Friday, November 13, 2009

Crafting Threads : Crafting Lives

Mumbai won’t be Mumbai if not for the street shopping!!

There is something new once every two months (roughly) on the streets here. It goes like…some magnetic marble kind of things that make an electrifying sound which is creepy at the same time when played with, the bubble kind of balloons that stick to each other, and then the spider man who climbs down any wall, then the tickly head massager etc… most of it is “Made in China”. And you will find people selling the same stuff all across the city. The prices are high when it is new and then shrinks gradually. Somehow I find these things very mechanical and rigid, so let me talk about some sensitive and “handmade” things “Made in India”.

“Handmade on the streets??!!” What first comes to mind is the street besides the Jehangir art gallery and you explore the hand done on the spot portraits, miniature paintings on leaves, name on rice, creative wire craft etc. Also, some hand embroidered wall hangings and hand carved wooden blocks from Gujarat. Passing over these crafty arts or the arty crafts…is the CSMVS (Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum) where good handicraft exhibitions are on displayed once in a while. A month back, I explored the exhibition of Paramparik Karigar at the Museum. The exhibition was nice. I purchased a hand woven silk stole from Kotpad, Orissa. (About the stole in the next post)

This is more than enough as a backgrounder…

On my way back, something on the street caught my senses and that was a young man crafting something with lots of colored threads. ‘Threads’ I see and do not explore… is something not possible!

So, this young man was crafting out names using colorful nylon-polyester threads to use as wrist bands or just to tie on to bags. Choose your colors and write him your name, he will make a band within 10 minutes for just Rs 20. After grasping a bit of things I realized that I had seen many people on the streets all over crafting their lives through these threads. Sameer Pathan, this young man tells me that some of his friends from Delhi who practiced this craft came over to Mumbai and enthusiasts like him learnt the same and now are practicing it here. I wonder how such chains of creative learning and living begin?? I’m sure this has passed on to other cities too.

Sammer Pathan (20) is a native of Hubli, Karnataka and he is in Mumbai to study and earn a living and he enjoys doing it in a creative way. He attends college, studies and then in his leisure time he is onto his creative skills. He says, “It is easy and if one has interest one will enjoy it more.” He buys the material from local market; his kit is completed with a set of scissors, a book and a pen to note down correct spellings. He is smart and does a well finished job. If you have difficulty in choosing colors, he will suggest his options! Cheers to his commitment and dedication!!

I await for the next interesting thing on the streets...


Anu said... [Reply]

good one... so many things get bypassed in our hectic life.... i have seen these guys so many times, but somehow have never even thought of stopping and chatting... great work!

Aarti Badamikar said... [Reply]

Thanks Anu!
Its nice to find out how such things come into the market and who thinks of new ideas which work wonderfully...

Aayushi Jindal said... [Reply]

i agree mst of d tim v ignore such talented n creative ppl.....thnx 4 making us realiz.......

law garden road side market (ahmedabad) is one such place full of guys lik dis.....i remember a guy making cycles, bikes actly vt nt... by steel wire...

grt wrk babez..

yashmi said... [Reply]

neat stuff aarti.....nice to see someone appreciate the finer details in life, which we tend to miss out..

Anu said... [Reply]

have u seen the guy on the Jehangir stretch who makes wire sculptures and puzzles,Very innovative and CHEAP!!!Beats CheapChineseProducts any day!

Aarti Badamikar said... [Reply]

Yes Anu, that's awesome!!

Devika said... [Reply]

Hi ur too good........... i didnt xpected u will write so much abt him.

Aarti Badamikar said... [Reply]

It's all because of you Devika!! :)