Shama Sikander: I don’t like to bargain with artisans - Hindustan Times
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Shama Sikander: I don’t like to bargain with artisans

ByAnupriya Mishra, New Delhi
Oct 16, 2022 05:09 PM IST

Actor Shama Sikander feels “logon ka bas chale toh bade bade brands se bhi bargain kar lein”. In Delhi recently, she couldn’t help but get consumed by the infectious festive spirit of the festival, and had a gala time looking at the Diwali decorations in Potters Market near Sarojini Nagar. But also confesses that when in the city, what enamours her the most are gulab jamun from Old Delhi!

It’s been so many years that actor Shama Sikander is visiting Delhi, yet the Capital never fails to charm her. This time, however, she got another surprise as she visited the Potters Market in Sarojini Nagar. The actor who shot to fame with TV show Ye Meri Life Hai and also appeared in Aamir Khan-starrer film Mann (1999), couldn’t get enough of what this artsy market has to offer.

Actor Shama Sikander is awestruck by the beautifully crafted home decor artefacts available in Pottery Market of Sarojini Nagar in Delhi. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Actor Shama Sikander is awestruck by the beautifully crafted home decor artefacts available in Pottery Market of Sarojini Nagar in Delhi. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

‘Never seen so many beautiful diyas’

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On her first visit to this artisanal cranny of the city, the 41-year-old couldn’t help but get awestruck by the beauty of all the intricately crafted products on display. “I really enjoyed this visit, everything was so colourful and nice! There is so much art to see among all these people, and how much they put into making every diya. It has really made me feel grateful and appreciative of them. I would absolutely want to visit this lane again because I’ve never seen so many beautiful diyas anywhere,” says Sikander.

‘Should be conscious of who we bargain from!’

Walking in the lane, interacting with the shopkeepers, she didn’t initiate bargain, and told us: “Bargaining is our subculture, everybody likes to bargain in life because if they don’t bargain, they don’t feel alright to buy something. They feel they’re being quoted high for anything from 50 to 50,000. Logon ka bas chale toh bade bade brands se bhi bargain karein, yeh toh fir potters hain. But I also feel it depends on who we are buying from; if it’s a poor person and if 100- 200 doesn’t make much of a difference to you then I don’t think you should [bargain]. These artisans really work hard and sit all day in the sun to make these little things with so much joy and passion. So people like us should be conscious of who we bargain from! We should put in our thought that these people don’t have much margin... So we need to evaluate that and be conscious buyers. I am a conscious buyer, and don’t like to bargain with people like potters who make small things or earn a small amount of money because they too need to feed their families.”

The actor revealed her creative streak and took a pause to paint a diya, recalling how she did it in her childhood days. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
The actor revealed her creative streak and took a pause to paint a diya, recalling how she did it in her childhood days. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

‘Used to do pottery, love to paint and draw’

The actor revealed her creative streak when in the midst of so much colour. She couldn’t help but sit next to one of the young girls to paint a diya at one of the makeshift shops. Engrossed in painting the artefact, Sikander says, “I used to do pottery as a child. I’m in fact a very artistic person, and even paint. Main bahut achhi mehendi bhi lagati hun. As a child, I used to do so many things that were art related, and would make those clay flowers over pots and paint them nicely. It’s very therapeutic for me. Whenever I feel a little anxious or anything, I just take to painting. It really releases all the negativity and makes me feel positive, and gives me calm and peace.”

Love for Mehrauli’s designer stores and Lajpat market

Diwali is incomplete without retail therapy, and the actor confesses that she loves to shop in the city. “I love the designer stores in Mehrauli, especially, the local designer stores. They’re just so good! Even the Indian wear that you get in Delhi, whether it’s from local markets like Connaught Place or Lajpat Nagar, it’s just gorgeous. Mujhe toh Lajpat jaane mei bahut maza aata hai. Wahan pe itni badiya cheezein milti hain, so exclusive, and itne kam daam mei... it has it’s own beauty. Everything from designer to local wear, it’s amazing here. And if I like something, I take it for my mom as well.”

She loves how welcoming are the people are in the Capital. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
She loves how welcoming are the people are in the Capital. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

‘Dilli wali mehman navazi kahin nahi!’

She moved out of Rajasthan, when she was just 9 years old, and says she loves how Delhiites are welcoming in nature. “Mujhe abhi bhi lagta hai ki Dilli mein jo mazze hote hain Diwali ke, woh aur kahin nahi hote. Everybody is busy partying and they like to host and feed people here. Main kal bhi gayi thi kahi, and the seller refused to take money. I told him that mat karo yaar aise free mei dete rahoge toh kaise chalega. But yes, bahut dil se meheman nawazi karte hain log idhar, dil se khana khilate hain... Hum bhi Rajasthani haina, toh humare yahan bhi aise hi hota hai. Mehmaan aajaye toh hum sab chod chadke unhe khilane pilane mei lag jate hain. Bilkul gharwali feeling aati hai,” adds Sikander.

‘Chandni Chowk ke gulab jamun bahut pasand hain’

On her every visit, the actor has a special demand: “Mujhe Chandni Chowk ke gulab jamun bahut pasand hain. Meri bhabhi ne ek baar mujhe khilaye thay, tabhi se I’ve become such a big fan of them, ki jab bhi aati hun yahan, mai unko bolti hu ki mere liye 2 kilo pack karke rakhdein, taki main Mumbai leja saku apne saath! Aur waise maine gulab jamun aaj tak kahin bhi nahi khaye.”

‘All my style comes out here’

Fond of Delhi’s weather, she says, “Delhi ka culture toh rich hai hi, khaane se lekar pehnawe tak, par yahan log bahut achhe se dress up hote hain. Also, the weather is perfect when it’s just before Diwali. That’s why I love to come here in winter because I can wear my jackets and shawls... All my style comes out here!”

Author tweets Anu_95m

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