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05.03.2019

We can almost hear the strains of the Aladdin soundtrack as we walk into Jaipur Rugs’ sprawling new store in Lower Parel; and in truth, some of the carpets here are magical enough to transport us to fantastical places.

Tacked onto grey-toned wall and stacked together on the floor (making them a little hard to browse), these range from durries wide enough to take over a garden, or small enough to fit under a toddler’s desk. We are instantly attracted to the ruby-red rugs grouped together on the walls of a single room, especially one with drips of colour, guaranteed to brighten up the dreariest Mumbai studio apartment.

“These are all Artist Originals,” a kind gentleman in properly pressed pants tells us – one-of-a-kind designs woven by artisans around Rajasthan. We love a whimsical carpet with flowers bleeding into birds and then stripes; and another that seems to cover the entire evolution of a dark, lush forest. Charmingly, all the Artist Origin rugs have the names of the weaver woven in – some hidden away in a corner or an upturned flower petal, another prominently placed in the centre, limned in script that reminds us of a freshly cleaned blackboard and the crisp Chanderi saris our favourite Hindi teacher used to wear.

The space itself recedes and lets the carpets do all the talking, unfussy in a good way, with soaring ceilings, pretty plants, neutral walls and a glass-cubed conference room tucked away in one corner. However we wince at an “installation” automobile covered in wildly patterned rug, positioned right at the front door. It is jarring, gimmicky, and like our carpet-companion points out, so five years ago.

The carpets, however, are perfect for right now, despite having an old-world charm. Quite an impressive rug-of-war!

Getting there: Jaipur Rugs, Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel; carpets start at approximately Rs 20,000.

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