Thursday, 15 May, 2008

Enchanting encounter in Delhi



We were shopping in Connaught Place, my new roomie Anubha and me, when we ventured into ‘churiyon ka galli’ (lane of bangle shops) behind hanuman mandir (temple of hanuman, the monkey god). It is such a lovely place. Imagine about two-dozen shops glittering with thousands of bangles of all types—glass, metal, plastic and many more.
There was a time I loved wearing dozens of bangles in my hand. But not anymore, it feels too dressy. As a result I have stopped buying them also. Whenever I see glass bangles I remember bangle-shopping expeditions with my father as a kid.
Anyways Anubha was looking at bangles in a shop where the shopkeeper, an old man, asked her if we both were sisters because she was shouting to me across and I was shouting back from another shop. Finally I left what I was buying and went to join her. She had some pretty stuff in her hand that she eventually bought. The shopkeeper asked me whether I wanted something, I said no. Then something amazing happened. He gifted me two metal bangles, I was pretty embarrassed and asked for glass ones, he said that since he was gifting me he would be giving me stone studded metal ones. And I got a dose of scolding too for not wearing bangles “Tum churi kyun nehi pahenti ho? Bilayat se ayee ho kya? Humara desh ka riwaz hain churiyan pahenna” (why do you not wear Bangles? Are you from a foreign land? In our country it is the tradition for women to wear bangles.)
It was a very special and touching experience, something I will always treasure. Also it helps redeem Delhi's image to be an extremely rude city at least to me.

2 comments:

  1. the scolding must be an amazing experience. in fact i sometimes expect scoldng from old people standing nereby while lighting my cigerette, but we are living at the age where no one cares as to why a boy of 26 is smoking.

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  2. thanks hamid...really nice to know you read my blog regularly :) yes i think that is amazing about our culture that we can reach out and make people our own so esily...sadly we are loosing it...

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