Since we arrived in Delhi, everyone has been telling me how I need to visit Sarojini Nagar Market. Each time I comment on how much I like a friend's outfit, 9 times out of 10 the answer is "Sarojini." This is usually accompanied by a smile and the shoulder shrug which translates to "where else?"
"Essentially located in the South West Delhi locality of the city, Sarojini Nagar is one of the most favoured places in the city to buy clothes and fabrics at unbeatable prices. Apart from a large number of large sized showrooms for various international and local brands, the crux of the market is formed by street side shops which sell garments of all sizes, designs, and colors."
After three failed attempts to visit Sarojini, we finally made it. On a day with beautiful blue skies and a high temp of 110 F/43 C. We were armed with extra bags for carrying the loot, bottles of water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.
As with so many other times when we have set out on a new adventure in India, the song "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" kept going through my head. Especially the part that goes...."To see what he could see. To see what he could see." And...Oh, the things we saw.
When you are the first customer of the day, the shopkeepers bless the money by kissing it and touching it to their foreheads. I'm sure there is some sort of little prayer that they say. Above, Kelly and I stand with our first purchases of the day. Blessed and all....
Streets open to alleyways filled with stands, doorways, stalls, and shops full of clothing of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Corners with bangles, bindis, and all things sparkling. Vendors shout from every direction. It is an abundance of over-stimulation to all the senses.
And the bargaining begins. One of my friends decided to trade places with a vendor and do the selling instead. He was very taken with her.
This young man followed us for blocks trying to sell his beads. And, yes, his persistence paid off. Most of us bought some to take home as gifts. He was so sweet and kept saying, "Please Ma'am. It's getting hot. I sell to you and then can go home. It's too hot to stay, but I know you NEED beads. I stay just for you." I got twenty strands for just over $4 USD.
Everywhere I turned there was something for sale. Most of these men probably would have sold the shirts off their backs if I had offered the right price. I came home with 7 pieces of clothing, 20 strands of beads, and a couple extra odds and ends for under $30 USD. Great bargains indeed, but the best part was being out with my friends, laughing, and experiencing a new part of India that I hadn't seen so far on our adventure.