What do ancient fragments of cloth found in Egypt have to do with modern-day Gujarat? The answer starts with A — and sets us off through the alphabet, building with blocks of a very different kind! A for Ajrakh, B for Bagh, C for Chhipa… Each letter sparks off an aspect of block printing on textile, so that by Z for Zafran what we get is a fascinating patchwork of the styles, the motifs, the blocks, the dyes, and the skilled people who sustain and invigorate a centuries-old intricate craft.

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