Still, at this age, I remember flaunting those Ikat, khadi, chanderi Kurtis with Kolhapuri chappals in college years and how everyone around me had appreciated the looks. Even the hardcore denim lovers who never liked buying all this stuff. Almost two decades and my love for handicraft are growing every day. The moment I read any news about handicraft mela, I would plan to visit. But everything has changed in the Pandemic. You’re left with no choice rather wait for things to turn normal or buying online. And with this change, many artisans have gone online to promote their work and products which they can’t sell offline. In one way this is the good move to reach out more audience who might find it easy to shop with the comfort of home.
I’m a handicraft lover since my early childhood days. In those times, and we had limited option to get those hand-crafted pieces. The famous Dilli-Haat or Suraj Kund Mela was one of my core places I had ventured. The memories are still fresh even after so many decades just like the decorative pieces I bought from there. Everything is intact. As fresh as I bought it today. Believe me, buying a handicraft item gives you much more satisfaction than you get from any imported item. At least for me. Last year in 2020 when the Indian government proposed to use Make in India products to push the Indian economy better, I realised I’m already into it for years together. Only thing is earlier resource was limited and now you just need to enter the search engine. Given a preference, I would always go by local artisans over anything factory-made. The feel is entirely different. Also, promoting Indian artisans is more about pushing their art to global network. Why not? It has more weightage in terms of material, eco-friendly use and uniqueness and many their earnings in rural area for their living.
I don’t know how did my love for handicraft surfaced. Perhaps the eco-friendly approach and beauty behind crafting each piece differently.
Buying a handicrafts item isn’t only about the festive season to make beautiful and lavish homes but there are multiple stories behind every artisan and their products. The deep-rooted culture of artisans who process material with their limited resource can be seen in most of the corners of India. Talk about embroidery, decorative paintings, furniture, gift items, pottery, puppet, woodwork, candles etc Every handmade material is eco-friendly, recyclable, leaving no carbon footprints, contributing to preserving traditions, art and culture.
I remember picking up those crafted candles from Nainital and gifting it to my school friends. Then Wooden toys from Chennapatna, Karnataka, Silk sarees from Chennai, The Benarasi sarees from Handicraft sellers who keep roaming in the entire country to showcase their work. The best part of all these stories is that they are as real as they were many years back. The freshness and the love. Also, those gifted items are still there in the memories of my family and friends. With the period, Indian handicraft has taken a cosmopolitan appearance. The love for lost handicraft is back. People began wearing khadi again. Those kolhapuri juties are more in demand and how Sabyasachi made Benarasi saree come back. It’s time to embrace and support all the artisans across!
With this ongoing pandemic with closed walls. And no meeting with anyone you can’t stop gifting to your loved ones. Picking up online handicraft stores give away to various artisans and bring hope to deliver the best. Recently while scrolling through the internet, I found one website https://exclusivelane.com/ and ordered one table lamp for the bedside table. The Faraday lamp is beautifully crafted from mango wood with a durable cotton handmade shade, adding light to my bedroom. Do check this for other beautiful options to gift from.