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Narayanpet is a small town with a population of 50,000 people and lies in the border between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. When you walk in the town you will see old exquisite houses with beautiful but old jaali work lying faded in a corner. There are small lanes that take you to huddled houses decorated with colourful rangoli. Adorned with brightly coloured doors, they open into the homes of the weavers, where a handful of looms are creating music. Kids play around in the narrow alleys while smelly pigs grunt around in the drains.
In every house, a weaver sits in the corner of his small room, his face framed by his loom, as he mechanically sets it in motion. The room is otherwise dark and dusty, but for the larger than life collage of bright yellow and orange threads that has wrapped him in a web. They surround him everywhere, stretching from one end of the room to the other and are held in place by weights. Thin asbestos sheets cover the roof of the room, while threads dangle from the wooden planks supporting them. Old faded photographs of Gods and Goddesses adorn the walls
This town was once famous for its cotton and silk sarees, but today the weavers have hardly any buyers. People there speak about the days when the streets were draped with sarees. The houses used to echo with the rhythm of the handlooms and almost everyone was a skilled artisan. They came from every community and religion. There were Telugus, Marathis and Kannadigas and both Hindus and Muslims worked together to create magic with their fingers. But today, there are barely 2000 looms in the entire town. And most of the younger generation have left Narayanpet to pursue their fortunes elsewhere.
The Narayanpet sarees are magical. The feeling of silk caressing our skin, as we drape it around us is out of this world! The colours brighten up the mood, the traditional motifs and rich designs come alive as bright gold borders adorn the rich tapestry of colors. The rainbow is in front of us, soft and silky and comes with myriad shades and patterns.