A brass god sits on a shiny pedestal, an ‘Aditya Asan’. A ‘Padma Thali’, on which to arrange the flowers and lamp, is waiting to be decorated. A hanging ‘Phool Diya’ lights up a corner rather delicately, while incense sticks fixed on a ‘Vishnu Agarbatti’ spread a soft fragrance.
It’s an elaborate pooja setting, but with a twist — the ‘asan’ (seating) and ‘diya’ (lamp) are made of stainless steel, instead of traditional stuff like brass or clay. They are the brainchild of Delhi-based Pankaj Verma, a 40-something NID graduate, and his wife, Julie Bose. Verma worked as an interior designer for two decades before taking a sabbatical to launch Namo in 2007, a design house specialising in the devotional space.
“Apartments are getting fancier, but we still have a traditional mindset in the way we do up our personal spaces, our pooja ghars. We wanted something contemporary, not hip,” says Verma. So Namo’s designs are “clean and minimal”, in line with recent trends in design. Verma experimented largely with stainless steel, hand-crafting and laser-cutting it.
Devotional products was a hitherto unexplored market, so the duo started by putting up stalls at Diwali melas across the city. “We worked on feedback from elderly people since they know best,” Verma says.
Most of Namo’s products are inspired by geometrical shapes and natural elements — leaf and snowflake patterns, divine symbols, etc. “Our products transcend religion — a snowflake candle that we designed for Christmas can also be used during Diwali.”
Namo products range from Rs 345 (incense holders) to Rs 15,000 (mandirs) and are available in most speciality stores across major metros .