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Wednesday, Oct 13, 2004

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Work of the hand

Indulge in a dazzling variety of handicrafts

EGYPTIAN PANELS in an all-India crafts fair organised by Lepakshi is enough to put anyone into a tizz. But Lakhan manning the West Bengal stall explains, "Yeh out of India Gods bahut chalte hain."

You take his word for it as you run your eye over intricately detailed terracotta panels depicting the Judgement of Ra or the journey through Osiris.

Then there are Tibetan and Egyptian (King Tutankhamen and Queen Nefertiti darlings!) masks. Lakhan has stocked "Indian" stuff as well like an incredible range of jute bags including the super useful lunch bags (Rs. 45) and bottle bags (Rs. 35)

Eye-popping fare

There are no two ways about the wide variety of Indian crafts available and the fair at the Zoroastrian Club was a joyous celebration of precisely this.

From Kankavati brassware to the glassware from Agra (there was a delightfully cheesy pen in the shape of an inkstand with quill for Rs. 200), Tanjore paintings to brass and copper ware from Pembarty (Warangal), the options were endless.

Our handlooms do not need an introduction and all who wish to indulge big time in radical chic could check out saris from Pochampali, Gadwal, Narayanpet and Maheshwaram.

Kalamkari rocks big time this season and durries will just add that splash of ethnic colour to your room.

Block prints rule and you have skirts, kurtis, tops and salwar kameez sets from every part of the country (Rajasthan tops the list) are enough to send the shopaholic into overdrive.

Home affair

For your home, apart from the block-printed sheets, Narsapur lace cushion covers and pillowslips, there are the ready-made curtains from Coimbatore with their loops and big wooden buttons that are so hot.

And if you are the knick-knack kind of person, please indulge in the Etikoppaka toys, the Kondapalli dolls (the Dasha Avatar and Ambari elephant are good gift options) and a touch of Rajasthani magic courtesy Kailash Chand Ahodia.

Kailash has a "snake in the box," a brilliant coloured "bug in a box" and the intricately carved trellised elephant. The trellised elephant with a little elephant inside is carved from a single piece of kadamb wood and comes in a variety of sizes.

The ancient Dokra work gets a new age spin in the lovely wall hangings. Debashish Bhol manning the stall explains the intricate process, which ensures no two pieces are alike. Also eye catching are the delightfully quaint bird Christmas ornaments.

The exhibition, which is on till October 17, is the place to head for the mundane and the exotic.

All India Crafts Fair
Zoroastrian Club (P.G. Road)
9.30 a.m. to 8 p.m., till Oct.17


Photos: K. Ramesh Babu

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