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To market, to market


Abhilasha Ojha  |  New Delhi 

Is really mandatory for the
They say an Indian wedding trousseau is incomplete without a trip to Delhi's Going by that word, I'm trudging the bylanes of Old Delhi's charming side, along with my shopping companion, and we are home to complete chaos, muck and a heavy downpour.
Our destination is CTC Mall, a place where heaps of nine-yard wonders, salwar suits and other wedding ensembles are gathered in different corners on two floors of the shop. We are led to the second floor where, behaving like a seasoned buyer, I ask for a "Ritu Kumar-style salwar suit".
My response glavanises the salesperson into throwing out a range of clothes: "Ye raha, madam, wala style, Sabyasachi wale dikhayein? (Here, madam, style, should I show you Sabyasachi too?)"
Most saree shops conduct what they call "a draping session". This involves draping a saree or a suit over your clothes, with the help of a velcro belt, for customers to have a better idea of what they are buying. I go through the exercise with élan and here's my verdict: Anyone feeling low should rush to a saree shop.
The salesmen flood you with compliments, insist that you look like a beauty queen in that crepe outfit and that no one on earth can carry it off better than you because it was created "only for you". That said, within the next minutes the salesperson gets my plastic card, swipes it in a jiffy and there, I'm the owner of a "Ritu Kumar-style outfit".
And now begins another story. "The finished outfit will be ready day-after tomorrow," says another salesperson dryly. "But I need it tomorrow," I demand, having paid a bomb just seconds ago. "Can't be done," he looks at me condescendingly. "I've just paid you a lot of money," I thunder. He looks away. Thankfully the first assistant rushes to the rescue, luring us with tea and biscuits and, more importantly, asking his colleague to shut up.
My next visit (to collect my suit) leaves me slightly tizzy when I learn that the entire ensemble has gone missing. "Didn't you take it back, ma'am?" "No, I did not," I offer, ready to whip them with the Swarovski-studded sarees lying on the floor.
Five minutes later, (after much confusion) I am finally given my precious outfit. "We have so many customers here that this confusion is almost necessary," quips the old gentleman at the counter, as I leave. It's enough shopping for me.

First Published: Sat, March 24 2007. 00:00 IST