Streetstyle in Johari Bazar

December 9, 2008

Jaipur’s old city is world famous. Tourists rush there en masse as soon as they set foot in town. Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, has had its pretty pink face featured in probably more magazines than Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell put together.

It is indeed a lovely old city, especially when compared to the dirty windy lanes of many Indian old towns. The broad avenues set in a geometrical pattern are courtesy Jai Singh, who planned and founded Jaipur in 1727. In hindi, -pur means “city” so Jaipur was conveniently named after its founder, just like Jodhpur was named after Rao Jodha and Udaipur after Udai Singh.

Jaipur’s walled city must have been a delight in the eighteenth century with its wide streets and pretty arcades. Less than three hundred years later, traffic has turned it into total chaos.

Saturday, I even went on a scouting trip to Johari Bazaar

I thought I’d show you my absolute favorite spot. To me it is simply perfection.

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The white mattressed floor of the anteroom, the low off-white desk, the arched wall and the dangling bare bulbs, the faded blue with a hint of green, the cream-colored cupboards and the big white cushions: it is shabby, vintage, delicate and sexy at the same time.

I love love love it.

And then the utter beauty of the office itself, where the two diamond dealers, barefeet and clad in kurta-pyjamas, are reading the papers as if nothing else mattered. They probably have thousands of carats worth of diamonds to discuss, offices in Hong Kong, Cape Town and Antwerp… But right now they are ensconced in the local papers: business can wait.