Tag Archives: customs

Fergana Valley: Ceramic, Ikat and Shavla

Rustam Usmanov and his wife

I travelled to Rishtan to see the ceramists who did the platters for me last year. It was bitterly cold and Rustam and his wife were very gracious, kept us warm (don’t miss their gorgeous home slippers!) and well fed while we worked on my order. The shavla – porridge version of plov – we had for lunch was delicious and Zahid and I tucked in. We couldn’t say no when Alisher invited us to lunch later so had to eat again! Tough job this!! I am amazed by how much time and effort Rustam and Alisher make for me. They are world renowned ceramists who earn very well doing exhibitions in the US, Europe and Japan and my orders pale in comparison.

The discussion at lunch moved to the size of the Indian market and the buying power of the middle class, all quite surprising to them and Alisher in …

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Mumbai, you are Incredible!

You came, you saw, you bought and I thank you. I feel elated. There is nothing quite like ‘making it’ in your home town. The gentleman who owns the gallery that hosted us said to me quite emotionally “you have made my gallery look so beautiful” and lots of customers were very appreciative of the exhibition and the carpet collection. We will certainly be back.

Putting the show on was the easy bit. Octroi was not. Only Ethiopia and some cities in the state of Maharashtra still charge Octroi (a local tax collected on various articles brought into a district for consumption). The documentation in our case was tedious as we had to pull out not just invoices but customs duty for every individual item. However they seemed happy with the paperwork and accepted our demand draft for the deposit (although the shipper refused to take the demand draft from …

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A Day to Remember!

First major shipment – cleared customs today and will be delivered tomorrow morning.

First set of invitation cards – arrived from the printers today and after a lot of stuffing of envelopes will start being distributed tomorrow.

A carpet sale – to someone equally passionate about her new business, that of selling unique sarees.

A photo shoot – of brass platters that are concave but insist on looking convex! The Karen silver sets though were meant for the camera.

An interview for Time Out magazine – our first!

Getting the story boards done for our upcoming exhibition – a moment to stop and appreciate seeing others enjoying researching the Silk Road as much as I have.

The journey and the excitement of it continues!

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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.

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    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.

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