Our highlight today was a block print/ cotton cloth museum/store.
Block print is well known to all of us, but what I found interesting is that a British woman understood how cool Indian prints were during the Beatles, 1960’s, Ravi Shanker period and she revived the dying art of block print fabrics.
We all saw them, bought them at Pier 1 and promised we would never don those clothes again after giving them to the Goodwill infused with the smell of Patouli oil, marijuana and free love
Here we are today, touring the museum and once again buying them. Granted today they are slightly more stylish, more sophisticated, and more elegant.
As in so many cultures, it took a Brit to take this old craft to the world. The art was dieing, and I applaud her ability to find the craftsmen, nurse the trade and make it viable again. As a woman that runs a craft business, I am thrilled that the art is still alive, that artisans are employed, and that modern patterns are bringing the art to the world again.
Jaipur is an amazing city. The same hustle and bustle exists, but the pollution seems to be less, making things a little easier to handle, breathing wise. It is a walled city, called the Pink City with a fort on a hill and a royal duck blind in the middle of a man made lake. Because it was built as a walled city with the bazaar incorporated into the wall at the time of its construction, you don’t feel the mish mash here. The city feels like a city, not a city sitting on top of six other cities. You can see the delineation of shops and homes. This is also why it is a tad calmer, however, the din of horns blaring here is just as loud as in all the other cities we have been in.
Jaipur, means City of Victory and construction began in 1727, it took six years to build and because of its grid pattern and crenelated walls, punctured by seven gates it is one of India’s finest example of a planned city.
As I edit this, before sending on, at 6:30 am on December 6th there is a cacophony of green parrots in the tree outside our bedroom window. I have never, ever heard so many squawking birds in one place, and the tree looks as though the leaves have dropped and replaced with birds. It is another little treat from this magical land.