City Landmark – Choudhary Kishan Lal Jutti Shop, Jacobpura, Gurgaon
Shoes of a different kind.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
You won’t spot such a place in the fanciest of malls. Nor is it easy to find it elsewhere.
A shoe shop in Gurgaon’s Jacobpura in the Greater Delhi Region that sells only one kind of shoes called jootis.
Jooti is not a joota, says owner Bhagat Singh, referring to the Hindi word for shoe. He explains that jooti is a joota but without laces. “You just slide your feet into the shoes and that’s that.”
The jooti is more traditional than the western footwear, suggests a customer loitering around in the shop. “Bridegrooms always wear jootis with their sherwani during the wedding.” In fact, one of the many types of jootis sold here is called sherwani jooti—they tend to be blingy, and embroidered with silken sequins and tiny mirror pieces. Some of the other jootis stocked in the shop are named Jaipuri and Jodhpuri. “It’s tough for me to explain how a Jodhpuri is different from Jaipuri except that one is made in Jodhpur and the other in Jaipur,” the owner says.
A lot many jootis are also made in the towns of Punjab such as Patiala, Mr Singh informs.
The establishment was founded 50 years ago by his grandfather Chowdhury Kishen Lal, whose framed portrait is placed in one of the lower shelves. The business–Choudhary Kishan Lal Jutti Shop–is named after him.
The shop is very small. While scanning the jootis stacked across the shelves, a visitor might conclude that the owner passionately feels for the jooti subculture. That is true only up to a point. “I want to keep many varieties of shoes but there’s no space,” shrugs Mr Singh, as he shows one of his favourite pair of sherwani jootis (650 rupees). Meanwhile, it is impossible not to be distracted by what he is wearing—a pair of sports shoes.
The shop opens daily from 8am to 10pm. Close to the health department’s Malaria Office.
The angel wears jooti