Revisting Janpath, yes despite being in Delhi, I had not shopped there in ages. Sangeeta (my sis-in-law) and to be doctor niece (Ananya) were the reason for this re-visit. Their enthusiasm for the shopping was infectious. The place looks the same but the pavements are full of artificial jewellery in metal, clothes, home furnishing and more. It took half an hour, for the old enthusiasm for Janpath and the bargaining prowess to take hold. And then it was three cheers to shopping, shopping and shopping… in my Dad’s parlance – buying, buying and buying..
The pedestrian road from the open area before New Book Land, till the road connecting Jeevan Bharati is lined with shops on both sides selling a humungous variety of jewellery and clothes. It is in junk jewellery, it revels. There are neck pieces, very unique for garba, for simple night outs, for gifting. The patterns and designs are refreshing and the choice is huge. Almost all shapes and sizes of ornaments are covered. We came across kundan neckpieces with enamel work at the back, looked nice, inexpensive and fun to wear. There were snake shaped gold coloured bangles twisted like a spring. There were mang tikkas, arm bands, baju bands, pajebs, nose clips, baalis, chaand baalis…
The other attractions, clothes in a huge range. With winter not yet having made its appearance when we visited a few days before Diwali, clothes were predominantly for summers. So short skirts, tops, patchwork pyjamas, shorts, leather skirts, crop tops, shirts, ponchos, hoodies, T-shirts with attractive images and slogans were everywhere. Bling is still in and one can see it a host of cropped tops .
Nostalgia - Janpath was a huge draw for all of us while studying. It had the maximum of export rejects and one could get the best of clothes at throw away prices. Of course, it came at a price at being shouted at back home (my mother) for picking up rags. Though that is another story that I was initiated into Janpath and its fun aspects by my Dad. He had an eye for the unusual and picked up some great stuff. And even I felt it had some outstanding stuff. There was the Annapoorna Restaurant which served some good cakes. Sadly it is closed.
Shop Timings – 10 onwards is a good time. Think it is open till 8 pm in the evening. It is open all the 7 days of the week. The pucca shops may be closed on Sundays.
Where – Janpath Footpath market, near the Indian Oil building.
Highlights – There is a man selling excellent brass ware affordable in the middle of the market. The bags in the beginning of the huge open space near New Book Land, the circular book shop in the middle of Janpath behind the Indian Oil building.
Insider Tip – Depaul’s is still there, but it is not what it was. The lemonade and ginger ale counter does not work. Though the range of cold coffee available has increased and it is DELICIOUS. There are host of flavours from hazelnut, mocha, cappuccino, vanila. It comes in take away bottles with the brandname on the bottle. Very different from what the ambience once was. But still popular. There is a stall selling Momos outside which is equally filling and tasty. The paneer momos were specially good. There ia another Dolma Aunty Momo shop next, which we did not try. The Bookstore next to it which used to always buzz with activity again sadly was not open. Depaul’s used to be such a cool hangout…well things do change.
While Shopping – bargain and bargain, 50% upwards thumb rule. Though
once you buy a few products, you will get the hang of it.