The area around Jodhpur is known for villages with dhurry weavers. I didn’t have any specific weaving village in mind. We just got in the car and drove in the direction of Salawas.
We stopped at the first dhurry place I saw, which was right on the main road about 20 kilometers out of Jodhpur. As we pulled into the driveway, I saw a man who had been waving at cars run across the street. It was Roop Riyaz, the dhurry maker himself. He welcomed us inside.
It wasn’t a typical shop but his home where he and his wife both created the dhurries and sold them. He sat down and posed for a couple of photos demonstrating the technique. He seemed stern and serious at first, but he was soon joking and laughing.
“This is not carpet,” he said, “this is dhurry. Carpet one side only. Dhurry two sides. This side Sunday, this side Monday. Hee!! Hee!! Hee!!”
Roop said that both he and his wife could work on the same piece at the same time. It takes a couple of months to finish one, depending on the size.
“This too hot for all day,” he confided. “After ten minutes, I have to take it off. Hee!! Hee!! Hee!!”
Opening his storage room, he took out a pile of neatly folded dhurries and began flipping them open and laying them out for display on the tile patio.
His young son quickly came to help. Some of the dhurries were bigger than he was!
Roop’s wife was shy and didn’t speak to us. Maybe she didn’t speak English, but she didn’t even speak to Prem in Hindi. She seemed preoccupied and looked worried to me. I wondered if she were worrying about not having enough money.
I usually like to shop around and don’t tend to buy at the first place I visit, but I had a good feeling about this man and his family. Moreover, the prices he quoted me seemed quite reasonable, so much so that I didn’t ask for a discount. He gave me a small discount anyway. I made my selections.
“Yes, I know the Bishnoi village,” Roop said. “I take you there. No charge.”
Just then some tourists arrived and sat next to us. I was a little disappointed, thinking that now Roop would have to take care of his customers and couldn’t come with us. But his first duty was to his family, and if he needed to stay and do business, so be it. However, he let his wife take care of them. He yanked off the turban, giggled and climbed into the back seat.
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Near Petrol Pump, Main Pali Road, Mogra
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India