I have a small shop in Barhaj Bazar near to my village. It is a general store kind of shop in which we keep almost all items. Shampoo, Oil, Biscuits, small bags wallet, etc. My father was retired in back 2014 and was trying his hands on it with my elder brother Ravi. I got a call from my father one day. He told me to buy some stuff from New Delhi like perfumes, deodorants, bags, etc. He said to see margins first and buy things from a wholesale market. I have never done this. “Take Anil with you to the market”, said my father. My brother was having an exam, So he didn’t come.
After researching a lot about it, I did not find anything, So I called my friend Shah Rukh who lives in Delhi only. He told me that Sadar Market is best for it but he was not sure. I found that there are many markets in New Delhi. Markets like Paharganj, Chandani Chowk, Sadar were there where I can buy things. I chose two markets, Chandni Chowk and Sadar. I have to buy some gear for my Osmo Action camera so I chose Chandni Chowk first. On 13-Feb -21, I planned to go to the market.
My brother was having an exam so he didn’t come with me. I got late on that day and left the room at around 12:30 pm. As I was on my way to Hauz Khas metro I saw these two children probably brother and sister. The girl was trying hard to climb a wall and could not climb so his brother helped her to climb that wall. I loved that so I took a picture. The boy said,” Bhaiya video kyu bana rahe ho”. “Because you both are cute,” I said smiling and rubbed his head, and went forward to catch the metro.
It was just 25 min ride from Hauz Khas to Chandni Chowk. I used to watch these pictures at Delhi metro station. After clicking some pictures for my blog I took my metro towards Chandni Chowk.
The Metro Story
There was a moderate crowd but still, I didn’t get any seat. When you enter a metro you see everybody has their own story. There was a man perhaps talking to his boss regarding some printouts. He was shouting as the network in the metro was weak.
There was an old lady standing in front of me. She was staring at the boy for a seat but the boy didn’t offer. Another old uncle came and stood in front of that guy. The guy gave his seat to the old uncle. The poor old lady’s face turned red seeing this and it made me giggle. There were two girls sitting back right side corner. They were having the most important discussion on dresses. One of them was saying and the other was only listening. My stop came. The old lady and old uncle got their seat. This employee who was talking to the boss stopped his conversation but the conversation among the girls was still on.
The Market Story
I reached Chandni Chowk. When you just enter the market you will see a lot of dresses which reminded me of the girls in the metro.
People shouting and convincing you to come inside the shop. I started to wander searching about the wholesale market. Red Fort was just in front of me. I saw many things there. There were these guys selling bags, lady’s items, soft toys. I did not have any idea. I started to talk to this bag boy and he told me that every bag was for Rs. 200 no matter what the size is. I called my father and told him about it. My father is new to the business and he did not enquire much and asked to buy 5 of them. I was not sure that the price is ok or not so I called my friend Shachi as she has a shop at his home. I clicked some photos and send them to her.
As a smart business girl, she said that it is ok to buy for 200 but buy a bigger one, not the smaller one. That made sense to me. I want to research more so I told him that I will buy it later. I did not find any other item which my father told me to bring. So I started asking people. The majority of the people said to go to Sadar market. So I started my journey to Sadar market which was around 2 km from Chandni Chowk. As you go ahead you will find that there are a number of shops related to wedding clothes, bags, sunglasses and if you want to eat there are tons of options available from McDonald’s to Haldiram and many street foods.
I just covered half the distance and started feeling hungry. So I took some chole kulche for Rs. 30 only in the middle of the crowded market. I was unable to finish my hunger. It was spicy also. I did not go for another plate after thinking of “Delhi Belly”. After it, I started again my research. This guy, chewing paan masala suddenly stopped me asking to buy some wedding dresses. “Do you know about some wholesale market for perfumes, deodorant ladies bag all such items,” I asked. He smiled and called “Rajesh come here”. A skinny guy came running to me. “Sahab ko khan k pass le jao”, the man said. Ladies item, bangles everything you will get, said Rajesh taking me towards the shop. We were going into gullies. As we go deeper and deeper, the people becoming less and less in numbers.
I was a little bit frightened because I was going to some unknown place and with some known guy. We stepped up to this very small in width stairs which go straight up to a room. As we were going upward, my heart starts beating faster. We were in some different world. I could see very few people especially old age and an old uncle making tea in the corner.
My fear vanished as I saw that shop full of duplicate ornaments and there was a girl sleeping at the billing counter. Rajesh knocked on the door twice. She was still sleeping. After few minutes a guy came from nowhere. He looked very strange and angry with his black kajal in his eyes. Maybe he was Khan. I told him about my list. He said he does not have such items giving weird look to Rajesh. Khan said to buy those jewelry items. I told him I do not want these items. Rajesh insisting me to buy some. I denied politely. We left the place.
Rajesh was a friendly guy. It seems that everybody in the market knew him. So I requested him to bargain for bags which a person was selling a few distances away for me. Rajesh agreed to it. With full confidence, he went to that bag seller and asked him to give 5 bags for 150 per piece instead of 200. He told the seller that he needs the bag for his family. The seller denied with double the confidence looking at me with some strange looks. “Buy 1 for 100 bags it will be of 200/piece only,” said the seller. I giggled at it. Rajesh tried again but we were unable to crack the deal. I signaled him to leave the deal but liked the way he dealt.
I was happy and thankful for his effort. After taking some pictures with him and started walking to Sadar Market. He also gave me a contact number to buy my items from the market.
As I was heading to Sadar market, I saw a shop full of hand-made scents. It was Gulab Singh Johari’s shop. It was crowded. People were asking for different scents. It seems to be like these people were making scents for years. When I entered I felt wonderful mixed fragrance and there were a number of tiny scent bottles to choose your own scent and I must admit that these were far better from those branded deodorants. People were coming inside and saying “Mera wala scent nikal dena”, and I started thinking which one is mine.
I asked him for a rate list or something like that. He told me that they have a website. I searched it but the site was too slow. I planned to buy 6 bottles of different scents but was unable to choose. More people were coming inside so I decided to buy it later in the evening as the boys were very busy.
As I moved further, I started feeling hungry. I saw this Dhaba like shop. He was selling butter naan with some paneer daal. That was not bad for 40 Rs.
After some 30 mins, I reached Sadar Market. It was more crowded in comparison to Chandni Chowk. I again started asking people for a wholesale shop.
Finally, I got a person who took me to a shop like what I was searching for. He also took me to some thin and smelly gullies and the same stairs as in the previous case. But this time I found it. There were different kinds of deodorants, wallets, powder, etc. As I entered this skinny guy chewing some masala started convincing like anything. He was so fast in talking that I even I can’t think. I told him to keep quiet. There were 4-5 shops adjacent to each other. All were looking like eagles to me looking for some poor rat. I called my father but the network was not available. My phone network never stays with me especially when I need it most. I was a new buyer and they all knew it. I was unable to bargain. This guy again started to convince.
Finally, I made my mind and took some deodorants, wallets, and belts. As per my calculations, it was a great deal for me but their smiles were saying it was their best deal. After payment, this guy who was convincing was like take these items in your hands only. They do not have any bags. I told him politely not to be over-smart and arrange something for it. Finally, he kept all the things in a box, tied them up, and gave it to me.
I took a visiting card and as I was leaving, all other shop owners started convincing me to buy any other stuff. I denied it and went outside. As the items were heavy so I purchased a handbag for these items. It was really crowded. There were a number of street vendors selling items on the busy road. I saw a policeman taking materials from a poor seller who was selling at the roadside. The guy was begging to leave him but he was not listening. I have seen this type of situation earlier also. To survive in this world of business you must have two things money and power. There were a number of sellers but the policeman only caught that poor man. That seller might be hindering the road also, who knows.
Back to Room
I started walking towards Chandni Chowk. I took 6 bottles of scents. It was already 5:30 pm. I came back to buy those bags but the seller has moved his stocks. I called my father to tell him what I bought. He asked to return to my room. The nearest metro was Lal Quila. I was in the queue. I was afraid that the policeman at the scanning section will interrupt me to take these items in the metro but I still kept these items for scanning. A guy was in front of me. The police personal who was at the scanning machine asked him,” Quarter or Half?”. The guy replied, “Full”. The policeman asked him to go by bus. I entered the metro premises and was laughing at this.
I reached Hauz Khas in the evening. I was very extremely tried. As I was returning I saw this picture of Gandhi Ji saying,” The Future Depends on What You Do Today” and my tiredness became half.
After reaching Begumpur I took my evening tea, packed some tea and biscuit for my brother, and went straight to my room. It was a wonderful experience and a great day.