A Subway In CP Is Now A Beautiful Nomadic Market & Here’s All That You Can Buy

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Gypsy Market At Its Best

If you’ve been to CP, you might remember the subway on Baba Kharak Singh Marg that was once a sad sight. A place for drug peddlers to earn a living, it wasn’t just unsafe but a ugly underbelly that no one wanted to talk about. Years passed and unsure pedestrians decided to leave things up to someone else.

Meenakshi and Vinay Rai weren’t the regular, nose crinkling couple though. Instead of moping about the sad state of affairs, they decided to go get out of their drawing room and reclaim the space for art and culture.

“We aren’t in it for the money. We wanted to do it for the love of it. So we tied up with eight tribal communities and gathered everything they were making at one place. It, of course, becomes extra income for the craftsmen and we’ve been lucky to get patrons… Not just a one-time customer,” Meenakshi tells us.

It’s a great feeling to see her lounge around as the radio plays out old classics from the 80s. She tells us that the initiative has been fortunate to have the support of the NDMC and HHEC. They got school children to paint the walls and make takeaway bags and kept adding to the collection of finds. No wonder then, that it proudly wears that freewheeling vibe of an unorganised bazaar. Truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way either.

The Treasures That Lie Here

Stroll around at leisure and you’ll find everything from organic honey and beewax lip balm to puppets and planters. It’s fascinating to read the stories that hang randomly over the product shelves or dwell over the photos of the makers. It’s equally fascinating to find mismatched anklets and ghaagra skirts or lanterns and cane muddahs.

Rest assured that it’s all very reasonably priced too. We hear that people actually women get their Fab India kurtas to get more stitched on the same format. Beat that, now!

What else is there? Well, paintings, jewellery, organic food {we got a 1kg packet of khaan for INR 100}, saris, kurtas, artifacts, folk instruments, drawers and dupattas and lots more.

The skirts start at INR 750 and the saris at INR 1,500. This was just supposed to be extra encouragement in case you weren’t excited already.

So, We're Saying...

All in all, this banjaara bazaar is a world away from the swanky bars that have now become synonymous with CP. It’s rustic; It’s got rough edges but it’s literally all heart. You’ll find handicrafts, ethnic clothes, organic cosmetics, folk instruments and more made by tribal communities across the Aravallis. And really, what a way to turn a neglected, dingy alley into a cultural experience.

With inputs from Muskan Bansal


Lover of lamps, wine & boho dresses, Rene is living her best life in Goa. Mention a cool gig or a hipster cafe & you'll instantly have her attention.