Artists lead a colour con

Festival offer: Vendors jack up prices of vegetables, fruits and flowers for the fest

Artists lead a colour con

One such vendor is Sridhar Kulkarni in Malleswaram 6th cross. He had sold about 150 Ganesha idols by afternoon on Friday. "We are using only water colours and it is totally safe to immerse these idols in tanks and lakes," he said, trying to deflect criticism that colours contain lead.

On an average, a small idol of Elephant God with oil paint costs anywhere between Rs 80-100, while an idol painted with water colours are sold for not less than Rs 150. An idol without any colour costs much lesser than a painted one.  

Experts say that even water colours do have lead. "The prices for colourless idols are less compared to the coloured ones," said Murthy, another vendor. Many customers have also opted for small idols. "I want to buy small size idols that are easy to immerse,”said Jayashree, a customer.

At Pottery Town, where the big-sized idols are made, have all been booked by different associations.  Srinivas, a vendor said half of the 180 big idols he made have all been taken and the rest had been booked.  "The idols are made from wool, bamboo and clay and I have tried to limit the paint only to water colours," he said.

It has been some time since the traditional Ganesha idol began taking newer forms in the City – taking many a new shape – giving colour to the artists’ imagination.

In line with the growing trend that probably started just a few years ago, there is plenty of choice for devotees even this year, to both fulfil the traditions of taking a Ganesha home and to also show off artistic skills.

Some of the interesting kinds of idols seen in the market this year include a huge palm – conceived to be Shiva’s – the fingers of which don miniature idols of Shiva, Parvathi, Gowri, Ganesh and his brother Subramanya, a Ganesha sitting on a tiger (which the artists says is on the lines of Ayyappa), laughing Buddha Ganesha among others.

12 feet idol

Manjunath R, a businessman at JP Nagar owns close to thousandGanesha idols.
A huge black statue of a dancing Ganesha is his prized possession. The 12-foot high statue is surrounded by miniature sculptures of elephants and Gandharvas playing musical instruments. Weighing 18 tons, the idol is installed in a rangoli studded with precious stones.  The silver crown of the idol has been studded with semi-precious stones like rubies.

The vegetable and fruit vendors are making quick bucks. Apple and guava have been priced doubled. Small sized bananas (Yelakki) are around Rs 60 a kg.

 Onions, tomatoes, beans and carrots are priced from Rs 20 to 35.  Prices of flowers mainly sevanthige and jasmine have shot up with 100 gm of the flowers selling for Rs 20 and a metre-long strand of flowers costs Rs 50.  “Every vegetable and fruit costs more.  Since it is festival we have to buy,” said Sudha, a housewife.

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