Ashiana Market: Adventures of a Lawn Geek
There are several reasons why Ashiana Market, located next to Gulf Market Karachi, is Saba’s go to:
Hot weather? Check. Sweltering summers on their way? Check. Exchanging cups of tea for neebo-pani? Perhaps. Follow the trail of clues and we know what is coming. Game of Thrones? Nope, it’s the Game of Designer Lawn. Stop, people. Follow this journey, all about this place, the surrounding area and the service it offers to all those willing to share it.
From Gwadar to Chitral, Lahore to Mirpur Khas, the brave and courageous women of Pakistan will gird their loins (metaphorically speaking), and march into battle. Screeching cars will pull up to malls and designer showrooms, where harried staff members will be inundated with hordes of ladies waving lawn catalogs in their faces. If you are one of these tenacious and determined women, good luck and god bless.
If you can’t be bothered to stand in line for the latest collection, why not try your local cloth shops instead? As a Karachi dweller, I love my lawn, but I don’t love standing in line for hours. Most of all, I hate the exorbitant price tags attached to designer lawn. Therefore, whenever the seasons change, and summers beckon, I head on down to Ashiana Market, near Schon Circle, Karachi.
An indoor market (a blessing was given hot Karachi summers) it comprises narrow pathways and tiny little shops surrounding a central hall. Aashiana Market is a treasure trove of silks, satins, lace, lawn, jamawar, muslin, brocade…you name it, they’ve got it. It is a veritable Ali Baba’s cave of riches and you can find literally anything over there. A close friend once got the most exquisite black lace saree at a throwaway price.
I hopped on over to Ashiana Market last weekend, desperate to add some colorful cool lawn to my wardrobe. As soon as I stepped in, I was regaled by the cries of the shopkeepers, promising the latest lawn and swiss voile. Bales of muslin and cotton fabric, dupattas hanging above thin metal poles, stacks of lace and jamawar all around…it was quite difficult to be able to focus when there were so many lovely things piled around. Calling on me to buy them and take them home (yes, I have a severe shopping problem).
I walked around the market, snapping a few photos and getting an idea of the prices. After arriving at one of my favorite shops, I chose a lovely blue and grey lawn print and then decided to go ham and selected a couple more. There are so much variety and such lovely prints available that every time I go to Aashiana I wonder why I don’t visit more often. While leaving, I snapped a photo of some lovely dupattas hanging at the entrance of a shop and then headed on home to gloat over my shopping. I then decided to go through my photos and fell in love with one of the dupattas, a delicious mint green concoction with beautiful Kantha embroidery. Obviously, another trip to Ashiana was needed!
Cool, comfortable, and full of beautiful fabrics. A trip to the site of Ashiana Market is always worth it.
P.S. I went back the next weekend and bought the dupatta.