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A Maharashtrian melange

The ongoing crafts bazaar at Y.M.C.A, Secunderabad, provides a medley of handlooms and handicrafts that reflect the workmanship of the craftsmen from Maharashtra.

EMBROIDERED ART: Hand-stitched patterns on cloth.

AMAZING IS the maze of Maharashtra, that is inside the exhibition hall at Y.M.C.A, Secunderabad these days.

The ongoing crafts bazaar from the realms of Marathwada region and more, has attracted a lot of attention.

Australians, New Zealanders, Kenyans, Canadians, Maharashtrians and Hyderabadis alike, are flocking in large numbers to have a dekko at the expo - a fine melange of heady handlooms and handicrafts.

Organised by the Dalit-Muslim Magasvargiya Youth Federation (DMMYF), Nagpur, the handloom expo has over a thousand items on sale that includes, traditional jewellery and pearls, jute artefacts, patchwork on bed sheets and sofa covers, ceramic paintings, woodwork, leather articles, wax products and handmade carpets, among many others.

"Paithani saris, Kach saris and Bootha saris, Warli art and zari-zardozi on cloth, have been a rage with the foreigners," says a beaming Altamash Kaleem, exhibition co-ordinator.

"Bamboo works and calligraphy work are also in great demand," he adds.

The heavily ornamented Paithani range of saris, start from a modest Rs 7,000 and can even go up to Rs 40,000. "The best part about the sari is that it is fashioned out of a fabric which is wrinkle free and does not require ironing," says Kaleem, adding, "The price we are charging for these priceless saris is very moderate, a good one can even go up to a lakh."

ALL FOR ART: Foreigners throng the exibition.

Another highlight of the exhibition is a corner that showcases the rare Cherial paintings. "These paintings which were very common during the days of rajahs and maharajas, are now being produced only by a single family settled in Warangal district. The colourful Cherial art form is in great demand, among connoisseurs in the European continents," says Umesh, a seller.

"I am particularly impressed by the intricate zari work in the saris and the bamboo products that look so Western in their design. Very innovative craftsmanship indeed," says Judith - a Christian missionary from Canada. "Indian art is just fabulous and this exhibition proves the word," seconds her friend, Paula.

Kenyan Keith Waldemaria, who was seen rummaging through the pearls to hunt for his favourite yellow stone, has this to say, "What did I like? Well, I liked everything... the tribal paintings of Warli, the zari stitching on those pieces of cloth, my yellow pearl, of course and the woman selling the pearls. She's as pretty as the pearls."

Most of the best articles have already been sold, although there are many more.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Development Commissioner's (Handicrafts) office, concludes on Monday. "On public demand, we may extend it for a day or two," says Kaleem. Hurry up and rush to reach before the sold-out board is painted.


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