by Mibu Minami
The cold season is upon us in Delhi and though it will be my 5th winter spent in Delhi; I am still surprised at how quickly the temperature drops. Almost overnight the hot air becomes a cool breeze and the locals go from wearing T-shirts to sweaters. Even some of the local stray dogs get to wear sweaters. (Not convinced if it gets cold enough for dogs to be in sweaters, but the sentiment is endearing.)
The month of November is pleasant, with highs in the upper 20s (Celsius) and not much rain, which makes it one of the best times to be outdoors…unfortunate that it’s also the time when the air pollution level skyrocket. Such a bummer. Yet we adapt, as we have through months of lockdown and now keeping up with “unlock” guidelines…Is it 5 or 6? I’ve lost count.
I admit, maneuvering through this new lifestyle is a challenge and the extra steps of sanitizing and wearing masks can be a pain but through it all I have also come to rediscover Delhi with a new eye.
One of my recent rediscoveries is the elegant Santushti Shopping Complex in Chanakyapuri. Created by the Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association, it is home to several high-end fashion boutiques, from India’s oldest tea retailer San-Cha Tea Boutique to the popular Indian fashion brand Anokhi. Just strolling along the walkways is a nice escape from the Delhi noise and recent cafe and restaurant additions, Diggin and One Degree East (take out only) have made it a nice lunch spot as well. You may not see it with all the green and flowers surrounding Diggin but the outdoor seating space here is very cozy and the food is spot on…perfect place for a lunch date.
Other shops to look out for:
Designer Neeru Kumar’s shop Tulsi sits just across San-Cha Tea Boutique. The facade of the shop is very simple, almost bland with a barely recognizable sign. But once you step inside…it’s a treasure trove! The dresses, linens, handwoven blankets, cushion covers, gorgeous silk sarees, bindi bhandhei-shibori tie dye scarves, jewellery. Her designs are a mix of traditional and contemporary, not over the top with a great sense of style.
There is a wonderful selection of organic skin care and yoga related items using sustainable and high ethical standard materials. Their selection of cork-based yoga mats is not only unique, but beautifully designed.
Colorful linens, bed sheets, kitchen towels and more. A candy store for anyone looking to brighten their home.
Funky graphic designs printed on crisp cotton men’s shirts and dresses. From contemporary apparel to cool graphic art, there is a larger selection of items here compared to their store inside Khan Market.
For the cigar aficionados, this is where to find top notch imported cigars. Not many shops quite like this one in Delhi.
**Masks are mandatory and temperature check conducted at the entrance.
Santushti Shopping Complex
Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
San-Cha Tea Boutique
One Degree East Cafe