"Very Sexy Women's Wear" @ GK1 M Market
During my first two days in Delhi, I spent a lot of time at M Market in Greater Kailash 1. Markets here are really gated bazaars made of a central square surrounded by shops. Both N and M markets in GK1 are designed that way as are the residential enclaves.
What I love about the markets I've seen here so far is the juxtaposition of Esprit and United Colors of Benetton with downtrodden junk shops. M Market has a basement bookstore, standalone vendors with piles of gorgeous $5-10 shawls and scarves, designer jeans stores, spice shops, cafes, restaurants, local shoe stores like Bata of either cheap practical looking shoes or more upscale local designs, fabric and sari shops, the tiny dusty and hot as hell basement cybercafe from where I checked email while in GK and took the passport picture that stood between me and a sim card. Then there's the take out shop that sells chinese dumplings and nan-wrapped indian faves of mine: chicken masala and saag paneer.
I was always entertained during the hours I spent here. Shopping although exciting usually stresses me out in the States but this was a different experience. The markets here really are places where the city comes alive. While the shops themselves are quite clean, the sidewalk, alleyways and building facades blacken anything that touches them. The whole thing comes together well though and, along with the contradictions and hustle and bustle, makes the place lively.
I guess you could say that just as India itself is a contrast between wealth of some and poverty of many, technology on the one hand and illiteracy on the other, these markets have elements of both western shopping malls and dusty Haitian and African street markets. High end items such as United Colors of Benetton pairs of $200 jeans and banal everyday necessities such as the used eletronics junk shop where I purchased my $2 indian ac adapter mix and mingle. Now I see why Deeya's eyes lit up as she recommended the Delhi markets and thrift shops. (She was the Indian twenty-something returning home on break from her London arts program who sat next to me on the plane.)
I became intrigued with these "very sexy women's wear" signs that were all over the market after reading Lonely Planet's recommendation that foreign women not wear overly revealing clothes. Precisely the opposite of "sexy", let alone "very sexy". As I bought shawls to wear when walking in the street on my own, I wondered long and hard about that contradiction. But my decision was only partly influenced by the LP tip; I wanted some of that elegance of the draped silhouettes of Delhi.
More M-Market Photos.
Technorati: gvdelhi2006 - delhi - india - greater kailash - GK1 M-market