Delhiwale: Where art meets veggies

ByMayank Austen Soofi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dec 10, 2021 04:19 AM IST

A startlingly beautiful vegetable shop

The plastic container, filled with neatly stacked green shimla mirch, is defying gravity by clinging to the wall. Little plastic packets, containing corn, are hooked along the wall like a caravan. The bitter karelas, on the other side, are arranged in stand-up position inside another gravity-defying container. And then there are laukis, hanging in front of the counter like a row of chandeliers in a hotel lobby.

Tajuddin Vegetable Shop in central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin takes the art of showcasing vegetables to greater sophistication.(HT_PRINT)
Tajuddin Vegetable Shop in central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin takes the art of showcasing vegetables to greater sophistication.(HT_PRINT)

This has to be one of Delhi’s most eye-catching vegetable stalls. The veggies are arranged artistically. Clearly, great amount of thought has gone into the execution of the display. Of course, it is worth sending a shout-out to many other stalls as well, whose owners deck up their products with care, love and attractive layouts.

Tajuddin Vegetable Shop in central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin, however, takes the art of showcasing vegetables to greater sophistication. The effect is so intense that the awestruck spectator is convinced that the person behind the exhibit is an aesthete of high order. With some shyness, veggie seller Mohsin Qureshi confesses, “I built the new arrangement ahista, ahista (slowly, slowly), over several days.” The slim man, in his 30s, is seated on a chair behind the stall’s counter. Dressed in a black jacket and a cap, he gestures towards his elder brother standing on the street, after whom the establishment is named. Tajuddin founded the shop about 25 years ago, here on the intersection of three narrow by-lanes beside the Nal Wali Masjid.

The shop’s new look is a month old. Tajuddin notes that almost every visitor is gushing at the decoration. “When people stop by to get gaajar, mooli or tamatar, they just want to rush back home. And then they gradually start to notice...”

Mr Mohsin recalls the intense admiration of his close friends. “Akbar, who runs a restaurant in the Basti; Shanu, who is a businessman; Feroze, who has a job in Lajpat Nagar… they all gave full marks to my styling.” Tajuddin says his younger brother has an innate sense of elegance. Mr Mohsin shows mobile phone photos of his home (located close-by on “Karim Hotel Wali lane”) in which he recently made alterations to a room. A new mirror stands out, consisting of a series of smaller mirrors.

The two brothers have six married sisters. They visit their mother every Sunday. Since they prefer to stay in purdah, they haven’t actually seen the shop’s new appearance. “Last Sunday, I did a video call with all of them and showed the dukaan,” says Mr Mohsin. The sisters gushed over the props.

Indeed, every person interested in how artists rustle out art from the ordinariness of their everyday life ought to visit this stall. It’s open daily from 6am to 10pm. Watch out for the peacock feathers crowning a bunch of lettuce leaves.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals