Chasing quilted pillow covers…. and “lambi bindis”

Yesterday we had to get our car serviced and since our favourite service centre, Kashyap Volvo, is in Okhla Industrial Estate, we left early (around 8 am) to beat the traffic and reached in an hour’s time. The Okhla Industrial Estate or Modi mill compound as most Delhites would know it also has special memories – I worked at Spectramind there for 2.5 years way back in 2001. We met Jagdish at the Gillette office which is just a couple of buildings before the Kashyap Volvo service centre. I have met Sanju at the Luxor office right at the entrance when he had just started with Tuff Trak. I also remember the exact spot where I called Mohit and told him that I had to take a few days off for Diwali as soon as I join Hewitt because we had already booked the tickets etc. Funny how it all comes back so easily !!

Since the service would take a few hours, we had already planned on going to Lajpat Nagar to some of our favourite places there. We took an auto and went into the main market, getting off just where they have started the work for the Metro. We then sauntered around and reached the Sindhi Dry Fruit store or more formally Gagan Mal and Sons, 69, Central Market. We were going to the store after nearly 4 years because we went off to Bangalore in 2012 and I came back to Gurgaon in 2013, bought the year’s stock of dried fruits and nuts from them and after that we just bought from anywhere we could … strangely  didn’t go back to Sindhi dry fruit. Our loyalty never wavered. Wherever we bought dried fruits (raisins, figs etc), we compared it with what we would buy at their store and very rarely someone was better. The owner’s son was standing outside while the shutter was being raised and we told him we will come back in a few minutes. He remembered us, as did the store boy who would always pack our stuff.

We went towards the newly placed benches and sat down, watching the market starting to come alive. The time was around 11 am and many stores were just opening. The market was a lot cleaner than what we remembered. In ten minutes we went to the store and bought our stock of dried raisins and amazing big sized figs. We then left the bag with them to go across the market to find my “bindis”. I have a collection of bindis but I always need more as I wear the “Bindi” everyday. I wanted the long “tilak” shaped ones, like the picture below –

Most stores had just the round ones, not even the square or oval ones. I got conned at the first store … he took Rs. 20 for each pack while the stores after him took Rs. 10 for the same pack. I haven’t bought bindis in a long time at Lajpat Nagar and I thought these were for Rs. 20 :):). We walked across to the main road and Krishnan clicked a few pictures to remember how wide the roads are. Once the cars are parked and the usual crowd starts, these roads look like they are single lane roads while its actually a four lane road. We managed to get enough “bindis” from different stores and returned to the Sindhi dry fruit store to pick up our bag and go across to Amar Colony.

We got back into another auto at the same spot and he took us to the main road through “Feroze Gandhi” road ! Wow … I am wondering if any other family has as many roads and projects named after them in any country. I someone came from a different country, with no “google” they would assume that India belongs to the Nehru-Gandhi family…. (yeah, it did and hopefully will no longer be their fiefdom). Ok, that was a irritating note in an otherwise pleasant day.

We went to the Blind school in Amar Colony because there used to be an export surplus store there, which sold quilted pillow covers, curtains and bedsheets besides clothes. I have spent so many hours here buying so many curtains and pillow covers ! This is the store where Krishnan told the shopkeeper, that if he were to run out of curtains anytime, he could call me as I had loads of them :). Well, I haven’t been to that store for nearly ten years now. My last collection of quilted pillow covers are still going strong, but the stock has depleted. I wanted to buy those. We found the Blind school and the export surplus store was also there … BUT, they had only clothes and nothing else. I was so upset … now I have to search for these quilted pillow covers :). I should maybe call Harsh .. he had found this store, so maybe he has found another one that sells these quilted pillow covers.

Anyway, to overcome my sadness at not finding the quilted pillow covers, we decided to go to Govindas, the vegetarian restaurant at the Iskcon Temple to eat Lunch and get over my blues. Again, we were going after nearly ten years and the temple complex has expanded significantly. The restaurant also has been expanded. It is huge. The food is just as delicious and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. My cough got worse, maybe because of all the dust in the air and the auto rides. I kept drinking warm water right through the day but it didn’t help much.

Finally we got back to the service centre and got the car around 4.40 pm … I played with the two dogs that are part of the service centre and that lifted my mood a bit. Managed to read my book “Never let me go” so that made me feel good too. The 2G verdict came out and spoilt my mood further because I thought it was a Supreme Court verdict ! Didn’t realise it was just the trial court verdict. Finally driving the car back made me feel even better. We reached back home and I drank tea, honey plus hot water and kept eating the cough powder that Dr. Harini has given me. Slept a little late with a lot of coughing … but today morning I am feeling better.

I still am chasing the quilted pillow covers and the “lambi bindis” … will find them.

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