A desk to work on!


Is joy having a desk I can work on? Because I certainly feel happy after setting it up! Today, as I sat reviewing my commitments, the topic of Sofa and Desk under A better life in Delhi nagged me to no end. So, I got on my bike and headed off to Amar Colony in search of the furniture market. About 2 weeks ago when my friend from Egypt was around, I’d been to the clothes market, so getting there was easy. And on a bike, I took my time slowly pedaling down the streets to get a feel for the place.

After asking a couple of times, I got directed by the folks there to an area near a temple. Beside it was a furniture store selling office chairs and some furniture repair shops. Could this be the place? Certainly, comparing this venue to the other places I’d been, it didn’t feel like this was it. Cycling down a lane beside the temple, I found myself passing what looked like a junkyard littered with IMAG0156furniture. This, as it turned out, was the fabled furniture market. Also known as Khoka (box/carton) market, this place is filled with piles of furniture of all sorts and shapes.

After a while the pile started making sense. There were alleys going East-West with piles on both sides. At the end of these alleys are the shops which own the material in these alleys. One can spend a few hours just taking it all in, as I did today. I was completely unprepared for this experience.

This market is run by people who buy furniture sold by various organizations or homes in lots. They then sort it out these pieces and mix them in with furniture that they purchase from workshops. All of these odd bits and ends are laid out for the buyer to pick and sort through, as I did today. A friend once told me that you just have to keep visiting the place now and again. It’s a game of patience and if you have a keen eye, you can find some amazing pieces. I guess one could power a showroom using a collection of these pieces. I dread bringing my wife here.

So, after poking around for a bit, I found a desk that seemed to stand out. It was hidden under a bunch of junk. After talking things over with two sellers who offered to customize their wares, this one seemed like a godsend. I got quoted something like 16,000 INR. After some haggling, we settled on 12,000.

As it turns out, a seller nearby told me that its price was around 8,000. Frankly, after some searching in the previous weeks, I’d been offered desks of varying qualities and materials ranging from 13,000 up to 24,000 INR. None of them had felt as solid or as relaxed as the one before me. What annoyed me a bit was that the seller offered to buy it back for half price if felt I didn’t want it. Oh well, that’s a risk one must always take. But now I had a desk. I could work! The world of possibilities opened up for me.

For a chair I hunted around and finally settled on a revolving chair with some lumbar support. A no brand chair, it was manufactured by the shop that sold it and they were willing to let it go for 3,800. On haggling some, the guy said, fine, 3,600 with 200 INR as transport charges. I laughed and said I’d take it without. We shook on it. I let him know that he could drop it next door at the Khoka market where I’d just purchased a desk. The salesman smiled a wry smile, “Smart!”

Coming home, we had to take the door out to move the desk in. And now that it’s here I’ve set it up and set it up just the way I want it. Today’s been a good day!

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