A market just for the soul

The Sunday Soul Sante, with a wide array of handmade goods, food and music, promises to be full of fun and frolic

Updated - October 20, 2023 12:20 pm IST

Published - October 20, 2023 06:41 am IST

Karan Rao, the co-founder of Sunday Soul Sante

Karan Rao, the co-founder of Sunday Soul Sante | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With the celebratory mood in the air and more in the offing, the Sunday Soul Sante is back this year with its Deepawali edition. There will be over 250 exhibits, selling handcrafted items from across the country. That is not all, there will also be a live performance by Best Kept Secret (award-winning pop/rock band) and Bryden-Parth (a collaboration between Western and Indian Classical musicians) with a lot of food stalls.

Karan Rao, the co-founder of Sunday Soul Sante, tells us what is special about this year’s market, amidst the hustle-bustle of putting the show together. “We started in 2010 and that makes us 13 years old now. It was started by my mother, Asha Rao who has been associated with the world of arts and crafts for over four decades. In the ‘80 and ‘90s she ran an organisation called Arts and Crafts Trust with actor Waheeda Rehman and a few well-known artistes.”

Asha Rao: the brain behhind the sante

Asha Rao: the brain behhind the sante | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Karan says they would organise regular melas. “Over time, my mother realised that there was not just a growing need in the market but also artistes who were aspiring to get a platform to showcase their work and increase their network. That was how Sunday Soul Sante came into being. We had our very first exhibition at Palace Grounds.”

The story behind the name, Sunday Soul Sante, Karan says, comes from the belief of art being the soul. “It is subjective to an individual and his/her perception of it. We are all inspired by art in one way or the other. We chose the word sante as it is synonymous with Bengaluru. Sunday was added because it is a day that families comes together to indulge in some fun activities.”

Evolution is the Sante’s USP, says Karan. “Every vendor comes up with a fresh theme for each event and season, evolving into something new with his creations. Every product is born from an out-of-the-box idea. We, as organisers make sure that each and every product is handpicked by us. For the food stalls, we taste every dish that will be served at the Sante to make sure of the quality and to maintain the standard.”

Art and craft to cater to all

Art and craft to cater to all | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This edition has a Heart of Sante Corner. “It is a free space for upcoming entrepreneurs and artists. They get a free table where they can interact with the audience. This can be a homemaker, a student or anyone who wants to start something but are not confident to invest. This space gives them hands-on experience.”

If there is a heart can the soul be far behind and Karan says there is a Soles of Sante corner, offering sneakers, streetwear and more for every age. There will be stalls with art, jewellery, home furnishings, photography, apparel and coffee brands. “It will offer you a flea experience, where you walk into any corner and discover something new. Almost 98% of the goods are handmade, and food will include dishes from India, pan Asia, Italy as well as street food.”

Karan entered the Sante world, as the event grew. “It turned out to be taxing for my mother to handle on her own. That is when I joined my brothers, Harish and Vishaal, and now we have eased into roles in organising this event. Though our mother, is 75 years old, she is actively involved in the the sante and she gives us all a run for our money with her energy!”

Despite being a small group of 10, Karan says, the team can adapt to any venue, be it an open ground or a tech park. “Now we are working to make our presence pan-India.” Apart from the Soul Sante Karan is a Kannada film producer and runs a production company with his actor/model friend Ragu Mukherjee called Red Elephant Productions.

Sunday Soul Sante will be on at EcoWorld, on October 22, 1oam onwards. Entry fee is ₹350. 

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