06 May, 2021

Learn It By Haat

Apart from its inimitable allure, Dilli Haat also offered an entirely new retail model

Narendra Bisht
Learn It By Haat
When I went to Dilli Haat a few months ago, I bought an imperious bronze monkey and a delicate gold silk stole. The time after that, I had an inordinately flattering portrait of myself drawn in charcoal pencil, and purchased patchwork cushion covers. And the next time, I bought tomato seeds and a gaudy bejewelled hairpiece, and saw a turbaned 10-year-old on 10-foot stilts.

You never know what to expect when you take a trip to Dilli Haat. There's absolutely no point making a shopping list or an itinerary in advance. What's more, since each craftsperson has a two-week stint selling his wares there, something which catches your eye on one trip may well disappear by the time you return, so gratification must be immediate. That, along with cleverly positioning the food a long walk past the wares, is one of the many sales tricks that makes Dilli Haat the widely admired and replicated retail model it is today.

Jaya Jaitly, Dastkari Haat Samiti founder, came up with the idea way back in the early '80s;...

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