Unlike Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar market is very familiar to me. I grew up visiting this market a lot, and I know it like the back of my hand.
A and I also have some history with this place. All through college, this had been one of my favorite shopping destinations. I loved buying clothes from here and I still have some very pretty tops in my closet that I got from there (One of them is a karva chauth present from A… we did the secret karva chauth fasts the right way, with gifts and all :p). I have also done my fair share of shoe shopping here – always loved the pretty sandals I would find. And the junk jewelry!
There is a lot of choice with the variety, and a lot of choice with the cost as well. I have bought the cheapest things, and the most expensive things from here.
Once, I even bought beautiful sheer curtains from here, and changed the way the windows in my Delhi house looked. In short, there have been innumerable trips to this market.
One of the first places A and I went to for wedding shopping was Lajpat Nagar. I wrote about our initial trip here. The first time round, we really did nothing but take in the sights and sounds. Nothing much had changed in the last four years. The shops were still the same. I knew what corners to round and what ‘gallis’ to go in instinctively, and it was fun rediscovering everything.
I made multiple trips to Lajpat after that – some with A, and some without. I did not shop much for clothes from here though – the neighbouring Amar Colony market was better for that, I felt. But there are a million other things on a bride’s shopping list that I got from here.
I made trips with my Mom to look for things like the note ‘haars’ she needed for various ceremonies. We explored the tiny by-lanes for jewelry. I bought a whole bunch of earrings for friends back in Toronto, and I even checked out the bridal jewelry these shops carried. I was amazed at the variety a 2-foot little shop could hold. I did not buy anything from these little shops, but it gave me a good idea of what suited me.
What I did get from Lajpat though, is my bridal nosepin. I got it specially made from a store called Khoobsurat. All the nosepins I had seen till then were either too big or too small. I got it made to order and it was just right – a regular Goldilocks story :p
Shoes for all events came from here as well. Once the clothes were finalized, or semi finalized, I took out half a day for shoe shopping with Mom. I love the store Stilettoes, and it was so easy to find my bridal Cinderella shoes here.
Saw this at Stilettos – such a cute idea!
I think the best feeling is coming home after a day’s of hard shopping absolutely bogged down with bags!
I remember taking my brother along on one trip, and he was the quintessential tourist. He hates the open markets, but still went along. He took pictures, was worried about drinking the roadside juice, thought autos were such a cute invention. It was worth dragging him there just to hear all this, and to expose him to vintage Delhi :p
Couple of pictures taken by my ‘tourist’ brother :p
My best friend flew in from the States a few days before the wedding. I had cleared out my day for her, and we went to Lajpat to shop for her family back in the States. She was on a shopping spree, and it was so much fun for the both of us! We bought saris, suits, kurtis, shoes, tights, jewelry, ate too much junk food, and just generally enjoyed ourselves.
I was so thankful for the November weather – there was no way I could have made all these trips in the scorching heat. It was so much fun visiting my childhood, and college market for my wedding shopping. I cherished every trip there, and made a ton of memories.
With A, it was not just meaningless trips- we did manage to get some stuff done. There were many instances where A and I shopped for significant items. Many times we were alone, some times we were with others. For some reason, the times we were alone stand out in my memory.
My mom in law had given me the job to find a suit with a heavy bridal ‘chunni’ that would be put on my head at the Sagan ceremony. A and I went looking for this, and bought it from Chhabra 555. It was a beautiful tomato red suit with heavy work on it, and the chunni was perfect – exactly what I had in mind.
I remember the look in A’s eyes when I put that red chunni on my head in the store. I remember our eye contact at the time. We talked, but not with words. It was a quiet, happy moment snatched from between the madness. There were times when we quietly reveled in the fact that we were getting married in days. Moments where the significance of the event would push through from between the shopping. Moments like these.
And if there is a definition of romance, this was it ❤