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Gurugramwale: The ‘make-up’ bangles of Firozabad

A vanity cart loaded with a specialty from a UP town

gurgaon Updated: Mar 29, 2019 11:57 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
gurugram,gurugramwale,firozabad bangles
Aamir Khan sells bangles from Firozabad at a market in Gurugram’s Shivaji Market. (HT Photo )

Aamir Khan’s bazaar cart looks uncommon. Unlike most carts in the vicinity, here in Shivaji Market, it isn’t weighed down with mounds of grapes. It is instead loaded with thousands of bangles from Firozabad. The UP district is legendary for its glass work and bangles are its specialty.

“I’m myself from Firozabad,” declares Mr Khan with gentle pride. In his late 20s, he says he has been making bangles since childhood. “That’s what we Firozabadis do in our homes.”

Mr Khan’s stays in a flat in Pataudi Chowk, but shuttles every week to his home town to get a fresh stack of chooris.

This afternoon, while waiting for customers, Mr Khan patiently explains the making of bangles. Showing a bundle of plain glass versions, he dismisses them as the most basic chooris that are manufactured in “factories” littered across his home town. “It is at home that we decorate these bangles with shining sitare and jhilmil and make them look like a newly-wed dulhan (bride).”

He picks up another bundle of bangles, all golden and glittering, and says, “See, same plain bangles but after the make-up treatment!”

An elderly woman gingerly approaches the cart. She is interested in the cheaper glass bangles, the ones without the “make-up”. Mr Khan calls her “auntie” and helps her slip the bangles one by one over to her frail wrist. The lady does a lot of smiling and blushing. Following a brief session of intense but friendly bargaining, she goes away happily with her new possessions. Mr Khan gave away an extra for each arm. This beautiful cart ought to be visited for the bangles, if you like, but also because it’s a rare thing to come across. Mr Khan parks his cart daily outside Saloni Sari Emporium in Shivji Park.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 11:57 IST