Tuesday, February 19, 2008

on the road...


First day out of Delhi with my next tour group- it is always exciting setting out.
Spent yesterday sightseeing Delhi, the Crafts Museum was wonderful as ever, out the back the government supports crafts people from across the country coming for 1 month to sell their wares. All craftspeople accepted are recognized masters of their craft and authenticated as being the producers of the items for sale.

You are never sure who is going to be there but are always assured of it being worth your while to look.

Yesterday was a beauty, a gentleman from Kutch had wonderful woollen shawls- there are photos of the one I purchased- gorgeous,

There were people from Orissa- cotton and silk weavers, and some from Chattisgarh mouth watering work. I don’t have a photo I am sorry but let me describe what stays in my mind. A sari length of fabric- silk a bit textured like a shiny raw silk in a beautiful silver grey and soft gold colour. The fabric was firm enough you could cut it to make a shirt and trousers if you so desired although when I have bought saris to cut up I have felt a bit wrong they are such a beautiful and complete garment in themselves.
I woke up this morning silk drooling over the fabric and wish I had bought it. The starting price the lady said was 3500 rp- for 6 metres [ that is about $110 Australian or the most amazing fabric I am sure you would pay $60 or $80 Australian per metre for]. The piece was all hand loom and the makers of the fabric would have been the ones I put the money in the hands of at the Craft Museum [ not a middle man]
I am not a great shopper and so usually happy to look it is not often I ever think oh I should have bought that one. But it was soooooooo lovely… oh well we have contact info for that village too, and it is not far from where we will be in December- I will have to go and visit!

Kunal works for us in our Delhi office and he originally comes from Orissa so has been helping us research textile leads in the area. He was very helpful making contacts with these people and I look forward to visiting their village in December when we head to Orissa to work on a tour itinerary.

It is always exciting researching a new location, keeping your eye out for contacts where ever you are, and then when you see samples of local produts your mouth starts to water.
Next will be the more challenging aspect of following up all the leads, finding suitable accommodation and turning it into a do-able itinerary!
Luckily Parveen is patient with me and persistant like I am and we keep ‘discussing’ things sometimes vigorously until we are both happy.
Once you have it all sorted to your liking you start to pray that things don’t change and the promises made come true. India can be a bit challenging sometimes- people don’t say NO, rather they will say yes and hope you don’t want them to follow through, a bit hard for me with my Australian is it yes or no thinking and hard to pick up the nuances of what is or not being said to us. Parveen’s we will do the absolute best we can, hope and be pleased if it is true attitude is good to try and emulate rather than getting in a knot and disappointed when things change.

Nearly crossing the border into Rajasthan,.. The first camels are turning up by the road, ohh I love rajasthan!

Bye Fiona

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