Among the many advantages of being in Bangalore, the one I probably cherish most, is the opportunities this city continuously offers to its residents to immerse in a multitude of arts and crafts endeavors.
This time around Chitrakala Parishath was hosting another jewel of arts and craft mela!
My presage of a relaxed and quite afternoon allowing me enticing into the nuances of regional art, rare craft and marvelous artisans, was trampled as we walked into an already overcrowded venue. I should have been prepared for the crowd knowing that besides exhibition the mela is also promoting sales of handicrafts and art work.
The mood and energy of the place was infectious. Stalls were set up in open natural setting. The whole place was bustling with vibrance of color and variety of texture; wood engraved furniture and tableware, terracotta murals, handmade foot wear, hand loomed Indian traditional wear, colorful bright bags, bed linen, table covers, curtains and coir products.
Jewelry lovers could not have asked for more with a wide range brought together, from heavy metal jewelry to delicate thread earrings and neck wear. Most of them handmade, no precious stone or metal can beat their traditional ethnic beauty and value.
Entire one block was dedicated to displaying hand woven sarees from different parts of India. The flocking crowd spoke for the popularity of hand woven textiles. The rush of buyers and stares flashed by my son quenched any desire in me to have a closer look at the sarees.
The artisan making pottery using the spinning wheel left my son amused. The ease with which his skilled hands churned out different shaped and sized pots, left the onlookers with an impression that anyone can do it!
The painting galleries were less crowded. Original oil paintings and beautiful tribal paintings by local artist were displayed. There were also counters displaying and selling organic products and t shirts.
It was an afternoon well spent transporting us to a rural and rustic setting, exposing to traditional Indian art and handmade crafts in striking contrast to the modern sophisticated shopping malls with international brands…What a world of difference!
As we open our domestic retailing to international community, I wonder, this different world of our own unique arts and crafts may also find its niche into an even bigger market beyond national borders not just for retailing but also to retell our tales!