The other day a friend asked me where she can buy organic honey in Delhi. Why? Why did she ask me. Because I’m the biggest believer in all things organic and have been before it became trendy to go green. I’ve been known to go the extra mile to bring home the organic bacon (in a purely figurative sense of course, because I believe in vegetarianism …and besides pigs are far too cute to eat, as well as being highly intelligent, if the film BABE is anything to go by). So, all I want to say, is that I will drive far and long to get organic supplies.

I thought all this knowledge had been blown out of the window with the loss of my organic farm and the large family I used to feed on sprouts and other organic goodies. But no! There it was on the tips of my fingers, and the tip of my tongue. The Maitreyi store at the Aurobindo Ashram – I said.

Dear Delhiites – I highly recommend this store for anyone who is an educated shopper. You’ll find organic dal (pulses) and rice. You’ll find cleaning materials from Neem and Citronella, you’ll find mosquito repellant that is not based on vile chemicals but on citronella. There’s piles of wholesome smelling soap, incense sticks made in the Aurobindo Ashram and smell so pure that its a delight to enter a space that has been cleansed with their fragrance (I’m almost allergic to the commercial aggarbattis that make me wrinkle my nose and often break out in a fit of sneezing because of their extremely strong, and very artificial flavor).

You’ll also find organic sherbets ( which you can’t do without in this heat) and a host of other things. I leave it to you to discover.

One more point. Another friend asked me for aromatherapy oils which she wants to use on her aching joints – lavender and cinnamon. I sent her too to the Maitreyi store. I’ve bought tea tree oil and used it, diluted of course, to treat my cat’s fleas. She wasn’t very thrilled, but it worked.

If you’d rather use natural products on your skin – this too is the place to go scouting. From pure sandal wood powder, to other ayurvedic remedies for pimples or other blemishes – you’ll find it all here. What makes it particularly attractive is the low cost, because of the lack of packaging( Shahnaz Hussain, you could learn a thing or two there) and the lack of a marketing budget, you get to discover it yourself instead of having the products thrust at you constantly. As a result you want them. And they’re far better than many other cosmetics available in the market.

Another wonderful aspect of the Maitreyi store is that they don’t only pay lip service to the ‘no plastic bag rule’. There actually aren’t any plastic bags – so do take your own. I bought a lot of stuff last week and they gave me a carton to put my purchases into. I like that. I’d rather be ‘inconvenienced’ and forced to carry my own bag.

So Delhiites – head to the Maitreyi store at Aurobindo Ashram, entrance from the Sarvodaya Enclave lane – theres plenty of parking when the MOther’s International School is closed, which it is now, for the summer. Enjoy.

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