This week, we decided to explore the areas around INA Metro Station, located at the southern part of Delhi. This Metro station serves as the gateway to two of Delhi’s most popular shopping destinations — Dilli Haat and Sarojini Nagar. Also, INA Market, located just opposite to Dilli Haat, is a favourite among expats for buying imported grocery items. We started by exploring the Metro station, which in itself is very interesting.
A piece of art here
The INA Metro station is done up like an art gallery, a first-of-its-kind by the Delhi Metro. It surely gives an arty high the moment you get down from the train. The 58 panels of paintings, such as Gond, Warli, Pithora, is a welcome break from the advertisements displayed at other Metro stations across the city. Saris from various regions of India are also on display. But to buy any of these, you need to exit from Gate 1 and walk to Dilli Haat.
This open-air has a food plaza and a craft bazaar, where artisans from all over the country display handicraft items — jewellery, home decor, accessories and clothes — round the year. To beat the chill in style, you can pick up a pure pashmina shawl from the stalls here or just browse through the saris priced between R2,000-12,000. Don’t miss the Madhubani paintings priced as less as R100. We bought a fish-shaped paper mache wall hanging. We also loved the beautiful Jamdani silk saris from the West Bengal stall, priced at R1,600. For food, start with vada pao available at the Maharashtra food stall. We also liked its Kokam soda. Another quick refresher is the blueberry flavoured coconut water available at the Coco Loco kiosk for Rs70.
Before big departmental stores came up in the city and started selling imported vegetables, INA market was the only place that stocked up broccolis and asparagus. Diplomats and expats still frequent this market for fresh seafood, vegetables and fruits. Many shopkeepers speak French, German, Korean or Chinese. But this market is not only about imported food. We saw shacks selling handlooms, garments, jewellery and dinner plates.
If you are looking for some good bargains, head to Sarojini Nagar Market, two kms away from the Metro
station. Take an auto or just walk the distance. The market, which is frequented mostly by youngsters, sells export surplus garments, shoes, bags and accessories. Check out the fake UCB sweatshirts priced at R250. We bought a pair of woollen gloves for R30. The mobile carts also sell socks, legwarmers and woollen caps ranging between R30-150.
On our way back to the Metro station, right outside Dilli Haat, we saw few women with a mini stall, where they were braiding hair in colourful threads, for R40 (medium length hair).
Heard in the metro
Chandni Chowk ke liye upar jaiye!
What was your CAT score?
Udhar jao, varna fine ho jayga
She gets over-friendly with guys
Main aur Pinki sab jante hain
Uska breakup ho gaya!
Reading in the Metro
Life of Pi
An adventure novel by Yann Martel in which the protagonist Pi Patel mans a sea voyage, after his ship wrecks.
The Catcher in the Rye
This 1951 novel by JD Salinger has become popular among adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion and angst
Music in the Metro
Tera zikr (Guzaarish)
Mundyan toh bachke rahin (Boom)
Dilli (No One killed Jessica)
Tere mast mast do nain (Dabanng)
Not always reliable!
Last week, I was waiting for the Metro at the Malviya Nagar station. But after a long wait of 30 minutes, the Metro arrived. Nevertheless, my journey was disrupted throughout. I got late for my office and was marked as a latecomer. The Metro can actually be inconvenient sometimes.
-Rahul Pratap, a Metro commuter
INA: The grocery shops in INA market sell imported food items, ranging from marmalade to bottled olives;
A foreigner checks out some beaded jewellery at Dilli Haat
It is the second oldest underground metro in the world
It transports about 1.5 million people daily
It runs over 214 km and stops at 380 stations
The network is so extensive that almost every building in Paris is within 500 meters of a station
Many of the stations are famous for their architecture, representing the Art Nouveau style