BOMBAY PAPERIE IS HANDMADE HEAVEN
Bombay Paperie is a boutique in Fort that specialises in paper products made from recycled cotton pulp. The sophisticated store stocks notepads, greetings cards, lanterns, folders, gift bags, and crafting kits in a dizzying array of colours and designs, which make for brilliant presents.
Bombay Paperie, 63, Bombay Samachar Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Phone: 022 6635 8171
I’m already entranced by the heritage building on Bombay Samachar Marg and the fresh, papery smell cutting through the store does the rest. As I step into Bombay Paperie, I’m immediately enveloped in deep hues of purple, teal, and mustard. My mind starts clearing space in my cluttered bedroom for compact folding lanterns in pretty shapes and pastel shades. In their warm glow, I notice mobiles of varied hues and textured wall art. Stiff paper bags stand at the centre of a large wooden table embellished with enticing stationery. Greeting cards gleam with golden prints of leaves, twines, and mangoes, bundles wrapped with twine and a single paper flower – a white rose that now dangles between Virginia Woolf and Jigme Khesar on my soft board.
The room at the back is filled with rough-edged wrapping paper hanging from vintage towel racks and stacked against the wall in multi-coloured towers. Black and white photographs capture the unique paper-making process, a practice dating back to the Mughal era. The paper at Bombay Paperie is made from cotton pulp, a by-product of cloth manufacturing. After days of soaking and slow beating at the Daulatabad unit, the pulp is transformed into sheets of handmade paper, which are then transported to Ahmedabad for sprucing. Experienced craftsmen use hand-carved wooden blocks to print modern and traditional designs before the paper makes its way to Mumbai.
As sullen brokers spill out of the Bombay Stock Exchange across the street, I make my way to the cashier, overflowing basket in one hand, credit card in the other. I’m ready to swipe plastic for paper treasures.