Every time I go to India, I make a list of things I really want to buy. This time I wanted to buy a replacement handle for the pressure cooker, a sumeet blender and glass bangles. I find it extremely difficult to shop in India. First of all I can’t stand the sales talk. I just want to be left alone. I know what I want and don’t need someone to extol the virtues about the item I am looking to buy. I hate bargaining as well.
There was one thing I really wanted to buy and it took all of my patience.
I wanted to buy a Naga shawl for my son. I went to the cottage industry outlet on MG road and the dude showed me a fake Pashmina and told me it is “authentic” naga shawl. Digressing a bit here.. When I was studying in UK, a young boy once told me “hey Pakki, go back to your country” and I stopped him and taught him Geography in 2 minutes so the next time he will understand where Pakistan, India and Malaysia are located and won’t get confused. I was tempted to teach the sales person the history of Naga shawls. But Yaya was with me and you can imagine the amount of eye rolls I would have had to endure. So I let it pass.
I tried all the handicrafts shops on MG road and Commercial street and none have even heard of Naga shawls. I used to buy a lot of fabric from Gurjari and found that they moved from MG road to Koramangala. I made a trip to Gurjari, they didn’t even have any Kutch work products. But there was a tribes of India showroom in the same building and I found Naga shawls there.
I don’t remember much about Naga shawls. One of those times I wasn’t paying attention when Beautiful eyes told me about shawls. At that time, I didn’t think that he won’t be around all the time, I thought I would let him be the keeper of those information. Ao tribe had their own pattern. I know black colour signified night, red for blood and yellow for sun. I don’t remember what blue and white colour signifies.
Although I hated shopping in India, finding this shawl was probability the one of the highlights of this trip. I gave the shawl to my son.