Russ looking happy

Wake up to another beautiful morning amongst the evergreen, heat and stunning planting which envelops our place of rest; an oasis of calm and tranquility ….. before our journey takes us out, into the bustle and movement of the everyday to visit our long time suppliers and friends. Winding our way down further dusty, bumpy tracks, avoiding the sacred cows (people too .. and traffic) which quietly wander the area, to often unexpectedly come across one of our suppliers. Again, we were warmly greeted by the owner and workers, many of whom are all so familiar – full of smiles and handshakes. A wonderful first visit of the day finding a range of furniture, large and small (including gorgeous old teak items), with the highlight being both stunning antique mirror frames and hand carved panels, while a range of beautifully hand painted glass panels (multiple gods depicted) shone through. Not knowing at the time, this was going to be the start of an extraordinary range of mirrors that we came across throughout the day. Our next visit, was nearby and to further family members where we were able to find lots of our ‘smalls’ for the shop, while the highlight is a breathtaking teak sideboard with vintage tiled surround and glass doors – simply stunning and a gorgeous find. Further group photos were taken on leaving, and as before a wonderful warm feeling of friendship and reacquaintance.

A longer drive between the previous and next visit and to one of favourite suppliers, whom over the years we’ve mostly conversed in smiles with a deep rooted reciprocal affection. The smallest of suppliers, in a tiny, off the beaten path, yard and ‘shed’ with a loyal group of workers, again so familiar. Whatever he has, we always ensure we buy a number of items, in this case (surprisingly, lots of mirrors – carved singles, doubles and triples …). Also, some gorgeous ‘tallish’ carved pillar candle stands, multiple shelving units, while the highlight here was an antique, hand carved stone Ganesh. By now (and earlier), Russ was finding the going a little challenging and in need of taking a few restful moments, helped by a most thoughtful and caring driver, whom was always on the spot with a chair, water, walking stick or a gentle steadying hand …. he was a star and with many we meet had no English but a common expression of humanity. Always a little sad leaving here and again group photos, handshakes and hugs were had.

Following the shortest of drives we came across, what was to be our last supplier visit of the day, and as before, a close friendship has been forged. It was a delight to meet the son, whom had joined the family business after college. He was articulate, interesting and had a clear passion for the work and will be a major boon for the family handicraft business. A further range of wonderful items were found with the stand-out piece of the day (and most expensive), a stunning old hand carved cabinet, both Russ and I fell in love with and pleased to be able to bring it home and further it’s journey.

A welcome return to our place of rest after a long and dusty day on the road, but one filled with heartfelt memories and importantly some extraordinary items … In a contented and happy mood, the evening passed together in a convivial spirit, filled with music from a nearby festive, pre-Diwali, and helped by a bottle of Tamnavulin ….. finally laying to rest in the early hours; satisfied.