Nai Sarak, Delhi.
Two Metro stops away from Connaught Place is a street that holds the promise of great treasure [at great prices] for the paper / pen / drafting / writing instrument enthusiast. Nai Sarak was traditionally the haunt of the student and professional architect / artist, as well as a source of technical books and manuals for those in the sciences. The advent of CAD and the computer / internet combo has changed all that – or has it?
While many tools of the trade are now virtual and computer based, could there still remain a viable market – one large enough to sustain the generations old stores as densely packed with brands such as Rotring, Pilot, Pelikan, Staedtler, Tombow and Pentel as the streets are packed with people? Would getting to Nai Sarak via Metro be any easier than before, which used to involve driving through dense traffic upto a point about a mile away, transferring to a cycle rickshaw for the next half-mile, and on foot for the next half? Had any of the old stores survived the computer age? If so, could they possibly be in the same business? Was Nai Sarak still an enthusiast’s paradise?
While I compose answers to these all important questions, I’ve put together a set of images from a recent trip, undertaken after a gap of about fifteen years. Consider this a primer to posts that will follow – an introduction to Nai Sarak, and what it feels like to be at the heart of one of the busiest commercial districts in Delhi [this particular set covers the trip down main Nai Sarak only, not the journey to Nai Sarak itself, or the subsequent dive into the inner back lanes of the market].
As the name suggests, it is relatively new [Nai means new, Sarak means road], in business since 1857. Enjoy.
For a full set of images and an overview of the purchases from this trip, please follow this link.