I lived in Delhi for a total of about 4 years and loved it there. I had moved in after completing my studies in Shillong. Delhi, was, in a way, my first big-city experience. And I loved everything about it – the wide roads, the greenery (though was much less in comparison to Shillong), the flowers in the winters, the multitudes of shopping options, the sheekh kababs and the chaats. But yes, I hated a lot of things about Delhi too – that I couldn’t walk as much as I would in Shillong, Delhi’s snobbery, its flashy lifestyle, its ignorance of anything to do with North-East India….
But somewhere the ‘love’ outweighed the ‘hate’ and I still have fond memories of the time I spent there. Of all the things I like about Delhi, Delhi Haat perhaps occupies a special place. It is so charming — the very air about it is so eclectic, so creative, that my heart leaps even now when anybody mentions it. And so, when a friend recently told me that she would be travelling to Delhi on work and would have half a day to spare which she wanted to spend shopping, pat I pointed out, Delhi Haat. The Delhi Haat, opposite INA market.
Shopping At Delhi Haat: For, Delhi Haat has been my one-stop shop for Indian ethnic and chic wear (much like what you get in the Fab Indias) and Indian crafts. From jutis (ethnic leather footwear) to brightly dyed skirts to fabulous ethnic jewellery to beautiful stoles and sarees, you are sure to go bonkers here if you wanna redo your wardrobe. And mind you, they are not the jazzy tele stuff that you so dislike. As I said, they are chic and ethnic. And then there are the ever classy home furnishings, be it Orissa’s ikkat or Kashmir’s floral embroideries or Rajasthan’s vegetable dyes or Gujarat’s applique work – you’d be spoilt for choices here. There’s pottery too, cane furniture, amazingly creative lamp shades, home decorative items, wood furniture from Kashmir, et all. Have I told you about jewellery? Well, you get silver ornaments, ornaments made of sea-shells in Orissa, beads jewellery, bags from West Bengal. Before I run out of breath, it will suffice to say that the kaleidoscope that is India, is reflected in true colours and diversity in Delhi Haat.
Food At Delhi Haat: And in case shopping didn’t entice you at Delhi Haat (frankly, I’d be forced to think you are made of iron and steel if you didn’t find Delhi Haat good enough for shopping), go for the food. Food from the different states of India – Momos from Shillong/Nagaland, Fish Fry and Chop from West Bengal, Idlis and Dosas from South India, Chaats and Kachories from Rajasthan. Here is paradise for the foodie!!!
Performing Arts @Delhi Haat: Delhi Haat also provides a stage to artists from all over India to showcase their skills, be it in dance, music or theatre. I remember being elated seeing the Bamboo Dance by beautiful Mizo ladies on one occasion. Brought back memories from school days. Street plays by young theatre groups, villagers playing beautiful folk music with instruments you normally don’t see, songs from the soil – see them all here in Delhi Haat.
As I said, my heart leaps whenever I think of this beautiful cultural melting pot of a place. And then I wish I could fly down immediately for a heart’s fill from this pot.
Go ahead, spend an entire day here!!!