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Of tradition and modernity...

Decorate your home with native handicrafts from across the country


TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFTS make for great gifts. Decorative, unique and handmade, they reflect a country's cultural richness and its ability to adapt to modern times.

It is only during handicrafts fairs that people get to see a pot pourri of crafts from across the country. Jayam's Hall on Race Course road is currently playing host to one such exhibition.

About 60 artisans, drawn from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, have displayed their artistically-designed items at this exhibition-cum-sale, which is on till April 19.

As you enter the venue, "Jute Ganesha," a wall hanger honed to perfection by craftsmen of West Bengal welcomes you. What follows is a luxurious range of home decor products like cushion covers, exquisite jute floor coverings and table-mats, and a wide range of endearing stuffed toys made of jute woven fabrics.

"Response to our `jute cradles', which are comfortable for kids during summer, has been good. They are washable and safe and we've made them look attractive by using a careful mix of bright dyes," says Tapur Shah, the artisan at the stall.

Embroidered suits in a variety of cotton and georgette fabric from Lucknow easily draw your attention with their elegance on the other end of the hall. Apart from the regular chikan work churidhars, there is an exhaustive collection of short kurtis with rich `badla' and `mukesh' work, dominated by hand embroidery and `chamkis.'

Dyeing of fabrics, primarily done to create a realm of multi-hued patterns, is popular in India. The distinctive tie-and-dye or `bandhini' prints of Rajasthan and Gujarat, in which decorative patterns are created by manipulating dyes, is available at the expo.

Also on display is a collection of crepe cotton skirts in assorted bright colours, chiffon, georgette and bandhini tops and vibrant ghagra cholis.


In another stall, Khadi material blended with cotton takes the shape of innovative short tops with a handmade beaded neckline. This range starts at Rs. 200.

Kamlesh from Rajasthan has an exclusive display of hand paintings done with Japanese poster colours and vegetable colour dyes on silk cloth. The Desert State is also home to semi-precious stones and coveted ones like diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, topaz, aquamarine and amethyst. "These natural stones are crushed and used to paint on silk cloth," he adds.

Panipat bedspreads, divan and pillow covers in handloom with floral geometrical patterns also entice.

The bangles corner showcases a variety of Jaipuri lac bangles with mirror and kundan work. Also on offer are glittering gold-plated silver jewellery with decorative stones and a sparkling `nagmala,' set.

Contemporary art-on-brass items designed by the award-winning M. D. Irfan Hussain of Moradabad had a lot of lookers.

Acupressure feet rollers, face massagers and energy rollers and feng shui items are added attractions at the show.

K. JESHI

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