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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

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Indigenous medley

The ongoing Crafts and Textile Mela at Hastakalabhavan, Musheerabad, brings handicrafts and handlooms from various parts of the country.

STILL LIFE: The expo presents vibrant frames.

HANDICRAFTS AND handlooms are traditional industries circumscribed by hereditary craftsmanship to a large extent. The fame of the Indian artisan, craftsman and weaver has spread far and wide although the remuneration for their effort and toil is not in consonance with their labour. Of late there has been increased patronage for products of the loom and other crafts given the ethnic revival today. The process is facilitated by various organisations at rural and urban level that provide a suitable platform for the artisans. "We are providing an infrastructure for artisans to sell their crafts directly to the people. We have over 50 craftsmen from across the country participating in the current expo, the second in the series, the first such exhibition was held recently in Guntur," says D.S.Prasad, manager, Lepakshi, Export Oriented Showroom, A. P. Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited (Andhra Pradesh Government Undertaking) about the ongoing Crafts and Textile Mela at the Hastakalabhavan, opposite telephone exchange, Musheerabad.

The fare is vast --Chennapatna toys in lightwood such as small giant wheels, penguins and tops, ornamental veena from Bobbili, leather toys from Madhya Pradesh, bead laces, purses, ethnic baskets and thoranams, and rosewood inlay work. Rudrakshas and spatika stone with diamond cut beads from Nepal, Ashta Vinayaka with a centred Om and other ethnic frames depicting gods and goddesses (Rs. 100 - Rs.5, 000) from Pune and sandalwood incense sticks from Mysore are some of the buys for the puja room.

HANDICRAFTS GALORE: Banjara panels for the home.

For gifting, the expo presents Meenakari from Rajasthan--jewellery boxes, key chain holders and more. Check out photo frames that are patterned on a jharokha for Rs. 650 or an embossed gold painting for Rs.4, 500 here. Another classic buy is the gemstone painting stationary collection. The sheer idea of having dust of amethyst, turquoise and garnet for a dairy cover with leafs made of handmade paper makes the purchase of the diary (Rs.150-Rs. 250) a worthwhile experience.

And you can check out some handcrafted greeting cards (Rs.15 - Rs. 30) from Gujarat Mahila Seva Sangam as well. Dry flowers are in vogue these days. Check out pine, grass, mushroom and other options priced Rs. 5 a stick, a stick-on basket for Rs. 10 for the refrigerator or a basket of dry flowers for Rs. 150. This is a must buy stuff from Kolkata . Also from this region are clay figurines (Rs. 20 each), bamboo fans, lampshades and the 13-pieces dining table mats set (Rs.90). The other eco-friendly collection includes tablemats of banana fibre (Rs. 40 per piece) chic bags, pen holders and other products. Crocheted tablemats and pillow covers from districts of East and West Godavari of A.P. are also available. The home furnishings also include lace and hand embroidered sofa covers (Rs. 200-Rs. 440), embroidered diwan sets (Rs. 960) and pillow covers. Check out block-print bedsheets, tops, hand-embroidered cushion covers (Rs. 250 each) from Gujarat, carpets with kalamkari prints, jute-based wall hangings from Varanasi (Rs. 120-Rs.400) featuring embroidered motifs in silk and cotton thread as well as wall hangings (Rs. 220-Rs.1, 600) and cushion covers (Rs. 100-Rs. 450) from Kashmir. While here have a look at the scarves (Rs. 60, Rs. 225), kaftans in silk, cotton tops (Rs. 100-Rs. 350) while here.

TOYS `N' STUFF: Kondapalli figurines in light wood.

The exhibition brings fabrics from different regions, Ikkat dress material, phoolkari work from Patiala and Balucheri patch work on Swiss cotton, hand-embroidered salwar kameez with roses and maple leaves on cotton (Rs. 300), batik saris (Rs. 350), and printed saris with Lucknowi chikan motifs for Rs. 220, block print kurtas from Gujarat (Rs. 250-Rs. 300) and more.

CHIC COTTON: Ideal for the summer.

The popular salwar kameez suits from Pune (Rs. 520) and traditional Maharashtrian saris (Rs. 250 onwards) showcase summer tones with small and elegant borders. The range of saris includes traditional Irkul saris from Karnataka apart from those featuring kasuti thread work taking off from the theme portrayed on the border, Madurai sungadi saris (Rs. 320), Gadwal saris in cotton and silk (Rs. 1,050-Rs. 1450) and those block prints with vegetable dyes. (Rs. 250-Rs.350) from Madhya Pradesh.

The expo is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. till May 19.


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