Photo Essay – Time Out Lajpat Nagar

Non-stop shoppping in one of Delhi’s busiest bazaars.

[Story and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

The sandals are pretty but expensive so Mrs. Sarla Nigam is arguing with the sandal walla to come down from Rs 300 to Rs 200 but the sandal walla knows her heart is into it and so he plays stubborn and so Mrs. Nigam walks out in huff and puff and then he calls her back (Behenji!) and they finally settle at Rs 225 (last price, the sandal walla warns) and all this while Mrs. Nigam is unaware that the purple shade of her chiffon saree has been momentarily glanced at by Arpita, a Delhi University student, who has come to buy capris but is in fact being constantly nagged by Suman, her friend and classmate, to have golgappas and so they stop by a chaat stall where Arpita orders “bhayya, ek plate tikki” which, as it happens, was also ordered by Mrs. Radha Sachdev and her daughter-in-law Akanksha who had left a minute before for Garam Gali where they will buy a red-coloured wedding saree for Mrs. Sachdev’s younger daughter Padmini, due to get married next week, and so both the saas-bahu walk on, distracted by garment stores on both sides of the street, but unlike them Sajeeb Yaqub, an Iranian student living in the area, does notice that familiar old lady (everbody calls her Amma) begging by the pavement on to whose bowl he quickly drops a 5-rupee coin but the poor woman continues to be indifferent till somebody tells her she is being photographed and just at that moment the photographer overhears a college-going girl, licking on a kali-mirch chusky, exclaim “cool” to her boyfriend on noticing the digital camera but it does not impress the boyfriend who warns of getting late for 3C’s multiplex where the film is to start at sharp 7 pm and so they quickly walk away ignoring the two kids collecting garbage and past a family having momos and past Claire, a blonde-haired Australian native, having mutton shawarma in a Lebanese stall where also stand a pair of girls dressed in rather revealing clothes, a daring display of flesh that is being frowned upon by Mrs. Sarla Nigam who stares at the babes while wondering whether to first have Chhola Bhathura at Aggrawal Sweets or to go to McDonalds to buy Vegetable Burgers for the children (takeaway please) and then her eyes move to two contended-looking obese ladies stepping out of Niharika Saree Emporium with five bags which reminds Mrs. Nigam of her own two shopping bags – two shopping bags! Loser.

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Sandal Shopping

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Child’s Bubble

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Saree Drying

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Lemon to Keep off the Evil Eye

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Informal Dress Code

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Forget Me Not

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Mumbai’s Chuski Vs American Corn

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Momo Mmm…

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Wedding Special Garam Gali

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Open Air Jeweller

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Henna Walli

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Ladies Corner

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Garbage Kids

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Buy Me

Time Out Lajpat Nagar – Girls Will Be Girls