Located in the geographic center of Madanpura lies the largest house in sight. In stark contrast to the towers which house the weavers and their families this building is not made of sharp corners and exposed brick but of smooth modern lines, contemporary glass windows, and a polished finish. This building, as tall as the others, stands quite literally apart. Separated from its neighbors by a spacious 8 or 9 feet on all sides, this luxurious house sits on one edge of an open courtyard, a clearing in the jungle of Madanpura. This is the residence of Abdul Rahman, one of the wholesalers of Madanpura. Nassir claims that nearly every thread of silk that passes through a loom in Madanpura ends up in the hands of Abdul Rahman. Though clearly hyperbole, Nassir’s statement is still significant as to the role of wholesalers in Madanpura. Abdul places orders amongst the weavers, buys the finished sarees, and then exports to retailers across India and the rest of the world. Rahman is one of the wealthiest men in Madanpura and according to Mahmood and Nassir he is extremely respected within the community. Though I was not able to speak with Abdul himself, a different silk and saree wholesaler whom I spoke to explained that the wholesaler reaped the highest profits out of all the participants in the silk industry and that a wholesaler could expect to make up to 30,000 Rs profit from a high-end 100,000 Rs saree.
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