Maaike Baker from the U.S. buys a bird ornament made of elephant poop for her mom from an Indian bazaar at On the Go
Upon entering the corridor outside of On the Go, I was greeted by a pleasant walkway lined with booths full of colourful crafts under a canopy of trees. The walkway was decorated by recycled waste products. All around me, a happy buzz filled the air as shoppers sifted through the wide variety of products and sampled the assortment of foods. At the end of the walkway was an open area where the local band Avyaktha performed soft rock classics under flowers hung from wire. The atmosphere was so lovely that I was as intent on taking pictures as I was on getting information for the story. If I could buy a product from every booth, I would in a heartbeat!
The vendors came from places all around the country, including Chennai, Palakkad, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Being a lover of unique home decorations, jewellery and beauty products, I felt at home at this festival. For an American visitor like me, it was an opportunity to experience traditional Indian shopping, food and music.
Ranjana Singhal, organiser and co-owner of On the Go, said she has wanted to do an event like this for a long time. “We wanted to provide a platform for many different people to showcase their products,” she said. “Not all of them get this opportunity.”
Those involved with the event had a specific vision when deciding which vendors to invite. “We looked for products that were both creative and environmentally friendly,” Singhal said. “We wanted to sell things that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”
V.Living, from Mumbai, had beautiful handmade pillows. Haathi Chaap, from Delhi, sold paper products made “using only the finest elephant dung available in India.” It was at this booth that I bought a dove ornament for my mom back in the US. From Auroville came Rustic Art that offered a variety of soaps and beauty products made from natural and organic ingredients and The Colours of Nature, a supplier to Good Earth, sold clothing. Jewels out of Clay, from Palakkad, sold jewellery made with recycled glass and clay pendants.
The one of a kind environment of the festival at On the Go made the venture well worth the 50 rupee entry charge!