Amazing artifacts

Surajkund Mela

Amazing artifacts

Rural yet colourful defines the ongoing 27th Surajkund Mela. From enthralling folk dances of different states to exclusive handicrafts, the fest has everything to attract people from all walks of life. While it cannot be denied that a wide range of handicrafts and handlooms can be found at numerous fairs being held around the Capital and NCR round the year, what makes Surajkund different are some unusual artworks, not easily spotted elsewhere. 

One amongst those is a piece created by Sampath Kumar, who is here all the way from Hyderabad with suit pieces bearing abstract paintings of gopikas, Kathakali and Lord Buddha. Participating in the mela for the first time, he says, “We have tried to give Indian wear a modern look by drawing abstract art on the dress material. To make it more colourful, we have experimented a bit with Warli art of Maharashtra and have clubbed together fish and musical instruments like table and veena.”

Sampath has also featured gopikas in different moods. Colourful suit pieces have them dancing, carrying matkas or sitting besides the river thinking about Lord Krishna. “These have been designed by my wife,” replies Sampath when questioned about the ideas behind the concept.

A stall that stands out is the one from Nepal. The soft stoles made from bamboo and nettle plant leave you awestruck. “These stoles are made from the soft part extracted from bamboo. It is woven along with cotton-thread and then dyed in different colours,” says Usha Ma of Nepal. Stylish and trendy, the nettle plant stoles have one more quality which can force you loosen your purse strings. “Since these are made from natural fabric they don’t lead to itching and in case if you already have a skin problem it will be eradicated,” says Usha.

The mela retains its originality by bringing those at work which are not commonly seen in other arts and crafts fairs. One among them is the Ganjifa paintings from Karnataka. Generally, wood art represents Karnataka, so Ganjifa painting of Mysore comes as a big surprise. Two or more paintings of gods and goddesses drawn in small circular round paper were beautifully framed. “These are all waterproof because after designing and paintings a coat of varnish is applied and then it is framed,” says Vijay, the stall manager. 

“The most common figures are goddesses Durga and Saraswati whereas there are some interesting figures where three to four women are drawn in such a way that it appears like an elephant or horse. Since the designs are intricate it takes two to three days to complete a single painting,” says Vijay.

Another interesting art that grabbed the eyeballs was metal embossed paintings by Mahesh from Maharashtra. Made from iron the paintings are like silhouettes coloured beautifully except the face which remains dark. “We are trying to portray the culture of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh through these paintings,” says Vijay. 

All these artifacts and more like them, will ensure that if you do visit the fair this time, you are definitely coming back with lighter pockets! 

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