Friday, December 13, 2013

Maverick Designer – Mukul Goyal believing in the “The power of product”

My meeting with IIT trained engineer with a further degree from NID was for writing on his Marwari antecedants for the magazine Marwar. Marwari background not withstanding, it came out though in the way he ran his business, what proved extremely interesting was the range of designs for every day products. Quirky shaped human forms doing ordinary things except in a not so ordinary actually extraordinary design, a man picking up weight actually an ice scoop, peeping men, bearing load… a hippo drinking water from a huge lake, actually a serving tray drawing inspiration from the animal kingdom, each carefully crafted into a practical useable product….design with a little twist - welcome to the world of Mukul Goyal. What further makes the designs fascinating is that, Mukul has played around with designs in products which were never considered design worthy in India. Be it bathroom accessories – towel rods, soap dispensers, hardware area the good ole taps, curtain rods, rings…..each offers that little design edge which makes it unique. Mukul has carefully straddled the designer based accessory into a more retail medium.

The first launch was designer hardware – curtain rods. The first of the series was the personal table product – book ends. Called Id of the shadow or that of the inner being, the inner self vis a vis the outer shelf, but it was distorted down to id as in email id…Mukul reminisces.

Speaking of brass, Mukul goes into raptures saying, “I love the material and have a close relationship with it, understand it and can push it. There are subtle nuances which I can bring out when I sandsculpt it by hand. There is the gentleness, the curves, each fall which can be controlled with the material.” Nearly, 85% of their product is sandcasted, it is done to get good form and finish, which cannot be achieved by dye casting. Neither can the consistency be maintained in hand crafted pieces. The products are handcrafted using light engineering. They are made in an industrial environment using craft techniques, which gives it that special edge.

Today, he has two lines – Tatva which has a range in drapery hardware, door handles, door and cabinet hardware, bath hardware and lighting. It is curated for a larger audience so there is something for everyone. This can be varied and customized according to the needs and choice of the customer. The Mukul Goyal line which is a mix of home and personal use products, which is essentially sold as it is. A new collection is launched every year under the Mukul Goyal line while in Tatva it varies from a year to two years.

If you are looking for quirky fun designs for your boring everyday home - be it curtain rods, door handles, knobs, table accessories.. Mukul' s creations are the best bet for it. 


Mukul’s creations are available across the country. There is a limited range displayed at his office cum factory as well in Gurgaon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weekly Markets of Delhi – Shukra Bazaar at Mohammadpur – Safdarjung Enclave


Yes, this one is set up near a village. In days of yore when we lived in Safdarjung Enclave, the market would come right on the main road, Africa Avenue. This is in the 80s. Those were the days when kids were allowed to cycle on the Ring Road alone!

The market used to come up near Mohammadpur village. It still does now, the venue though has shifted to the bylane or road turning left from the Church, when you are driving towards Bhikaji Cama Place. It is the road which leads to R.K.Puram and the famous Ayyappa temple. The stalls start filling in from 3:00 pm onwards during winters, probably it is later during summers. The initial shops are those of vegetable sellers. And these are worth their weight in gold during the winter months. Fresh carrots, with amazingly clean white radish, loads of coriander leaves, long mirchi just the right kind to make into pickles, peas fresh, the lesser known gandh gobis, zuchhini, yam, fresh tomatoes, guavas, pears and oranges… the range impeccably fresh and reasonably priced. Of course, the trick in the trade is to visit the market late in the evening, when the shops are being wound up when one can get bargain prices for the vegetables.

Apart from the vegetables are the rows and rows of sellers selling everything one needs under the sun. There is kachri or dried fryums which one can fry and eat. The quality is pretty decent. Then there are those selling pickles, ground and whole masalas and spices. The Chole Bhature stall with interesting looking pickles of radish and carrots as accompaniments does brisk business. What stands out and are most frequented are the clothes shop selling everything from sarees, churidars, kurtis, cloth and more. The knick knacks plastic buckets, dustbins, mugs, sponge for cleaning utensils, clips, ropes, threads… There are a couple of gypsy women who sell good quality iron girdles, frying pans, tavas, handis, kadais and cups. As also skewers, hand masala grinders, belan, chakli. The quality is good and prices bargainable and affordable. Much cheaper than Dilli Haat!!!

Timings – Every Friday evening 3:00 pm onwards. Go around 5:00 pm when nearly all the shops are set.

Insider Tip – Watch out for the crowds, pickpockets and of course maddening traffic. It is chaotic but if you can handle yourself, your belongings and the crowd, it is immensely enjoyable. Fresh vegetables are the best pick. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekly Markets of Delhi

The weekly bazaars of Delhi are legendary. Decades ago, it was the place where everyone shopped for day to day necessities especially vegetables, plastic knick knacks, masalas, glassware etc. Most of the bazaars can be said to be held next to the villages of Delhi. The origins may have been a Haat or a market for the villages to sell their produce. With time, with urbanization of Delhi, the markets have held their place. Instead of loosing out on popularity, they have gained in numbers and the crowd that visits them. The migratory population in Delhi finds it an apt place to shop for clothes and cheaper varieties. For many lower middle class Delhites, it is a way to beat the inflation. It might not be “the” place to be seen but for many regulars it is an ideal joint to pick up vegetables and fruits. The range is wide and the prices are very reasonable. So for even the upper middle class and above, it is a place to shop for fresh vegetables.


The weekly bazaars are held all over the city, with a day specified for it at that place. Many of the sellers are regulars and are organized through an informal organization. So a seller might sit at a Budh Bazaar (Wednesday market) in one locality and for the Veer Bazaar (thurstday market) in a neighbouring place. When I was young, I remember to have bought a pair of very small glasses made of brass for playing. The seller was a local craftsman who had bought it and on my falling in love with it, my mother bought it for me. I do not know the price, but I still have the wonderful pair. At the weekly bazaar in Saket, Malviya Nagar, there are sellers who bring some wonderful wooden crafts. There are gypsy women selling their wares of iron girdles. The circuit of the participants varies, someone operating in the East Delhi area will have one market every day to cart his wares in the East Delhi area only. The same goes for Rohini, Janakpuri and more. The organizer for a small fee ensures that places are allocated and given to the same person in that market every time. There is also a sense of discipline. South Delhi has seen a reduction in these markets, but I start this series in a bid to document the various Weekly markets of Delhi. Speaking to the organizers and more importantly picking out what can be bought here, any particular ware which stands out…. Here’s to the “village markets of Delhi”, which keep reiterating that despite all the urbanization, luxury malls and fast paced metro like life, Delhi is still a gigantic village at heart!!!!