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Delhiwale: Where bangle-sellers slept

Public Interest: Take a walk through this iridescent Old Delhi street, once home to choori wallas and now stretching between two worlds

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2017 10:08 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Step into Galli Chooriwallan from Chawri Bazaar where the narrow turning takes you to the land of lakhori-brick buildings.
Step into Galli Chooriwallan from Chawri Bazaar where the narrow turning takes you to the land of lakhori-brick buildings.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Galli Chooriwallan is named after bangle (choori) sellers who used to have homes here, while their shops were in Ballimaran. Nothing of that past remains and we won’t mourn the loss because this Old Delhi street still transports you into a dream land.

You must step into Galli Chooriwallan from Chawri Bazar. The narrow turning takes you to the land where lakhori-brick buildings are the norm. The lane is flanked on the right by a 19-century haveli.

The street ends at Matia Mahal Bazaar. It is made up of a variety of smells and sights typical of the Walled City, including a scene of rickshaw-pullers listening to songs on the radio. It is the opening stretch that is sheer poetry. You may go down this short distance in two minutes but the feeling that the brief walk evokes can be intense.

Looking at the old-fashioned wooden doors and window jaalis, it seems like the old days haven’t passed us by. Overhanging balconies are held in position by elaborately carved brackets.

In the morning, the sun’s rays fill up the street with a golden hue, illuminating it like a museum relic.

Throughout the day, people walk through the street seemingly undistracted by its beauty. A vendor of marigold garlands sits at the entrance; he shares the space with an elderly pavement tailor who comes every day with his Singer sewing machine. At night, the street lamps glow dimly. The darkness is soothing. You feel as if you are walking in your sleep.