A Marwari friend of mine calls me up to tell me:'We had a visitor from your place yesterday.'
'A Kashmiri. Kashmir. Your place. You folks are quite something.'
I know. I know which way the conversation will go this point onwards. The last time he called me up to talk about people from 'my place', that was about a year or so back, the conversation was about a Kashmiri truck driver opening up his heart in middle of Delhi's Loha Mandi to a bunch of shop-helps. He told them how his life was messed up because he, a poor Kashmiri, was caught between Militants and Army. 'Yes it is bad,' shop-helps conceded. But time and again some shop-helps, much to the displeasure of the Kashmir, kept interjecting his laments to remind him what his people did to the Pandits, the Hindus. 'We did nothing. They left on their own.'
'You folks are quite something. What do you expect?'
'Is this why you called me? You @$#!' I have stopped peddling stories. I am through telling them about the ordeal, the exodus, the great evil that evil men did, the evil that drove them, drove us out, the apple and the almond farms and the assorted addendum. I have to stop listening too.
'Yes. Kashmiri. So listen. He came in a Lancer. A Pashmina dealer, we have known him for more than 10 years. And I didn't know that. My family has had many dealings with him.'
'Yes, they operate that way.'
'My mother was buying Pashmina for her would-be bahu.'
'That would be your would-be wife. How's your Sheesh Mahal coming along? Is it finished? It has been what two years? Do you plan to cover it with Pashmina? You Marwari. Boozwa pig.'
'Yeah. So. He greeted me in English. Funny guy. '
'Pashmina he gave us for fifteen. A special discount price, he said, specially for us. My father told him not to misuse to term. Discount. It's his take on Geelani that I found interesting. Funny you people are no doubt! Freee...'
'For fifteen. Are you sure that is the real stuff? Because...'
'Yeah, he said it is some hybrid or something. New stuff. Some Kalakari or Kamkari.'
'Kalamkari. What that got to do with...anyway I don't know what you got but you got it cheap.'
'My father asked him about the situation.'
I have to stop telling random strangers travelling in trains about the situation. You can keep advising GOI and GOP about how to go about solving the situation. You can keep exposing the truth to the world.
'What can we do against Goondas? That's what he said.'
'I am working. Don't you have Loha to sell. I gotta...'
'China wants to make Geelani the Dalai Lama.'
' He said China wants to make Geelani the Dalai Lama. Tum log!'
'Chal bye! I gotta run. Bye. You Marwari @$#!er.'
Call over, I listen to Dimyo Dilas Gandyo Valas Paertho Gilass Kulni tal.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
|Kashmiri Durzies/Tailors/Sitcz, 1890s|
|A tailor at Jammu. 1917. Found these two ar Cobumbia.edu site|
|A Tailor Shop, 2008|
The shops where carved furniture, silver, bronzes and brasses are to be found are for the most part in private houses, or what have been private houses and changed into shops. The tailors, however — and there are a great many of them — have shops in the bazaars, and these are frequently, like the bazaars themselves, open to the street, although the more important ones that cater to European trade have arranged rooms in the rear of the front where their goods are to be seen in greater privacy and where the measurements are taken and the garments are tried on. At some of these it is quite surprising to find such excellent materials, and even more so to see how well the garments are cut and made, especially if the purchaser has a garment of a certain style that he can give the tailor as a sample. One of these men, for instance, has a cutter who was taught, or learned his trade, in a London shop where there were many American patrons ; and some of the garments made by this tailor are so well cut and shaped that it is impossible to realize, or to believe, that they have not come from London, or Paris, or New York.
More astonishing, however, than all else, and seemingly incredible to many, is the cost of these articles. For instance, one gentleman had a suit of homespun that had been made in America and for which he had paid eighty dollars. As this was getting a little old he asked one of the tailors if it would be possible to get any more cloth like it. The tailor said:
"Certainly, I can get you some exactly like that." The gentleman asked how long it would take, and was told about three weeks. The gentleman exclaimed: "What! is this possible? How can you get cloth out from England in so short a time as that?" "Oh!" the tailor replied, "it would not be brought out from England. It would be made here." "What!" the gentleman questioned, "can cloth like this be made here in Kashmir?" "Yes," said the tailor, "and if it is not satisfactory you need not take it. The only thing necessary will be to loan me one of your garments so that I can give it to the weaver who will make the cloth."
This was done and in less than a month a piece of cloth large enough for a couple of suits of clothes was shown the gentleman, and so nearly like his own was the material that it was almost impossible to distinguish one from the other, the only difference being in favor of the native product, which seemed somewhat nicer in quality. This suit of clothes was made and lined with silk, there being three garments — a coat, waistcoat and trousers — and when it was finished it fitted just as well as the suit that he had been wearing. For this suit of clothes, made of cloth that had been especially woven for him and lined with an excellent quality of silk, he paid only the equivalent of a little more than six dollars as against eighty dollars. His wife was so pleased with this experiment that she took the balance of the cloth and had it made into a dress that would have cost her at least a hundred and fifty dollars at home, and for which she paid seven dollars.
And what is true of this suit is true of all the clothes and cloth made in the Valley by the natives, and though it really seems incredible that such could be the case, it is an absolute
fact. These, however, represent the expensive and extravagant suits, as a homespun suit without silk lining could be bought for from between three and four dollars, and with such suits
a cap, or hat of some sort is made of the same material without charge.
- Our summer in the vale of Kashmir. By F. Ward (1915)
at 11:01 PM
Sunday, December 26, 2010
at 9:43 AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Content protected by
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Which basically means you are free to share anything you may find here. No need to seek permission. Also you are free to re-use it for non-commercial purposes provided you let others use your work for free non-commercial purposes. In case of commercial use, do seek a permission first. In all cases, giving proper credit to the blog/source is the proper thing to do, let other people know where you found it. Do not stifle information.