Thursday, July 01, 2010

Khadi Village

We had an early start for big to the khadi hand weaving village.

I was the designated driver accompanied by our friends Panalal and his wife Kanchan. They operate the small family business that does all our machine stitching for various projects and I work with Kanchan co-ordinating the ladies stitching. [please note I know in the west it is not quite politically correct to refer to females as ladies; rather the term 'women' is used but here, where I live,  if I said women it would give the impression of a lack of respect for said women and the feeling I was rather cold and saw myself as above them]

Panalal became our designated photographer...a bit daunting at first as this is his firs brush with a camera...i asked him to keep an eye for things a visitor might find interesting...looking through his photos this morning he has done an excellent job and I will let them tell the story of our day [it was very hot and lots of fun!!]

We saw an elephant as we started out so knew we were in for good luck this day, then scenes from along the way.
Returning from preparing the feilds, hoping for monsoon to arrive soon. Already at 10.00am it was so hot it would have been hard to find enough air to offer up those prayers.
Water, what water? see the ribs of the cow- with the first rains all this changes so quickly, the spead leaf grows then is phenominal and same with the speed animals can plump up- just need that rain....6 weeks of it [if it comes] will be basically all that is seen for the year.
Mohamed-ji the owner of the small handloom business and our host.
This village was interesting to notice the difference a bit of extra income can make, obviously poor but a pride that is not every where obvious. Mohamed started his business over 15 years ago, initially just the family were employed, the idea was for extra income to help when harvests weren't good...from there it has grown to quite a few looms and many local people also have the opportunity for extra work, other locals have seen what he is doing and set up at home, with one small enterprising person in town, one opportunity can change the outlook of a whole community. Heartening to see!!
Education is higher in this village than some other local ones as well.At the moment they are working on an order for dhurries [floor rugs] made from re-cycled viscoase saris, here it is beiing cut into lengths, rolled onto bobbins and woven with a cotton warp.
We have added an order for enough small dhurries to go in the bathrooms of all  rooms of our 2 hotelsThe handloom we used in our special bespoke order for Premadaya Indian Imports in the States will be woven on these looms....[more images here]
Panalal was quik to snap this, Maohmed-ji's new, new granddaughter and couldn't wait to get home and tease Praveen- this is what Madame wants!
The village is very picturesque...I am working on the idea of a few daytrip suggestions for clients in our hotels...we can organize them a car and driver, pack them a picnic and they could go for a look.
This village would be great for photographs and the textile angle, it is also a lovely drive across country to get there from our place.
When you have a wedding you need a pot big enough so all the sweet can be cooked at once for all the is important they all share of the sweetness of life together!

The old well of the village- for hundreds of years it has supplied the village needs, but the drop in the water table in the last 15 years has seen it run dry.
Look at how Panalal charmed this guy. We were very interestd in his Bel-gari or ox cart- he was wondering what we were up to. It is dying out now but this is still an area where you see lots of these lovely old carts still in use. The 'mechanics'  who know how to make them have passed on so there won't be any more soon.
and nameste to you too.

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