A slice of Delhi on your coffee mug

A slice of Delhi on your coffee mug

Monumental initiative

When people visit Paris, they come back with miniature Eiffel towers. When someone travels to New York City, they make sure to grab a small Statue of Liberty widely available there in all shapes and sizes. 

Sadly, when you fly back to your home country from Delhi, the Capital of India, all that you can do to remember the 6th century BC city is keep it alive in your memories. 

Hardly any private shops here keep souvenirs depicting Delhi’s historical heritage. 

A project started by the State Government to provide such mementos during Commonwealth Games also seems to have not quite taken off.
Luckily now, a young city-based artist has started a line of merchandise carrying sketches of Delhi’s ample monuments and historical ruins.

Yajanika Arora, an excellent pencil sketch artist, 
is tremendously passionate about monuments and portrays them on her canvas exclusively. 

Now she is reproducing them on a range of products such as bags, 
stoles, boxes and mugs and selling them under the label ‘Delhi Renderings.’

Yajanika is an alumna of the prestigious Faculty of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University and has held several exhibitions of her sketches before. 
During one such exhibit, where each of her artwork was selling for Rs 10,000 at least, a visitor suggested that her work would be more attractive and affordable for the public if she recreated them on daily-use commodities. 
“I realised it’s an excellent idea,” says Yajanika.

“After all, the ultimate aim is to develop love and respect for our heritage in the common man’s heart. If that happens through printing my sketches on products, which they see and 
use daily, I would do it with all sincerity.”

However, it’s not just monuments that find a place of pride in Yajanika’s creations. Maps, ancient texts, graphics, paintings, textile designs and motifs from bygone eras of Delhi’s history vie for attention on each of the items. 

Sketches of the Agrasen baoli in CP, Kuli Khan’s tomb, Lodhi Garden and Humayun’s tomb adorn her bags and porcelain mugs. 

Another range of Duffle bags carry prints of resplendent Mughal miniature paintings.
The muslin stoles flaunt Mughal motifs such as floral carvings seen on marble in different monuments, besides ancient texts describing Delhi’s history in Hindi. 

The tin boxes are most impressive with a print of the exquisite painting on the ceiling of Isa Khan’s tomb. 

The box itself has various maps and graphics again detailing the city’s many haunting stories.
Yajanika says, “I feel very happy to see a new generation of Delhiites who have a keen sense of history and architecture. These people don’t just study history but visit monuments for a first-hand experience. My products are for such people who love their city. If tourists take back ‘Delhi Renderings’ and remember the city through them, that would add to our collective pride.”