It is hard to believe we’ve been living in Delhi for 6 months, and it is starting to feel like home. Delhi is unlike anywhere – anywhere. It is chaotic. It is crazy. It is vibrant. It is diverse. It is an assault on the senses and an encyclopedia in juxtapositions. I can’t claim to understand it any better today than I did when I arrived, or even when I visited 7 years ago. In 2.5 years when the time comes to say goodbye, I will still be scratching my heard and tripping over my words about what best to stay about Delhi. The normal has become abnormal, and the abnormal has become everyday. I don’t blink an eye when I see a family of 6 riding helmetless on their motorcycle, or, a cow munching grass and blocking traffic in front of DLF Emporio – one of the most luxurious malls in the country claiming brands such as Jimmy Choo, Burberry,Versace, and Gucci. But, today I realized something. Amongst the madness and the chaos, the cows and the tuks-tuks, the chai-wallas and men peeing on the streets, there are big bits of Delhi that I really truly love, and I haven’t been telling you about them. I hit up two of them today, (can we say post Valentine’s day -husband we’re going shopping bribery?!?) so I thought, time to start sharing. Let’s start with my first Delhi Delight –
Dastkar Nature Bazaar (shopping)
Show me some love: Dastkar brings together artisans and craftspeople from across India to showcase their amazing work and sell to the shopping-addicted. As Dastkar claims “the urban consumer is exposed to the incredible, range, variety and richness of the unique craft traditions and styles of handlooms and handcrafts from the many regions across the states of Indian…and seeks to establish a mutual respect and appreciation between craft consumer and craftsperson through this direct interaction” Translation – you get awesome, unique stuff, and your purchase directly (and positively) impacts craftspeople across India. The prices are very reasonable as well!
Where in the world: The bazaar is located at Kisan Haat, Andheria Modh, near Chhathapur Metro Station, New Delhi. As it can be a bit of a trek across town, I recommend heading out on the weekend, when you have less traffic to battle, which leaves you more time to shop. For more information: http://www.dastkar.org/ or their facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/dastkarsociety
When: Do check out Dastkar’s webpage/facebook page as although there is a permanent stand of stalls, many of them come and go. There are several two week bazaars throughout the year including the Basant Bazaar, Winter Weaves, Nature Bazaar, Fun Fest etc., Each session features different types of crafts and themes…so you have no choice but to check out all of them.I have, and they have all been awesome.
Treasures: I have picked up everything from beautiful hand-painted Rajasthani puppets, to handmade soaps, to carpets, to jewellery, to laundry baskets, clothing, to toys, to plants, to kids arts and crafts sets, to spices. And I have been oh so in love with everything.
Bring along or leave behind: This is a wonderful and very family friendly place to shop. The stalls are colourful, and there is a center stage, which Max loves to hop around on. The fun fest featured giant paper mache puppets hugging the kids, and there are always great snacks to be found at the food stalls. The crowds – at least around 11 when it usually opens are just fine, and it is even quite stroller friendly. And, did I mention, there is often great entertainment ranging from music to dancers, to puppet shows.