Cacophony of color and voices. Overwhelmed. Women dressed in their elegant best. Where it feels like an over-sized FabIndia showroom. Where new-age khadi and linen fabrics overshadow kanjivaram and banarasi sarees. That pretty much sums up my first day experience at Vastrabharana: the handloom exhibition organized by Crafts Council of Karnataka. It is an annual exhibition that happens in the last week/first week of September/October. One for which women save in the months leading upto it so that they can splurge to their heart’s content.And I’m not kidding. The queue at the cash/credit card counter was longer than the entry line to Chinnaswamy stadium to see you know what. What does this exhibition have? Fabrics: ajrakh, hand-block printed, kanjivaram, pochampally, ikat, kalamkari, linen, andhra khadi,…

Overcast skies. Hair gently blowing in the wind. Colors as pretty as these. Blue pottery; block prints; copper vessels. So much diversity under a roof and everything that India stands for. Elegantly dressed ladies draped in beautiful saris. What an electric atmosphere. Sampoorn Santhe is back in town with its visually enticing stalls. If you are craving for Indo-fusion wear in indigo hues, this is the exhibition to go to. Several stalls stacked with block-printed skirts, palazzos, culottes, and dresses. The regulars at Sampoorn were there along with some new entrants. I took a break for a few months from these exhibitions as there were the usual suspects (same stalls) hosted by a different banner each time. And with too many exhibitions happening all around…

Dastkar is happening in town at Bangalore until 16th August at the Manpho Convention Center (next to Manyata Tech Park). This post is a riot of colors and an overload of images. So, grab a cup of chai and get ready to spend the next 30 mins immersed in these beautiful handicrafts, beaded jewelry, geometric rugs, block-printed handlooms, handcrafted pottery, silk saris and much more.

Most stalls were the regulars, some were missing, and some were new. All set?

Dastkar Bangalore

Tucked away in a muddy bylane was a colorful tent. It was a cloudy day today in B’lore which later gave away to unpleasant sunshine;  at the colorful grounds were hundreds of artisans gathered from around the country.  Neatly lined up in three rows, their awesome creations were on display. It being a working day, the crowd was thin but for a regular, enthusiastic bunch who knew what they were buying. It was also quiet unlike the weekends when there are multiple performances, dozens of kids running around, and the husbands patiently accompanying their zealous wives.

Nevertheless, it was a riot of colors. And, that’s more than enough. Happy me :)

Dastkar has come to town after two years; there was no nature bazaar last year. More stalls; more variety; a few old ones were missing but had paved way to new ones. This nature bazaar features everything from patch work quilts from Rajasthan to straw mats from Manipur, Kawandi quilts from Karnataka to pathachitra from Orissa, and silk from Bengal and Tussar silk from Chhatisgarh to embroidery and scented candles from Tamil Nadu. You get it – its fabrics and ceramics to jewelry and paper work  across the breadth of the country – all under one roof. But, only till the August 17th, 2014.

Over to pictures now…

Jewelry and glass repurposed as a lamp holder


An assortment of jewelry..


green life

Sometimes I marvel at the lengths we go to as parents. Starfruit, pomelo, pineapple, and orange take the coveted four spots in my son’s list of favorite fruits. There is a slight glitch here: the first two are not easily available, let alone taste. So I’m yet to figure out how they moved  up the ladder in his list of favorite fruits. I’ve had Pomelo as a child but didn’t see one for the next 20 years, until last summer. Starfruit, on the other hand, I saw for the first time at Hyper City (ridiculously priced) a couple of years back and then at Hyderabad.

There was a mini Malnad mela by Vanastree at Green Life, I’nagar on Friday/Saturday where they planned to sell starfruit candy, kokum candy among other things. But, for us, these were the star attractions. So, we went Friday evening taking in the evening showers. No, there was no starfruit candy as the showers seemed to have spoilt the harvest. I was looking for starfruit seeds, as well, which they didn’t have. The organizer told me you can actually grow starfruit trees by propagation. Anyways, I was in for a surprise as I spot Kawandi Quilts. They were beautiful, and wonder how much work goes in to piece together those colorful patches.

