Go local, Delhi style

Today, we went to Dilli Haat to attend the Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar. It was the first day of this exhibition. Why, you may ask? Well, I was just tired of browsing Netflix and YouTube for inspiring and fun videos. Really wanted a break from that. So, after a having a heavy breakfast, I and my husband stepped out in our car and hit the highway, from Gurugram to Delhi (INA area was our destination). Although I have been to Dilli Haat several times earlier, I still wanted to spend some time here.

In the first five minutes of stepping inside, I bought a cotton backpack that had block prints on it. Cotton is a better version that polyester backpacks, I thought, while buying it. In the next hour, we just roamed and saw different crafts that artists exhibited there.

Soon, we decided to go for a quick visit to the nearby Lodhi Gardens. Took a rickshaw (our car was parked safely at Dilli Haat parking lot), and walked inside the garden area for a bit. I was surprised to see so many people enjoying picnics there; to them, much like us, the smog didn’t seem to matter. After about an hour of walking aimlessly, we were hungry. But, the restaurant there had a long waiting list, so we grabbed a plate of sweet potato (with a dash of lemon juice and black salt) that the street vendor was selling at the entrance gate.

Then, we took a rickshaw to yet another historic place, Humayun’s Tomb. After entering the main gate, I noticed a huge line for tickets. It was around 2 o’ clock in the afternoon. I almost fainted looking at the queue, and announced to my husband that I have no energy to stand here for tickets. It could take at least an hour for us to just get our entry tickets. “We’ll come back next time, early in the morning,” he said, and we quickly hired a rickshaw back to Dilli Haat.

Once inside the open and crowded area (1st January seemed to be a happy ‘strolling’ day for us all), my attention went to a Shibori dyed Kurta. It was a green piece with white parrots printed/hand-pressed on it. But I wasn’t convinced with the price and gave it a miss. The vendor was from Bikaner, Rajasthan, I noted.

A small stall nearby was selling hand-block quilted bed covers and quilts. These furnishings were extremely beautiful and decently priced as well. I knew if I bought something like these from a website or a decor store, I will be fooled for the price. So, I bought a red Mogra print quilt that I absolutely loved. Though, the print has become extremely common, I thought I might myself have it and not regret later. It was somewhere hidden in the pile of stuff, and I was glad I noticed it before anybody else could.

We were starving presently. After looking at a few spaces (that were mostly distributed state-wise), we zeroed in on Navdanya Organic Food Cafe, where we had Rajma Chawal and Sarson and Makki ki Roti. Both our orders were decent in taste. Soon, we reached the parking lot, and hit the road for home. It was nice to see the sun setting during our long drive. Some great trance music was being played by a local English radio station, and I and my husband were almost dozing off (with our eyes open) at the moment; thank God for our seat belts that saved us from hitting the dashboard.

How did you spend your first day of 2018?

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