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The Old Delhi sartorialist

While Delhi Couture Week was going on at a 5-star hotel in South Delhi, we were looking for stylishly dressed men in Old Delhi.

entertainment Updated: Jul 29, 2010 01:30 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

While Delhi Couture Week was going on at a 5-star hotel in South Delhi, we were looking for stylishly dressed men in Old Delhi.

And we found one in a congested lane in Matia Mahal Bazaar. He was selling halwa on the pavement, but actually looked like a vizier in the Ottoman court. His smile was infectious and his beard was dyed with henna. No one in the street was dressed like him.

The man was glowing as bright as a street lamp, though his primary attire was simple — a white see-through cotton salwar kurta, which made sense since it was summer. The shining colours came from his necklaces, from the stones of his giant finger rings, from his golden-yellow jooti and from his red velvet tasseled cap, the Turki topi.

In the old times in Old Delhi, Turki topi was as common as denim is today. The man told us that the cap belonged to his grandfather. Any other person might have failed to carry off this look.

The big stones would have looked vulgar. The cap would have seemed out of place. But this halwa vendor’s elegant persona gelled perfectly with the shiny frills of his wardrobe. If Old Delhi starts its own men lifestyle magazine, he must be its first cover boy.