S.M.S.M. Institute’s Onam Crafts fair is on until September 15

Onam, the harvest festival, is also a season for shopping as customers flock to shops, exhibitions and sales to buy clothes, jewellery, household accessories and the like. An ongoing Onam fair at S.M.S.M. Institute, Statue, might not be like the extensive exhibitions one would expect, but if one were to pause for a moment and look around, one will find many an item to add to the shopping bag.

‘Tribes India’, a counter selling products made by Adivasis, is a highlight of the fair. It has tribal artefacts and ethnic looms from the North East too. From tribal jewellery to hand-woven dress material in combinations of blue, mustard yellow and purple, black, blue and white and more, there’s something for everyone. Listen to the pitter-patter of the rain as you shake the rainmaker, a cylindrical container that echoes the rain, while wind flute creates music when one spins it fast enough. Pashmina shawls in earthen hues complement the ready-made kurtas with Assamese inspired embroidery. Mugs, serving plates, kettles, cooking vessels... made from a mix of stone and clay are also available at the counter.

From Andhra Pradesh are delicate crocheted baby frocks in whites and dresses in whites and pastel shades for young children. “We also have crochet worked table centres, tray mats, cushion covers and so on,” says the salesperson.

Lovers of the six yard will be spoilt for choice as the saris come in various materials and shades of colours.

Vegetable dyed Anarkalis, kurtas for men and Rajasthani ghangra cholis for girls are on sale too.

Mani Mohan, a professional flute maker and flautist, is all smiles as he stands behind his counter. Mani sells flutes under the brand name Zion Flute. “But they are not ordinary flutes. When most bansuris are made from Assamese wood, we use Kerala bamboo to make them,” he says. His father, P.M.P. Kumar, started the business in Tirunelveli in 1967. Mani and his son, M.G. Arun, now run the business. On display are Carnatic flutes that have eight holes and Western and Hindustani flutes that come with six and seven holes. He picks one up and starts playing it. “See how clear and pure the sound is,” he says.

As organic is the trend of the day, organic products is on sale at the exhibition too. One can buy organic squashes, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, masala chai powder…

Apart from the fair on the S.M.S.M. Institute premises, the outlet itself has an Onam sale too, with a 10 per cent discount on its products.

The fair is on until September 15.