Prepare to be seduced by the beauty of Indian fabrics at the exhibition called Weaves
An exhibition-o-holic will recognise all the signs. Nervous husband, whiney kids, palpitation and adrenalin that’s gone to town, as you flex your arms and roll up your sleeves to enter the fray. Everything fades into a blur, except the salesman, who is pulling out saris faster than you can say ‘pallu dikhao’. One eye is kept on the fellow shopper who just might beat you to the grab for the delicious green and mustard sari, the fellow is flinging on to better display it.
You, a battle scarred veteran, have no patience for such indulgences and using your size (ha! eat your skinny hearts out you size zeros) swoop in and yank it off him, pull back and, along the way help yourself to the rust and, the black sari, trying not too hard to hide your triumphant smirk.
Awash in colours
Welcome to Weaves, tussar lovers, where every yard of fabric is worth fighting for. Here lies your redemption (or your downfall). It is raining tussars in incredible shades and weaves and price range.
If you are an onlooker (having exhausted your shopping, your money, yourself, or all of the above) or perhaps you are on a vow of abstinence and non violence, you will have the time to reflect and wonder at the colours of India. Wow! Fifty seven stalls awash in colours with weavers from the silk producing states of the country, right there in front of you casting their wiles.
You can’t escape them. ‘Too hot for silks’, someone mutters unconvincingly, and an indignant sales person thrusts a length of water melon pink and mint green length of silk into her arms, and dares her to say any more.
If you still want to be difficult and don’t want silk, check out the gossamer Chanderis in summer colours, with just a dusting of gold. Or, fabulous hand painted crepes (in a shop called Avanthi) which also has silks in colours that defy any attempts at description. Indulge in the gorgeous Gadwals.
There are stoles and dupattas, extremely elegant and in a spectrum of colours. And, Rajasthani bed linen too.
And, the Bengal cottons from Bolpur? Delicate Dhakais in icy greys, whites and salmon pink. “You will never get them at such competitive rates", says the gentleman behind the counter and you are half inclined to believe him. Indeed, the prices don’t seem obscene at all, when you think of all the back breaking work that has gone into it. What is Rs 2,800 or 3,000 or even 5,000 for a piece of our heritage that may well dwindle and die if it doesn’t have enough patronage.
That is the raison d’etre of Weaves according to M. Sarveshwar Reddy and Madhavi Naidu, the managing director and co-ordinator and director respectively, who wanted to bring the weavers and the customers face to face without the middle man.
Weaves has been travelling along the length and breadth of the land for the last two and a half years. Coimbatore is its first stop in Tamil Nadu.
On at Suguna Kalyana Mandapam, Avanashi Road, Peelamedu, till March 31, they accept credit cards. And, there is parking space.PANKAJA SRINIVASAN