colour, we would look like a blob of red. I got a nightmare of the two of us actually turning into a blob, and I woke up the next morning determined to change A’s outfit.

When I called him up to tell him this, he thought I was crazy. We were on a very tight schedule here, and the order had already been made. It was only after I almost cried did the poor thing back down.

And so the two of us went back the very next day. I called the Gujral Sons store to tell them to hold the order, and that we were coming back to change it. We headed over in the metro, and had this issue wrapped up pretty quick. We finally ended up picking cream and red as his colours. It would contrast well with my red gown. I did hear A grumbling about how he had to change his choice. I smiled at him, told him it would be worth it – just wait and see, and then also told him to get used to it :p

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On the way to Karol Bagh

The choice of red / cream for our Sagan colours was because we wanted to steer clear away from these colours on the wedding. I was hell bent on not having the typical reds. A agreed with me, and so we decided to wear these colours on the Sagan instead.

We also got my ‘make-up box’ or shringar box for the Sagan made from Karol Bagh. I picked a box, and chose all kinds of cosmetics to put into it. It was so much fun – I have never binged so much on make up shopping before! I will have a separate blog post for the contents of my box later.

I also picked up a few flats for the honeymoon from there. I loved the selection, and bought a pair each in red and black. The stoles were very reasonable as well, and I bought quite a few – they translate very well into my wardrobe here, and give a bright burst of colour to my black coats.

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Yummmmm raj Kachoris we had!!

It was also A’s sister’s wedding a couple of weeks before ours. We bought A’s clothes and jootis for that occiasion as well. He chose a Patiala salwar and kurta, and it really suited him! My baby looked so regal! It was fun picking out jootis to match and we have fond memories of the crazy bargaining we did for them. I was very impressed with the variety of jootis you get here- all colours, all styles.

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I was so impressed, that I actually brought my Dad and brother to the market just for this – to buy jootis for their various outfits. My brother had never seen these types of shoes before, and was fascinated by the all the options. He also found it really weird that there was no ‘ left’ or ‘right’ shoes in jootis. It was fun having a day out with them. Mom was away with my aunts doing something, and it was just the 3 of us. At that point, spending any time with my family was precious.

A and I were so involved with everything, and we were going around Delhi all day every day, that I would only get to meet my family at night. My brother grew up outside India and I had been looking forward to re-introducing him to the city, which I was unable to do because I was just so crazy busy. My parents were doing their own running around with the cards and other vendor stuff. Thankfully, my truckload of cousins looked after my brother.

But for just those few hours, laughing with Dad and bro, the world felt right again – like there was no big deadline looming, like I was not going away, like it was like it always is… the jokes, the stupid comments. I remember that day so well. I bought jewelry for friends back in Canada, we had ‘banta’, then a McD’s lunch, then stopped at a juice stand. Such a regular day… except the shopping we were in the midst of was for my wedding. Sometimes I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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The three of us had a laugh riot after reading this!

I have treasured memories of all my trips to Karol Bagh. Each one was a very distinct experience. Weather it was a day out with my in-laws(for the very first time), or regular rushing around trips with A (here’s another market we romanced in!), or shopping with my family (the regularity of it felt soooo good).

And perhaps, just perhaps – the market really was decorated just for us! ❤

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18 thoughts on “The Magic of Karol Bagh

  1. For a person who doesn’t come across blogs like this, Karol Bagh might be a very tiring market. However, if I ever visit there, I’ll remember this experience and it will add to the colorfulness and cheerfulness that Indian street markets like these exhibit to me. 😀
    PS: “It was only after I almost cried did the poor thing back down.” Lol! Girls all over the world are just the same. 😛

    • You’re right about the fact that it may get tiring…. We were lucky because we visited at just start if winter, and so we didn’t have the heat to deal with, but I can imagine what a furnace it would be in the summer. But there is a quaintness to the traditional Delhi open markets that you don’t see in malls.
      And lol about girls being the same everywhere- so true!!! 😉

  2. your post took me back to karol bagh. i, too, did all my wedding shopping from Karol Bagh (wedding and reception lehenga from Frontier) and I loved those outings. visiting karol bagh was my only contribution to my own wedding – my mom did every other bit of the planning/shopping. but it was so awesome!!

    • I know how you must have felt- the excitement is at such a peak! And the clothes are sooo pretty!

      I was so focused on the actual events that the shopping part seemed like another thing to check off the giant list. Its only when I look back do I realize how much I had enjoyed it 🙂

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