Life & Style

Turbans are trendy. Meet the man who can tie them in 108 different styles and holds a record

Tie and tell Pawan can tie a safa in 13 seconds  

“Hold one end of the cloth, take it over the right ear to the upper part of the left ear,” explains Pawan Vyas, carefully explaining how to drape a turban. That is just his first version. The 19-year-old from Bikaner, Rajasthan knows 107 more ways of draping a turban.

“I have been doing this for 11 years,” says Pawan over a call from Bikaner, and adds, “Last August, I made it to the India Book of Records for tying the smallest Rajasthani turbans on fingers.” For the record, each finger had a different style: Maheshwari pagdi, Udaipuri pagdi, Barmeri safa, Jaisalmeri pagdi, Jhalori safa, kesariya dulha safa, red chunri safa, khidakkiya safa, darbari safa and batdar kesariya safa and the sizes varied from one to three centimetres in radii. He explains there is a difference between pagdi and safa. “Pagdi is longer than 21 metres and safa is between nine to 11 metres.”

Turbans are trendy. Meet the man who can tie them in 108 different styles and holds a record

Pawan is now set for his attempt at another record. This time for the world’s biggest turban. “It’ll weigh 15 kilograms and be around 450 to 500 metres long, and take around five hours to tie,” he says. He plans to invite officials from the Guinness Book of Records and India Book of Records for this feat, which he plans to organise as soon COVID-19 dies down. He is optimistically looking at September this year.

Pawan and his family are well-known in their locality for their skills with turbans. “We are known as Safeywaale Vyas Ji,” he laughs and with a sense of pride adds, “You can find us on Google maps as well.”

His father and uncle too are part of this family business, which started in 1982. Apart from the different styles, Pawan is also known for his agility. He can tie a safa in 13 seconds. “Most people take two minutes to do it,” he says. It probably is due to years of practice and the fact that he ties nearly 25,000 to 30,000 turbans in a year in Bikaner alone. “The Bikaner camel festival and Holi are popular events here and there is a demand at that time. I also travel to cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Jalpaiguri, Bengaluru, and Kolkata especially to drape turbans of different styles for weddings and other celebratory events.”

For details, check out his Facebook page vyasturban.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:36:25 PM |

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