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Riding the Delhi Wave: Order admist Disorder

Anushi Bhamra

When I first thought about going to a market, the thought that followed was, “Why did I think of that?” It’s a weird thought. I wouldn’t want to step out into both the heat and the crowd – that just isn’t me.

So when I was talking to my friend about this famous market, I was so surprised to hear her manner of expression because she spoke of it as one would talk about their Lover. This got me wound up in a mini thought spiral. I mean, it was a market, nothing more. Or was it?

And so, I decided to go, not because it was appealing, but because I wanted to know what was so special about it. So I got on the subway and took a trip to one of the most popular markets of New Delhi – Sarojini Nagar Market.

The only word I could use to describe this place, is ‘Chaos’; because that is literally what it was – utter chaos. For someone with social anxiety, you can expect what happened next. In the midst of this panic, I realised I was surrounded by sellers trying to sell me these beautiful trinkets – just the type of things I would wear.

Breathing myself out of panic, I told myself to look. Because that’s how I could calm myself down. I went in further and found myself noticing the strangest of things – how people moved, their elaborate gestures, their need to not dissolve in the crowd, to get that one thing they really wanted; it felt like time had slowed down and the realisation dawned on me – that these were exactly the type of places I could sit and sketch. So many elements to capture, so many types of people to see and so many things to explore. Being a design student has taught me that it is a mandate to bring something back with you, wherever you go. And so, that day made me accomplish another one of my missions as I embarked on this new journey, which was to find beauty in this hostile city.

You see, new cities can be quite exciting for some people. But for those of us who travel a lot of places throughout our lives, it’s not that fun after a while. I’ve lived in various places throughout my life. I meet all kinds of people, but most importantly, when I shift to a new city, I could be a whole new person and no one could figure it out. It is probably the only part of shifting I truly enjoy. So, this time when I shifted to such a vibrant city, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I knew how to throw myself into new situations, how to act or react. However, what I didn’t expect was what the city actually threw at me. I mean, the self expression is at it’s peak and even though you may hate it sometimes, you cannot deny the warmth it gives you. It’s the kind of place that will just consume you, no matter how broken you are or what you leave behind. Somehow, you just fit in, and that becomes more comforting than ever.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if you truly want to experience a city, you visit the craziest market that it has to offer. Because that is where no one really cares that you were about to buy that shirt, because dude I called dibs first and now it’s mine.

Anushi Bhamra is a design student from Pearl Academy, who pairs her loyal Converse with long flowing kurtis, which she believes is the perfect communion of cultures – acknowledging both western artistic influence and the Indian culture which she believes is rich, vibrant, ancient, and colourful. She is an avid reader, a stickler for perfection, best understood when you take a look at how organised and colour coordinated all her college notes and assignments are. An eternal romantic, colours and the emotions they convey, inspire her above all else. Her most powerful motivators are family, music, books and poetry. She is one of the founders of Bitter Lemon Snorts.