Jodhpur Textiles

Well, how much can I write in a very short amount of time?

We did yoga this morning from 7-8:30 a.m. out in the grassy courtyard near the swimming pool.  We are in the Rajasthani desert and it was down right chilly out there this morning!  It gets to around 75-80 degrees during the day which is really wonderful and then drops down to around 50 in the evening. We were wishing we had MORE blankets to pile on the beds last night, but the cool nights do make for delicious sleep.  The air here is pure and feels incredibly good after experiencing Delhi Dust.  The place we are staying at is a very charming and authentic family dwelling-turned-hotel.  We met the Oxford educated owner last night and he proudly told us he was the son of the “duke”.  I love how he translated “Maharaja” to “duke”!  That cracked me up.  He stood about 2 inches taller as he said the word, “duke”.

So yesterday, after we arrived, we got into auto-rickshaws (three people stuffed  into one rickshaw) and off we went to the heart of Jodhpur, to the Tambaku Bazaar, where the most beautiful textiles are sold.  Rajasthan is famous for its incredible textiles.

Arvind took us into a shop and we were led to an upstairs room via very steep steps where a young man named Chitranjan showed us one breathtaking shawl or bedspread or “grand foulard” (ultra soft super-sized scarf ) after another.  The exquisite artistry behind every fabric and design was breathtaking.  Addi asked Arvind, “Do they take credit cards?”  And Arvind nodded his head and replied most emphatically, “They take anything that LOOKS, FEELS, or SMELLS like money!”

There were wraps, scarves, bedspreads, and covers made of the softest pashmina wool and others made of camel hair and yak wool.  These later are surprisingly SOFT.  This shop supplies the fashion houses of Armani, Etro, Kenzo, and Karan.  What was most impressive though, really, was our salesman, Chitranjan!  This guy has got to be the best salesman this side of the Mississippi!  I turned to Rick and whispered, “This guy could sell a camel to a Laplander!”

Chitranjan displayed one item after another.  With a flick of the wrist, he would unfold a fabric and, voila, the whole room (our group including  RICK and ME) would  say OHHHH or AHHHH and then fall silent.  And with much emotion and an endearing Indian accent, Chitranjan would exclaim:

“You know, if you don’t buy this now, you will go home and always REGRET.  We don’t sell these elsewhere.  We don’t sell in the catalog.  Just here you can buy this things.  Ah, REGRET, a terrible thing!”

“Indian womans have 200 saris and they always buy another one!”

Then addressing the men in our group:  “See this one!  This one’s for the man. Yes, you can wrap like this and watch your football games.”

“Ladies, on a cold night, you wrap this soft pashmina scarf around your shoulders and you stay warm and cozy…and oh so HAPPY!”

“All your friends will LOVE it!”

Just as we were leaving  loaded down with our new purchases (!!!), I asked our salesman Chitranjan what his name means.  People love to be asked this question and he was no exception to the rule.  One’s parents put much thought into a child’s name and the name’s meaning often has a great influence on the character of a person.  He proudly explained that Chitranjan comes from two words.  CHIT means “heart” and RANJAN means “winning”.  A winning heart?  I asked him, “Whose heart did you win over?  Your mother’s or your father’s?”  He smiled broadly and said, “Everyone’s heart, ma’am!  I win EVERYONE’S heart!”

Bedspread from Chitranjan’s textile shop:

Folkloric style handmade “tatted” bedspreads from the Rajasthani villages:

The best salesman ever, Chitranjan, showing us some beautiful textiles:

I am bedazzled by the people and colors of Rajasthan just as I hoped I would be!!!!


5 Responses to “Jodhpur Textiles”

  1. Kelly Says:

    I can just see the piles of fabrics laying in front of you…so beautiful! I always worried about the person that would have to fold everything back up!


  2. Sean Power Says:

    Thanks for the lovely descriptions Fran. It makes me feel like I’m almost there. I can almost smell the chai :). Sean


  3. kay Says:

    Fantastic! keep the pics and stories coming…. as you have time! enjoy!!


  4. Nancy R Says:

    memories, memories. The colors are so magnificent! I have a “shatoosh” made in
    Kashmir, but NO WAY you can get those anywhere in India and travel to
    Kashmir. My hostess, Manorama Sarabhai had them brought in to her
    home at the time I was visiting. 1986!
    Fran, I LOVE your blogs!



  5. Nancy Regensburg Says:


    It is so interesting to read about your adventures in India and you are without a doubt in the very best place. Yes, the colors are so beautiful and it is one of the most colorful. You can always tell someone who is from Rasthanjan (sp)
    I bought a “shatoosh” when I was visiting Manorama Sarabhai in 1986. It was
    from Kashmir but no tourist were allowed there so the dwellers came to her.
    Pure goat and about $10.000!!!! Can you imagine? I will show you.
    See you soon, Namaste, Nancy


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