Here again, I’m back in Jaipur and incredible India. Once India touches your soul, she doesn’t let go. Along with another week of volunteering at Wildlife SOS and visiting Mathura, Agra, Vrindavan and of course, Delhi, I spent a few days in my favourite north Indian city, Jaipur.
What made this particular visit extra special was meeting up with two of my FB friends, Deepak Agarwal and Brij Ballabh Udaiwal.
I had arranged several weeks prior to my trip, a meet up with Deepak.
He is the proprietor of Hind Natural dyes, in Jaipur. On arrival at the designated meeting spot, on Kishanpole Bazar, in the old city, I waited briefly, before he showed up on his scooter. I hopped on the back and we drove the short distance down a narrow side road to his shuttered shop.
Inside, the cosy surroundings had shelves filled with packages of dyes, both natural and synthetic and a small counter. We chatted briefly while awaiting the inevitable Chai. He showed me his hennaed hands, from his brother’s wedding, which had occured the day before.
This time of year is wedding season. Loud bands and decked out white horses, brilliant and bejewelled saris are seen frequently on the streets.
After picking out some of the dyes that I wished to purchase (Lac, Brazilwood, Alkanet, Logwood and some Myrobalan), Deepak brought out the measuring scales and electric package sealer.
Once the weighing out and sealing of the dye packages was done, it was time to get some Rupees to pay for the parcel. A lengthy walk took us past scooters of all sizes, down side streets filled with men working in various shops and on the streets. We emerged onto a busy street, where we found an ATM that had money! Returning to Deepak’s shop, my packed dyes in a box were ready for the Post office.
At the PO, my box was neatly sewn within a piece of white cotton, then sealed with wax seals along all the edges. Another wait to mail the parcel, amidst the chuckles of men queued up in line.
By the time I get back home, my dyes should be awaiting me, together with my custom sewn white Khadi tunics.
Next up will be an article about my visit to the Indigo dye workshop of well known textile artist Brij Ballabh Udaiwal, of Sanganer.