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The Madhubani week…


In Craft, Learning, My projects Posted

It has been a rather hectic month. I spent the first part trying to figure out train tickets, accommodation and making boxes. Making boxes is not an easy task. All those tutorials on ehow and wikihow never expose you to the reality of explaining the same to the local carpenter. I had a tough time getting a hundred boxes done and ready with a nice smooth finish on the top.

The Madhubani artists(Naveen and Pooja) were going to be here and I had to ensure that everything went off smoothly. I am a stickler for detail and I constantly stress myself about little things. Add to it the proscrastinator in me, you have the perfect recipe for last minute rush, mouth ulcers (6 of them!!) and sleepless nights. Blogging was almost at the end of the list of things-to-do. Well almost, cause after that came a list of house-work. So after a debacle of train tickets, I  managed to get them to Ahmedabad 3 days late!  I heaved a big sigh of relief as I got that 6 am call that they have reached Ahmedabad.

We started off with the workshop at CEPT. DICRC is the Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre at the university and they do some kick-ass work. A perfect platform that facilitates the marriage between traditional crafts and new ideas. And what better than Interior Architecture to use these splendid craft forms! 🙂 So the first 4 days zipped past with coverage in 3 newspapers :), loads of new and interesting design work and of course a lot of fun. It is amazing how a designer can influence a different thought process to an already existing idea. The designers worked on using the artisans knowledge of the 2D form into a 3D form. The results were stunning.

After the workshop, we got down to the rest of the task. Painting boxes! Since I am always looking at introducing crafts in everyday life, I decided to tackle that ugly looking pack of tissues lying in every home. So I decided to make tissue box holders that will cover that ugly of a home and bring it centre stage. And I used it for a party at home. I sold a few right there! 🙂

So while I was babysitting the artisans’ 4 year old daughter, cooking up games every half hour, boiling the milk to the right temperature for her, putting her to sleep and keeping an hawk eye on things in my home, the couple painted away. They talk in hushed tones to each other (not necessary considering I don’t understand their language anyways!), sing little songs and have a great time together. It is interesting to see that camaderie, one that comes only out of knowing each other well and doing something that they so love together. It is like their work cements their love even better, as she blushes at a compliment from him about the fish she painted.

Together (I pitched in after day 2 as I realised that it is not an easy task), we filled every box with something interesting. A box where the couple hold hands was Pooja’s favourite as she relates every character to her life! Phew! 🙂 I had to fight to keep some monotones as Naveen disapprovingly looks at the lack of colour.

So as 41 boxes were painted, we decided to call it a day. The couple took their 4 year old out to have ice-cream and finally boarded the train with a whole lot of memories. I switched on the AC, cleared the paint mess all over my floor and collapsed on the bed happy and content. I know selling it is another story. But for now I am happy to see so much color in my life. One thing at a time.

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