Racing riksjas, resting cows, men pulling overloaded carts, tuktuks that honk non stop, hordes of ladies in glorious colored saris, streetkids running around, barking dogs, the smell of food everywhere….Namaste & welcome to India.
Above scenery was our home for three weeks and still I am digesting all the impressions. Delhi was the start of our buying trip. Skyscraping 5-star luxury hotels are built alongside the slums.It is my first time in Delhi and the contrast between cosmopolitic Mumbai is big. Wearing shorts & tanktops feels inappropriate as everybody is quite covered up here. The city is more conservative in many ways than I expected.
We travelled for 2 weeks with our agent and his team through the North of India and it was heartwarming. We visited his home,met his beautiful wife,lovely son and his puppy. The whole neighbourhood came out to see us. We learnt how to make chapatis, visited his birth town where time stood still and we even had the honour of meeting his mom.
On the contrary, the poverty of India is hard to take in. There is a small group of Indian elites and they are a huge exceptionon the millions of people that live of nothing. Complete families live along side the dusty roads, they sleep under viaducts. We come across begging toddlers. There are no dreams for these people. Each confrontation makes us more aware of the luck and priviliged lives that we live. To have a roof over your head and daily food is not that common.
The streets are filled with stray dogs. Scrawny, hurt & scared. Our agent loves dogs as much as I do and he already shelters some of the dogs in his house and gives them medical treatment when needed. We make a plan to Do Good for these dogs! To be continued!
The days passed by quickly. We woke up every morning at dawn to continue our roadtrip. The hospitality of all the suppliers that we visited blew me away and made this a journey to never ever forget. Wherever we came, whether we would buy glass, ceramics, fabrics or stools, we were warmly welcomed with a red dot on our forehead and colorful garlands. Complete families, young and old were waiting all day for us to arrive!
The suppliers in India are more than willing to build new relationships. The eagerness to get new ideas for their craftmenship & experience was better than I could have hoped for. Honestly this was Doing Goods heaven.