Friday, October 31, 2014

Movie Land Ramnagaram

Beside's being 'Silk City', Ramnagarm's biggest claim to fame is that it was used as the location for the greatest blockbuster ever in the history of Bollywood - Sholay. Not surprising, the hills around Ramnagaram look something right out of a movie set. After checking out the cocoon market and Bashir's silk factory (previous posts), Blandine and I took a dekko at the local scenery...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mohammad Bashir's Silk Factory

After checking out the heaps of silk cocoon at the Cocoon Market in Ramnagaram (see previous post), a not unnatural question arose in Blandine's mind: what do these chaps do with all these poor critters in their silken wraps? One of the farmers told us: the cocoons are carted off to a silk factory where the silk is spun into reels. And his uncle happened to have a factory just around the corner from the market. With a bit of difficulty, we located the factory. It was in a warren of cottages behind the old mosque. Here was our first sight of Mohammad Bashir's Silk Factory in Ramnagaram (that is waste silk you see drying outside):-
Mohammad Bashir graciously invited us in. He had no problems with us taking photos or videos. Blandine spent a long time in there, talking to all the staff and watching them at work. Here is a video I took:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cocoon: the market

Not weeks after my trip to France, Blandine and I flipped positions. This time she popped over to see me in Bangalore. We did a couple of small trips on T-Bird, and one big trip to Andhra and Orissa. Here is the first of the small trips: We went to the nearby town of Ramnagaram, which is also known as Silk City. It has the biggest silk cocoon market in the country. Here is what the market looks like from the outside:

And here are pics of the interior: heaps of silk cocoon on sale. One friendly dealer cut open a cocoon for us to show the silk worm still live inside: