A stroke of brilliance


A stoke of brilliance

I have had great fun over the past few days. I love trawling the markets to find what I want, going from shop to shop, looking at craftsmanship and comparing prices and then settling down to long negotiations rising to incredible crescendos as the level of caffeine in the body gets higher and higher.

Yesterday was such a time. I started at 9.30am in the marble carvers street. Bright sunshine, the sewers were being emptied onto the streets so there were cows, dogs, pigs and grubby children picking their way through the piles of steaming rubbish. The endless and relentless sounds of chipping and polishing all being done by hand and the rays of sunlight picking out the clouds of dust emerging from all the blue shop interiors. Why are they all blue?

The first shop is my favourite, I have bought from them before, but yesterday they were not in the mood for me as a wholesaler at all. Silly prices and no co-operation at all. It was fine, in fact, and opened me up to so many other new people. The street is long and Suresh, the driver, and I walked all the way down, buying here and there, imbibing more and more chai, laughing more and more as word spread down the street as to what we were looking for. Last night, in my room, appeared various boxes with shredded paper escaping all over the floor, filled with little marble carvings. Some not so little, but I have avoided unmanageable. If I cannot lift it, I will not buy it. There are some fabulous photos of Gods and Goddesses on the facebook page for me.

The stoke of brilliance came at 4am. I was woken by the electricity coming back on after yet another power cut. The air conditioning unit leaps into life each time with startling noises and then settles into a grumpy silence. I lay awake until the 5am mueddzin, and thought about quilts. I thought about my bed, what I liked and disliked and thought about the laundry. Lying quietly along the wall in my room is a large pile of hand woven cotton. Towels, shawls, cloths and so on. Because they are hand woven they are grubby. A sort of grey film over all along with the marks where they were transported, slid on the floor, etc. I had thought about the dramas of washing them at home and had shrugged and resigned myself to the task. The stroke of brilliance is that the hotel has fabulous sheets and table cloths all glowing white, pressed and wonderful. All the grubby white is now in it’s way to the laundry, the industrial, keep the honkies happy, hotel laundry. Phew.