Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rug Story I'll Tell My Grandchildren

Not unlike many other visitors to India, we're in the market for a rug. Unlike many other visitors to India, we know we're in the market. We've gone back and forth many times on whether or not we wanted to try and buy one. Ultimately, "if we're ever going to want one, now is the time to do it" seems to be winning out over "we don't think traditional looking rugs are really our style right now."

Saturday we set out to visit two places. The first, a shop recommended by a colleague located near Qutab Minar called Maharaja Arts, figures to be where we'll ultimately purchase the rug. We found one that we both agreed upon. In order to not make a rash and knee jerk reaction, there was also a second place we wanted to visit. At the American Christmas Mela in early December, Lindsay met a carpet dealer named Farooq. She had kept his card and wanted to check out what he had. Typically, he sells in some high end mall on MG Road in Delhi. A few weeks back she called to try and arrange a meeting and he was visiting family in Kashmir. He directed us to the mall, which was called the Gallery or something. There was a Versace Home store; not exactly our demographic. Instead, he told us to wait until he returned and he would take us to his warehouse.

After leaving the first store, we called for directions and headed to a neighborhood called Jangpura in Delhi, a place we had never heard but turned out to be close to Hamayun's Tomb. He wouldn't give us the exact address, told Kailash approximately where he could be found, and said he would meet us on the street to lead us to the warehouse. This didn't seem nearly as odd to us as the way I'm sure it reads.
Heading down the corridor
He lead us down an alley, turned into a narrow corridor, lead us up a set of stairs, and into a barren room filled with rugs and shawls. We took a seat, were offered a Coke (which I felt a little strange accepting since he was Muslim and this is Ramadan, but I figured it was better to accept what was offered), and they quickly began rolling out rugs.

Unfortunately, we didn't find anything that caught our eye. Or as Lindsay might tell you, "there was too much blue in all of the carpets and we don't have any blue in our house." Alas, our little known dream of purchasing a carpet from a warehouse in the back alley of a strange neighborhood in Delhi was dead. At least we have the experience. I'm sure when we're staring at whatever rug we ultimately purchase, the lasting memory will be that of Farooq's warehouse; honestly, it may even become the story I tell when I grow old.

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