I have wanted to own a certain kind of a Rug for some time, a kind that will frame the very traditional wooden pieces that we have collected over the years, a kind that would bring a certain character to all that was going to surround it. And it somehow couldn't be just any Rug!!
Several obstacles on the way - the critical one being the price that so effortlessly tags along with anything in the category of rugs or carpets. Also, Mumbai wasn't really the haven for carpet buying considering the round-the-year tropical heat and the small living accommodations that most have that directly proportionates their availability. FabIndia - true to its character, does stock Durries, Carpets, Kilims of a respectable variety - but the brand itself typifies the markup they charge on items retailed with their tag. The bigger dissonance has always been in my nagging knowledge as a Delhi-ite - having seen just the most gorgeous smattering of carpets at shops and homes of many - and knowing that much of that buy is from the mobile carpet-wallahs that dot the Capital's roads no sooner that Autumn knocks at the doors lining the Delhi streets. Great variety of hand oven weaves and at very reasonable rates, and options of exchanging your old with new and even some of the most innovative EMI offerings:).
Somehow, being in Singapore never really fuelled the considerations that kept me away from daring to buy a rug (we bought our very first handwoven carpet here!). So back here this time, and N a little more in tune with the possibility of a second such purchase we chanced upon this Afghani Balouchi handwoven marvel at a fairly decent price at the same shop nestled in the quaint centre of Holland Village. Owned by this chatty Indian punjabi couple (now Singaporeans for 20 years) we went in at the lure of the Clearance Sale advertised in bold.
And here's what had transpired over the years - the infusion of machine woven carpets was shaking up the very price foundation of the hand oven carpet industry. The machine made ones were obviously copying the look of the hand woven variety, close in design & easier to maintain. And in this age of price / time proficiency many patrons were switching to these machine made, washable at home, easy on the pocket variety. And the consequence - no longer is it sustainable for these retailers to sell the craftily handwoven variety of carpets woven painstakingly over days - perhaps months- and to charge a price tag commensurate with such 'labour of love'.
So here they were, Mr & Mrs Hamim who had decided to clear out their stock and replace their rug-business with Indian & Tibetan art & artefact, sourced from parts of North India, Dharmasala and Rajasthan:). Happy in their decision, and convinced that the business that sustained a fulfilment lifestyle for them for over 20 years in Singapore, was a no-gainer in their journey ahead !
and we were only too happy to bring away a piece of their legacy home with us:).