“The comb is for marriage and happiness. The Cyprus tree is for grief and mourning, the frog is of secondary importance, the goose feet…”
We remember these words drifting above us, almost like a voice over, as we drove with a chatty cab driver through a road in Cappadocia, Turkey, which was lined on both sides by rows of drying carpets.
He spoke about the carpets, their symbols and patterns, their place in history and culture with so much love, that back at the hotel we thought twice before walking all over them – “these paintings on the floor” as he called them.
Dressed to Kilim
Deha Mehta was still talking when we had launched into this holiday flash back, and we had to stop, apologise and ask her to start over. She runs the Hands carpet store in Andheri, Mumbai, owned by Delhi-based Patodia Contracts and Patodia Exports, a carpet company that dates back to the British time.
Old and valuable and fraying at the edges – much like ourselves - a pretty kilim might be our next big buy.
Specialising in rugs handmade (hand knotted and hand tufted) in Bhadohi, 40 kms from Varanasi, from Hands you can buy off the shelf or completely customize: one humble customer asked for a giant picture of his face to be weaved into the design. “Another asked us to carpet his entire ceiling,” says Deha. “We’re up for anything, really.” And if you think of all the places in the world a Patodia carpet can be seen and felt – The White House included – your feet will scurry over to Hands quite quickly.
“You’ll see our carpets at big hotels including the MGM Grand Casino in Macau, The Armani Hotel in Dubai, The Ritz Carlton in Singapore, The Palladium Hotel right here in Mumbai,” Deha tells us. And while working with several international interior designers, their carpets have also flown to The White House, Louis Vuitton stores, Deutsche Banks and more. “At this quality and at 1/3rd the price of similar carpets that come out of say, Germany, a lot of interior designers around the world work with us for high profile projects,” Deha's banker husband Chandresh pitches in.
The cost ranges from Rs 12,000 to 40 lakhs, and you’ll have to wait up to six months for a custom made carpet. “But it’s worth it,” Deha says, and we’re back to that sparse road in Turkey. Old and valuable and fraying at the edges – much like ourselves - a pretty kilim might be our next big buy.
Getting there: Hands Carpets and Rugs at Laxmi Industrial Estate, Mumbai, call 022-2632 0609, visit the Facebook page here, www.hands-carpets.com and http://www.patodiacontract.com, start at Rs 12,000.
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