City Walk – M-Block Market, GK-II
A walk through good life.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is a truth commonly acknowledged, that the universe has three GKs — or Greater Kailashes. GK I and GK II are located in south Delhi, and GK III is much farther in the south of the capital, where it is also known as Goa.
One isn’t sure if the joke is on Goa, or on the rich beautiful people of Delhi, many of whom have their “second homes” in that coastal getaway.
The rest of us might as well get a glimpse of the fashionable world by traipsing around in GK II’s M Block Market. This afternoon, the road leading to it is jammed with a row of long cars — all the way from the so-named pink booth (All Women Police Assistance Booth) to Buddha Spa. Suddenly, a car door flaps open. A woman emerges from the back seat. Attired in a voluminous hooded dress with red tulips painted across the black fabric, she walks straight into a cafe. Inside, two men are chatting loudly over French fries:
“I landed late afternoon yesterday… you won’t believe the heat in London,” one says.
“You must be so jet-lagged,” the other remarks, compassionately.
The market is crammed with cafés. Some have terraces, and others have glass walls through which the outsiders can watch the smart set within as clearly as the fish in the aquarium — one coffee shop has a woman sitting crosslegged with eyes closed.
Just around the corner, a vendor of balloons is walking slowly, stopping by every pedestrian, all potential customers. He goes past Lucky Magazine Stand, a landmark for 40 years, and goes past a tree-filled park. He eventually disappears into a second park, a block ahead, that has a narrow walkway cutting straight through the center of the trimmed lawn.
Perhaps the friendliest spots in the market is the CMYK bookstore. Not for its hefty art hardbounds (one of them costs only 11 lakh rupees), but because the shop is a safe space for the area’s street dogs. This rainy afternoon, Bonu is loitering under a table — a car ran over his leg some weeks ago, forcing him to spent an entire month in the hospital. You ought to drop in here to pat the quiet dog.
Where the smart set is