Dave Prager, a New Yorker living in Delhi, has written a smashing appreciation of Nehru Place, the main computer market in Delhi. I love LOVE Asian computer markets, have done since I first had my mind blown by Sim Lim Square in Singapore. I'm going to India to research a novel in September and I'm really looking forward to the computer-market-pilgrimage part of the trip.
All levels of retail sophistication have a presence at Nehru Place, from mom-and-pop-run closets stuffed with 1990’s VGA monitors to gleaming showrooms featuring shiny new brands. I got my Apple power adapter repaired in a shadowy twelve-by-twelve explosion of wires and motherboards and empty cases; the guy who actually did the work was perched in a wooden loft, surrounded by tools, his head mere inches from the ceiling. His effort set me back three dollars, and extended the life of my power adapter exactly one week before it failed for good.
You can’t imagine that this place once didn’t exist. The ancient old man screwdriving logic boards must have learned the trade from his father; the overstuffed cubicles must contain computers dating back to the Raj. Nehru Place is the new subsumed by the old: the greatest advances of humankind brought into a market that feels centuries unchanged.
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