Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2012

I started out on something just a year ago based on asking ‘why not’ instead of ‘why’, and what a journey that has led me on. I have met many interesting people, learnt a lot about running a trading business, spent time understanding what is important to me and been humbled by the unwavering support of my family and friends. And today a service provider to the company I previously worked for said to me ‘In a world where people tend to be “ruthless” to get on, you manage by being the opposite and working on the goodwill that generates. There is hope in this world of ours.’ I don’t know if he knows it but he made my day. I hope someone makes your day special. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the year ahead.

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The Carpets of Konya

Kilim Runner from Van, Turkey

Come, Come, Whoever you Are Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times Come, yet again, come, come.

Mevlana Rumi, Sufi Mystic and Poet whose tomb lies in Konya

And they did come … at the turn of the last millennium, travellers, traders, nomads, empires, swept into Iran and Anatolia from Central Asia and beyond.

Konya is one place they met and traded and settled right from the 11th century through to the 16th century.  The Seljuk Empire that dominated a huge swath of Eurasia during those centuries created a cultural melting pot that extended from Turkey to China. It was out of that melting pot, fuelled by continual exchange of commodities and ideas along the Silk Roads, that Konya, Bergama and other well known cities came into prominence and …

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Rattling Bones

Arastan at Mumbai Christmas Fest

I love Mumbai. Hot, dirty, far too many people but home and so efficient. We managed to pack a lot in: the Indo-German Christmas Fest that was exhausting with the 12 hours of standing each day but taught us lots about the Mumbai market, tracking down a ceramist that does interesting wall art, a meeting with our financial and tax advisors, a trip to the ‘you get everything you can possibly imagine and those bits you cannot’ Santa Cruz market and, of course, food! The old man on Pali Hill (he must be in his 70s now) still makes the best sev puri. Not so impressed by a rather more expensive Trishna.

We saw our financial advisors after the fair for a planning exercise. Vaibhav Manek is a partner in a firm called KNAV and does customer relationships like no other. If he wasn’t so good at what he does, I would …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

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