"I helped my father until I got married in 1994. Then I started my own production with a handful of helpers… Today, I am a happy man."
"Hello. My name is Mahmood and I was born in the wonderful city of Agra in 1972. I studied until the 10th standard and then joined my family's business. Unlike other kids, I wasn't fortunate enough to go on to the English school and couldn't afford to study further. Although my parents were already in the family business, it didn't fetch enough money to feed and bring up five siblings. My mother won a national award for the Panjadari style of dhurries in 1988. But the award brought no fortune, because in those days only the trader made money and the real artisans hardly earned any.
"I helped my father until I got married in 1994. Then I started my own production with a handful of helpers. We make all kinds of dhurries in cotton and chenille, and also in stone wash. We specialize in the Panjadari style, which is done in embroidery on plain cotton or stonewashed dhurries. Over the years, I have participated in lots of exhibitions in many different parts of the country, including Bombay and Delhi. These were mostly government-sponsored.
"In future, I want to personally export my work to different parts of the world – I would love to experience this adventure. I am very fortunate to be associated with Novica, and I think this takes me one step closer to achieving my goal.
"Today, I am a happy man. I am sending my children to English medium school and want them to explore every opportunity. I would never force them to do something they do not want to do. I want them to enjoy every bit of their life."