Friday, March 19, 2010

India: Shopping, Shipping and Receiving

I've decided to write and post vignettes about my Indian experiences using lots of pictures. This is the first one, inspired by my parcel mailed from Jaipur via SAL Mail (meaning "Surface Air Lifted" and is the least expensive) on Wednesday February 24 and arrived in Vernon the same day as me, Friday March 12. What great service! Double-click on an image to enlarge it.

These men were in Gamthiwala Fabrics in Ahmedabad. The man on the right is the fellow who served me, and the man on the left is the owner--he wrote up the bill and took my money. The man in the centre is a block printer from Kutch, visiting for a few days. Both Anokhi and Maiwa are strong supporters of his work.

On the way to Jaipur, we stopped at "Shri Govind Arts" in Bagru and were treated to an array of block printed, mud resist and indigo dyed fabrics. Once again, we seemed to be following Charlotte Kwan's footsteps--Maiwa buys a lot of its natural dyed fabrics here, and Charlotte was just there the week before. We learned that this workshop also uses chemical dyes for their brighter saturated colours which Indians prefer.

By Wednesday it was apparent that I would not be able to carry all that I was buying, so we went to the post office. Here's the customer service man sewing up my parcel.
It arrived intact, if a little dirty, 2 1/2 weeks later. I left it on my table for several hours, savouring the delights it held.

I finally undid the stitching and released the contents, spreading everything out to enjoy.

And the last phase was to wash and hang up the fabric. I am in the midst of ironing it all.


  1. The last picture, the fabric hanging to dry, is an art show by itself.

  2. Yes, Don, I love a colourful clothesline!