Kawandi quilts

kawandi quilts

Good morning! Hope you had a great weekend. Yesterday, I went to Chitra Kala Parishath for the Vastrabharana Exhibition. Vastrabharana is held every year to showcase hand-crafted textiles from around the country. The exhibition primarily showcases saris and jewellery with a few collection of dress materials and stoles. Of all the handloom exhibitions I’ve visited, this one wins hands down. Each stall is unique and rich in its own way with no room for mediocrity in design, style or price.

To say, you would come back awed by the hand-woven saris collection would be an understatement. First off, hats off to the talent and diversity we have in our country; it’s unparalleled.  Do you ever make a mental note to not go back to one of these exhibitions again because you can’t pick everything and that is depressing?


From Telia Rumal of Andhra Pradesh, hand-woven Tussar from West Bengal, Chattisgarh, M.P., and Bihar, chanderi, maheshwari, ajrakh, bagh, hand-dyed fabric to Mura Collectives and handwoven Kanchipuram cotton saris, you’ll find it all.

I went going back in circles not knowing what to click, what images to soak in – the pure pleasure of feeling silk against your palm and the wide array of colors.

The picture you see below is of the Bandhini stall from Gujarat.


It was 10:50  a.m. Sunday morning. The phone made a faint noise; a very unfamiliar one to me.  It turned out to be a event alert. You see I don’t usually mark my calendar for any meeting, let alone a trip to the Farmer’s Market. But I must have anticipated the exhaustion.

We returned from Ahmedabad past midnight on Saturday; as expected it was one long, wet exhausting trip. The name “The Yoga House” was intriguing and damn those tempting FB pictures. They lure you to places.

So I dragged my tired self to indulge (visually) on organic produce.

Sampoorn Santhe, organized by Sampoorn, is currently being held at Chitra Kala Parishath. Bangalore is a treat for craft lovers. Last week, I went to the half-yearly Kala Madhyam held at Basava Bhavan (you didn’t miss anything as the show was a flop!) .  So, I was not enthusiastic about Sampoorn Santhe but still found myself there yesterday morning with the camera in tow and grey skies over. Am I glad to have made the trip? You bet!

Sampoorn Santhe was very refreshing. No regular stalls, no regular vendors and o0dles of freshness and color. If you are a Dastkar regular, then I’m told (by aagor guys) the annual exhibition will not be held this year in Bangalore.

Some of my favorite picks here.

I picked up a kumkum box. These colorful organizers are made in Bangalore out of wood. You had pretty wall hooks, watering cans, organizers, pencils, and holders all priced very reasonably. The small ones were around Rs.50.

Good morning! Hope you’ve got a great start to the week. Yesterday morning, I went to the Rajasthan Grameen exhibition at Chitra Kala Parishath. The mela has been on since March 3rd and yesterday was the last day. The crowd was thin and so were the stalls. Apart from the usual suspects like the jharokha, kantha worked fabrics, beaded jewellery, dye prints and blue pottery, there were a few things that caught my eye. I went in unprepared and took these pictures on the phone. The golden vase was the showstopper for me. You’ve seen variants of this before – the base is iron + other metals.  But, this one was a new addition and comes in various sizes. The price starts from Rs.500…

Before I begin, just a quick reminder: have you entered the Zansaar giveaway yet? The contest runs until tomorrow evening, so you may want to make a mental note to leave a comment.

Now, let’s get down to business and salivate over the pictures together. Shall we? I went to the Kala Madhyam fair on a working day braving the maddening traffic and enduring an accident(thank God, no one got hurt).  Kala Madhyam has a charm of its own every time it comes to town in the form of a fair at Chitra kala parishat – twice a year. But, as I mentioned on Facebook, this time there were too many of the same kind of stalls which was an overkill. Like half a dozen patchwork/kantha quilt shops (not complaining), over a dozen kurta/kurti shops (overkill), and other half a dozen tussar silk stalls.  The exclusivity was lost in thin air.