Blog Sept 2023

The day begins to the inimitable humid warmth, post monsoon season and a busy day ahead visiting a number of our ‘small’ family suppliers, in the back and beyond. Once picked up we make our way through the hustle and bustle of street/road life (thankfully) avoiding any contact with fellow users. A myriad of colour found on the many ‘Goods Carrier’ lorries, making their way up and down the highways, horns aplenty….The road side is teaming with the every day, while a great deal of new road has been laid since last year – though many a desert track would be covered in the day. Always an exciting day, as you just don’t know what you may find and always different from the time before.

Arriving at our first supplier we are warmly greeted, a mutual connection and recognition of a two-way support. A number of handicraft workers go about their business, while our supplier and a throng of helpers follow, as we make our way through his ‘showrooms’. In the early days we knew him as our trunk/box man where the whole of his unit would be stacked to the rafters with them and inevitably we often liked the one at the bottom ….. Never a problem. Now an enormous array of antique and vintage, a whole panoply of extraordinary, original and unique items to uncover and find the ‘price’ – It was a very successful stop. Set over two floors, an enormous, industrial fan was carried around top and bottom, allowing for moments of cool, while the heat burnt the air. An extraordinary range of items, each individual, each with a story, uncovered, discovered – always exciting. Such a mix of pieces from old door cabinets, bajots, mirrors, old carved panels, teak benches .. on and on (stunning) and it didn’t stop as we walked through the outdoor ‘bone-yard’, finding items that looked far beyond repair that we know will arrive, as requested, and in wonderful condition (they have magic in their fingertips…). Customary tea shared and once finished, inevitably, a ‘last’ item would appear on leaving before having a collective photo. Overjoyed with the items and excited for them to begin a new life and journey, first stopping at the shop, before hopefully finding their new home.

Not far from this supplier we come to our second and third (cousins), sharing a unit – one concentrating on furniture, the other, the ‘small’ – a perfect match for us in one space. Again, not disappointed with some very unusual, colourful, individual old cabinets an eclectic array, added to by a stunning large old teak double arch mirror – a standout item (never come across), while some gorgeous old teak boxes were unearthed. A wide range of smalls, including the customary cow bells (love the sound), planters, pots, signs…. Customary tea shared and again a collective photo taken.

On the road we go, off the desert track, back onto the teaming highway, getting though copious amounts of water, before turning off onto more desert road. Very excited to be making this visit (our smallest and my most dearest supplier), tucked away in a very small space, a warm, heartfelt embrace shared on meeting and always with a beaming smile. In the ‘old days’, we would find a number of our smalls here, particularly our mirrors and shelving, only today, we walk in, to find ‘enormous’ items packed in ( a complete change – though we did buy a further 50 mirrors.), It was here that we found todays’ ‘SHOWCASE’ piece …. An extraordinary old teak sideboard with stunning hand painted murals to the glass panels and gorgeous vintage tiles adorning the item, cupboards and drawers, simply an exceptional, unique piece of furniture that you only dare hope you discover while on the road …. Again, many a shared hug and photos and always tinged with a little sadness as we say goodbye, only to be minded that you’ll meet again next year.

A very long day spent to be met with the drive ‘home’ to the hotel, with the heat, haze and setting sun, as the everyday movement of people and transport continues apace… India never sleeps.
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