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Home > City Resources > Arts and Antiques > Regaining the lost charm

A colourful stall at Gujarati melaGujaratis, known for their mastery over art are now trying to expose their rich tradition and culture in order to reconstruct the lives of the people who were affected by the devastating earthquake, which killed many skilled craftsmen, destroyed their workplaces, and caused unbelievable damage to the goods and property. Many cities and organisations are offering platforms for Gujaratis to display their art works.

Sand art pots by Hemant JadavThe week long crafts exhibition, Gujarati Mela held recently at Shilparamam was one such exhibition organised jointly by the Tourism Department and Indext-C, an organisation from Gujarat. The display beared proof of the grit and determination of weavers and the craftsmen of Gujarat. "We had to begin our lives from the scratch. It took nearly three months to recover from the eathquake," said Ratilalal J Loncha, an artist from Bhuj area. Loncha's stall caught every body's attention. It had aroma filled embroidered churidars and beautiful bedspreads. Ajharak print items displayed at his stall were dresses and sarees ranging between Rs. 50 per metre and Rs. 400 per metre.

Enthusiastic visitors bargaining at a stallBhetha Bhai from Dwaraka exhibited an array of items starting from cushion covers to wall hangers, costing as low as Rs. 50. Daring the scorching heat of the sun, the craft connoisseurs of twin cities visited the Mela and thoroughly enjoyed it. The exhibition was crowded all through the week. "We did brisk business during the week and Hyderabadis once again proved that they have an everlasting interest towards the craft exhibitions," said Bhetha Bhai. The stall put up by Hemant Jadav from Morbi was something special. He displayed sand art pictures, sand art flower pots and other types of sand art decorative items. Many of his works were sold like hot cakes.

Everlasting interest by HyderabadisBed works, traditional Chania cholis, wooden furniture, block print and hand printed sarees, Patola leather items, painted earthenware, copper bells, crystals, Mutva, jet, leather, soof embroidery, Ahir, mirror work shawls, kapads, torans and pottery formed part of the expo, which was inaugurated by Additional DGP, M.L.Kumavath. "This was the sixth expo we have conducted so far. The other five exhibitions have done Rs. 55 lakh worth of business, while this one did up to Rs. 10 lakh business," Indext-C executive director D.H.Jalavadia said.
-Krishna Chaitanya Karanam.
Photographs by: Srinivas Setty

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