For all those of you who love the traditional kitsch – this one is for you. Tucked away in the byelanes of Lajpat Nagar IV, in one of the most unexpected corners of Delhi, is what you may easily drive past thinking of it as the odd kabariwala market. It is only when someone points out, you take notice, realize, discover and rediscover, till you eventually fall in love with this amazing maze of a place. Well, maybe not, as I should probably warn at this point, that this is definitely not one for the faint –hearted. For if you are one of those that prefer your furniture brand new and sparkling, sitting pretty in a mall within almost life-like setting, this is not the place for you, as you are likely to be disappointed and probably end up wasting your time. I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with this school of thought – I am myself all for minimalist Ikea-like pieces and do the odd round of Home center and other Lifestyle stores every now and then!
On the other hand, if you are one of those who love to discover and experiment and create along the way, this place is bound to have you at the word go. There is a certain sense of excitement that goes with this place that I can never explain. Its almost like a treasure hunt each time, not knowing if I will find what I am looking for or like more often than not, will I come back with something that is completely different from what I was after. Its one of those places where you go expecting the unexpected. For nobody can predict what you may find on the day!
Whether its an antique piece that has come in from an embassy or a household that has just been auctioned off, or one of those odd Tibetian hand painted chests that continues to be supplied by the sole artist in Delhi, you need to look hard to spot your treasure here. Dont be surprised at the many lookalikes for some of the pieces though! Not every piece here is antique – our local carpenters do a fantastic job of replicating old pieces here too, especially with the lived-in, worn out paint look that so in these days. Also, almost everything sold here is pure teak or sheesham wood, so you know you are getting your value for money at almost half the price of larger furniture stores – what more can one ask for?
Certainly, if you have been looking for a centre piece or a bit of furniture that speaks “character”, this is the place you need to go to in Delhi. Just ask for the “big Gurudwara” in Amar colony, Lajpat nagar IV, and you will hit the right spot. If you are buying a large piece of furniture, ask your guy to deliver it home and they mostly do, anywhere in Delhi for a small charge. Either way , even if you don’t end up buying anything, its one of those places that are always fun to visit. The shopkeepers are accommodating of newcomers as they are with hardcore regulars, and there is never any pressure to buy. You are welcome to wander, admire the uniqueness and experience the charm of this place. Dont complain though, if you magically find yourself drawn back time and again, or find a new love for all things old!
A kind contribution from Puja Basu for Housedelic!