Just right for the shopaholic

Exquisite tradition

Just right for the shopaholic

Looking for traditionally made, authentic handicrafts and handlooms? Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is hosting an exhibition organised by Manya Hastakalaa, an NGO aiming to help traditional craftsmen sell their products. Hastakalaa, a platform for small businesses (both traditional and entrepreneurial) is a must-visit not only for the beautiful artwork, but also to encourage artisans who have been carrying out handicraft production for generations.

There are over 100 stalls put up, showcasing everything from authentic Tanjavur paintings  and silver jewellery to hand-embroidered blouses and ‘chikankari kurtas’ from Lucknow. One can find handicrafts and handlooms from all corners of the country here — a dream bazaar for shopaholics. There are endless varieties of brass products and pashmina shawls to choose from, and one can find exquisite items like ‘magic lamps’ from Rajasthan and earrings laden with semi-precious stones like turquoise.

Mohammed, who sells unique metal jewellery and trinkets at his stall, knows how to bend metal wire to form intricate shapes. He carries on the tradition by selling personalised keychains, pendants and bookmarks, working with silver and other semi-precious metals. “This exhibition is the one place I can show off and sell my work,” he says. “The bookmarks which I can make in a few minutes, are a big hit with customers because of the personal touch.”

The stall ‘Chaya Nisarga’, run by G Ravishankar, sells traditional puzzles and board games like ‘Snake & Ladders’ and ‘Ludo’. What’s unique about these games, however, is that they have been designed on hand-painted biodegradable cloth. This makes for an eco-friendly product that is also user-friendly, as one can simply fold up the cloth and carry it everywhere. “We want our products to help people transition from the digital to the physical world,” says Ravishankar. “In the digital world, people are alone and solitary, but these traditional games can make people get together and play in person.”

Says Aaradhya, a visitor, “This exhibition is really wonderful because a whole variety of products are available in one place. It’s easy to buy specific items like quality silver jewellery at affordable prices.”

Preeti, a student, loves exhibitions like this. “The products here are so unique and authe­ntic. I bought some earrings and a pair of Kolhapuri slippers that really define my personality and also help me keep in touch with the different aspects of Indian culture.

There are also exquisite clutches and purses I can buy here,” she says.
The exhibition at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is on till May 15.

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