LIFE

Fabric of the nation

A `stall wallah' arranging the clothes at one of the stalls at `Khadi Utsav' in Bangalore.

A `stall wallah' arranging the clothes at one of the stalls at `Khadi Utsav' in Bangalore.  

TRULY INDIA, that's what Khadi is. Naturally, a ``Khadi Utsav'' will portray ``slices of all things Indian''.

Like Kantha and ``baluchari sharees'', Shantiniketan leather bags, kolhapuri chappals, Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh) wooden pieces, intricate ``bidri'' specimens and of course, khadi's very own ``nisarga'' brand.

If you happen to visit the Utsav -- in Chamrajpet's Fort High School Grounds -- in the afternoon, beware. It is extremely tiring because there are many things to see and dawdle over. And believe us, browsing is really hard work.

Actually the exhibition opened 20 days ago (on January 10 to be exact) and will be on till February 8, so there is still hope for those of you who have not been there yet.

Every aspect of the event has an ``Indian feel'' about it; from the decor of the exhibition grounds to the food served there. If you are looking for chicken ``tikka'', burgers, or pizzas, you won't find them. But there are heaps of crispy-looking puris, waiting to be doused in masala or pani. And there are icecreams too, not the MNC types, more the ``sadha'' desi ones. But we suggest you take along at least a bottle of drinking water. Because, walking around is hot.

Innovation is key, as most of you will agree. And that is what the ``Utsav'' has, stalls of it in fact. One ``stall wallah'' will show you ``duplicate ivory'' (shaped into hairclips); if you pause to check out the hand-made paper products, you will certainly not miss the prominently displayed Valentine cards; and don't be surprised to find a brand called ``Diesel'' at the jeans stall.

For authentic ``khadi'', there is the ``nisarga'' range in cotton and silk. There is even a corner that displays fashionable ``khadi'', i.e, the clothes that have been walking the ramps here, there, and elsewhere. In case they catch your eye, remember that they are for sale too.

There are lots of ``garam-garam'' stuff to add that little bit extra crunch and spice to meals; there are quite a few stalls devoted to dried ``papads'', different ``achars'', and powders.

What else can we say? For anything else, find it for yourself.

By Divya Sreedharan Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

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