Years ago, Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker (architects) had laid the layout of this classic part of Delhi and sure as hell, there’s something about the old offices turned shopping complexes, cinema halls, eateries… People walking up and down the streets. White old buildings shining gold in the sunlight. The tricolor of India fluttering from the epicenter of ‘where the nation wakes’. Broad busy roads, lots of activities here and there – Economy – Central of Delhi. Yes, we are talking about Cannaught Place – the central hub of where all of Delhi meets.
Cannaught Place of Delhi is not just a place, it is a feeling. It is where Delhi’s heatthrobs are felt. The classic white buildings make it worth the while for a stop-stare and wonder session, them crowning the whole place. If you are a Delhitte you know why you’ve had all your East Delhi, West Delhi, North Delhi and South Delhi buddies come down to Rajeev Chowk Metro Station – There’s no better a hangout place in all of Delhi and that’s indisputable! Starting from A to Z, just name it, you get everything in and around CP. Apart from all the gaudy showrooms and bars and restaurants, a large section of Delhiites go
there to buy from the flea markets that CP liberally accomodates. Palika Bazar and Janpath are two such examples. Janpath, the more talked about, especially amongst college goers is a great place to shop from at cheap rates.
This flea market of CP happens to have the best knockoffs available. The sweet claimaints of ‘the latest’ and ‘the most original’ fashion of ‘Didi, aisa kahin nahi milega’ don’t just tell you that it’s the last piece that you’ve had your eye on but also they’ll readily discount you from a 700 bucks to a 150 bucks as you start leaving their kiosk. Janpath is that fun. It’s the daughter of Sarojini Nagar Market (another flea market but way larger) but has a better collection (say the true blue customers). Janpath flea market has two ends, and a straight patch of road with kiosks and stalls on either sides. Tents all decked up with
clothes, junk jewels and what not! The trick is just to have one’s bargaining skills on point. After the shopping is done, Janpath Loyalists usually love to snack on the side with hot steaming momos, cheese balls and coffee – which brings us to Depaul’s.
Depaul’s happens to be a really compact coffee shop on the ground floor of Janpath Bhawan (the towering building adjacent to the market area) dating from the year 1952. Depaul’s have kept their legacy on, never expanded though – grounded and simple – a small shop has been run from years. As you enter the shop, you are startled. At first, what you see is only a cosmetics shop, you doubt yourself if you really are at the right place? Then, at the counter you see this coffee dispenser for hot coffee.
Sounds wrong but Depaul’s sells both cosmetics and snacks and that is what makes them kickass. Just outside the entrance of the shop is a refrigerator that is loaded with bottles of cold coffees, some of the popular flavours being – Irish Cream, Hazelnut, Caramel and white chocolate. Sandwiches, cheeseballs (a depaul’s original) – snacks in general – Depaul’s serves you with the best lip smacking snacking. So, next time you go to CP, having marched the inner and outer circles, leading to a shopping session from Janpath, don’t forget to take a break, sip on some Depaul’s coffee and munch on some scrumptious snack!