The Chandni Chowk Chronicles – 2 ‘The Elusive Pagdis’

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Chandni Chowk continued to enmate its flavor. While A and I were whizzing around Delhi checking countless things off our list, My Mom and aunts visited CC on their own many times. And each time, they brought back a haul!

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Central Market, Lajpat Nagar

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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!

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Punjab

Days into our arrival, we had gone off to Punjab to wrap up some serious gift shopping from there. We had gone to Ambala with the aim of buying Sagan presents for A’s family. Since we had family in Ambala, it was an easy trip. Plus, I love the drive from Delhi to Punjab… the lush green fields, the little towns on the way… it’s all so very very charming!

I remember stopping at Sukhdev Dhaba on the way – we had the yummiest paranthas ever. Once in Ambala, we had amazing gol gappas, pastries, tikki, lime soda and all other street food. Loved each bite!!

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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.

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Wedding Prep on Steroids – Gift Shopping

I know of friends that spent the equivalent number of months as I did days preparing for the wedding. I was in despair about this from the start. I had just under a month to pull everything together and I was really freaking out about it.

However, looking back, I think it was the biggest blessing ever. Two reasons for this: First, I was not second guessing myself. When I fell in love with something, it was bought. I really listened to my instinct – and I know that if I had more time, I would have thought about it, thought about it some more, changed my mind, and then hated my decision. So I went in with a good deal of research, knowing what I wanted. As soon as I found “it”, it went home with me.

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How I found my Sagan Outfit

For the Sagan ceremony, I had my heart set on the famous Katrina lehenga. I even loved the colours that it originally came in – shell pink with cream and silver.

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I had conveyed this request to the in-laws because they were the ones who were getting me the outfit. However, I was a wee bit disappointed to see just how famous that lehenga had gotten!! Replicas were everywhere, and so the originality factor was zero.   

So I made up my mind to have a look at what was out there. The family took me out shopping last week on Navmi: A, Mom-in-law, Dad-in-law and me, their “to-be daughter in law”, and off we went to Karol Bagh. At this point, I was thinking about one-piece dresses, but continued to keep the Katrina lehenga as a back—up. 

The first few stores we visited had only lehengas and saris – no dresses, and so we walked out. After leaving the 3rd shop empty handed I started to feel a little conscious of the fact that I had my in-laws with me, and I really didn’t want to seem like a demanding girl. However, I really didn’t want to compromise on the dress either!

We stopped my shopping for a bit because we came across Gujrals. A’s and my father-in law’s Sagan outfits were selected here. As we left the shop and were walking around, the clouds gathered, and it started raining, quite heavily.  We ran to the nearest store – guided by A, and it turned out to be Frontier (smiles, smiles).

Here I found what I was looking for! And it was not the Katrina lehenga. After trying on about 6 – 7 dresses, I finally chose a beautiful, floaty net one in rose pink. It had delicate antique work all over the bodice reaching down, and had a huge ‘ghera’.  I felt like a princess wearing it!

Since it was being made-to-order, I got the colour changed to red. The wedding lehenga is a riot of colours but has fuchsia as it’s base, so I did not want to repeat the pink factor here.  Stonework changes to red from pink, and everything else remains the same.

When they heard that I needed the delivery in just about 3 weeks, the shop assistants balked and said the delivery could not be completed on time. Thankfully, a bit (or rather quite a lot) of coaxing changed their minds, and my measurements were taken.

The delivery date is set for 2 days before the Sagan – can’t wait to see how it turns out! Shopping for this outfit turned out to be a memorable experience – the romance of the rainy weather was perfect, and it was like Frontier just beckoned – thankfully, I heeded!

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P.S – shopping with your in-laws is the best way to break the ice and get more comfortable! Bonding over kulfi at Roshans’ really helped me settle down 🙂

 

 

The Rings Are In!!

My engagement ring was chosen by A and I in December 2011. It was made to order and picked up by A this summer. He held on to it and proposed in July, which is when I fiiiiiinaaallllyyy had it on my hand. However, I am so scared I’ll wreck it, and so I have not worn the ring at all. It sits prettily in its box. I think I’ll only really start wearing it after our formal engagement ceremony a couple of days before the wedding. Till then, I am quite happy having it safe in its little box.

We picked out A’s ring this weekend. It looked fabulous on his hand, and the best part is that the rings match. In fact, when we came home and I put both of them together, they really were a pair!

Our ring shopping is unusual because it has been done entirely by us (unusual in terms of an Indian wedding where the whole family goes shopping). However, it has made the experience all that more personal and given us great memories.

There was a sweet romance to the event of choosing my ring- we knew it was the one when both of us went “wow” as soon as I tried it on, an there was romance to the event of finding his ring, where we made a set out of our rings.

The only thing left is the engraving of the rings- we’ll do that next week with a code word that we used all through high school that means “i love you”.

Another check mark off our list- another bunch of beautiful memories made. 🙂

99 days to go- house hunting on, dance choreography on, packing start

Now that we are in the double digits, the fact that we are getting married seems all the more real. The countdown is truly on now!
Things that we have been up to:
We started with the house hunt a couple of weeks ago. Met a real estate agent who showed us some pretty swanky condos, but I thought they were too small. So we’ll go for house hunting round 2 very soon- probably this weekend. I have to say, there is an element of unrealism to this whole experience. Always having lived under my parents roof…and now to live on my own is definitely a bittersweet idea. Stepping into a house and imagining where our stuff would go is a very very foreign feeling- and yet highly welcomed and anticipated. It’ll truly be our love nest… Just hope we find “the” condo soon!!

Apart from that, I met with a choreographer and figured out a plan for dance practices. We have an idea of performing to a medley of 3 songs on the Sagan ceremony. While speaking to the choreographer, i mentioned that A isnt overly excited about doing a performance since he thinks its a bit too cheesy. She said that all grooms are the same. They start off very hesitantly, but by the end, they are more into it than the bride! Lets hope that happens for us! I was proud of our song choices though- they were very uncommen. Practice starts next wednesday 🙂

And then there is the bane of my life – packing! I really need to get my act together and start with this. “stuff to keep”, “stuff to throw”, “stuff to take with me to the new house”, “stuff to take to India” and “stuff to leave here” (yes, im still keeping my bedroom closet in my parents house! Need the storage!). I have all the categories sorted out in my head… Its just the execution that is a problem. Planning on starting this weekend.

But the upside- honeymoon shopping!! With the summer sales on, I have stacked up a good clothes collection 🙂 i have all the basics- tiny skirts, dresses, tops, and the not so basics- printed pants (which i looooove btw!!) so it should be good. Just need to get swimwear now- bikini shopping soon:)

Hopefully I’ll get things checked off my list soon and be a calm bride… Here’s hoping!