An eye for detail

An eye for detail

They say that age is just a number and  Nanda Nafde is living proof of this. The  79-year-old has been involved with  art and crafts for as long as she can remember and  her zeal  to find outlets for her creativity has not dimmed with time.

"I picked up an interest in  this field since I was part of a joint family. In joint families those days, the womenfolk would do various things like drawing,  stitching,  knitting, making rangolis and so on.  They didn't have proper schools at that time but they did more things than we could imagine. Watching the older ladies in my household, I too  started doing all these activities.  Later, I went on to do a diploma in fine arts as well as a regular BA," says Nanda.  

From stitching garments for her children to later supplying garments to major shops in Bengaluru, she had a thriving business model going on almost till the age of 60. "I couldn't keep at it because of my age. I moved on to knitting after that and nowadays, I mostly make garments for my  granddaughter or close ones within friends and family," she says, adding that earlier, she was also a regular participant at exhibitions and competitions for ladies that used to be held in places like Safina Plaza  and Basava Bhavana.

Shaping unique items out of waste materials or coming up with crochet showpiece artefacts  is another talent she possesses. "It is again an extension of a childhood hobby. Those days, we never used to get such decorative showpiece items that you see by the dozen in shops nowadays. So to keep myself engaged as well as to do up the house, I used to fashion certain items from whatever materials I could lay my hands on, like cardboard,  matchboxes, papers from food packets and so on. I do it to this day," she says.

Curtain hangings made from bottle lids, flowers made from waste cotton, an entire  temple setting created from toothpaste tube lids - these are some of the items in her extensive inventory.   Coming to crochet, scenes she saw in daily life were duly captured  through her needles. "During my marriage, I happened to notice the special 'thali' they had decorated for auspicious rituals. Similarly, some ducks I saw during a trip to Pune also stayed on in my memory. I came back and created crochet replicas. I have also purchased some books and recreated the designs in them," she explains.    

Expectedly, people love her creations. "Their next sentence usually is 'Please teach me how to make this too'. But I have migraine and I can't sit in a group and teach people amidst all the noise and shouting. I like to sit in peace while working. In my house too, my daughter and granddaughter don't usually come to my room when I am working as they know it will disturb me," says the lady with a rueful laugh.  

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