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Get crafty

delhi Updated: Oct 22, 2010 23:12 IST
Nivriti Butalia
Nivriti Butalia

Gucci mamas or kalamkari hotties? It should surprise no body that at a crafts mela, you spot less Gucci and more kalamkari. And judging by the crowd, with their streaks of grey and glasses perched overhead, age is no bar.

Prachi Kalra might agree. Teacher of English Literature at Delhi University’s Gargi College, Kalra is looking at herself in the mirror in front of stall no 163, trying on a fuschia pink cloth bag for R 1,800. Her students will be amused, she says, were they to see Ma’am checking herself out, deciding which bag to buy. Behind her, Aditi Prakash, of Pure Ghee Designs — and of fuschia pink bags — says it’s been a good first day for business. Not empty at all.

The 18th Dastkaar Nature Bazaar opened on Thursday at the IGNCA lawns. Same faces, familiar products, with the usual leaning towards recycled and eco friendly. And like every year, we Delhiites love it.

For those who haven’t been before, the Dastkaar Bazaar is an edgier, kitschier Dilli Haat. The food is not a patch though — avoid the kathi rolls. Instead, pick up all the aam-papad you like.

There are options galore for those with an agenda of home improvement. You can stock up on interiors — table mats, lampshades, crockery, or add to your wardrobe — gudi mudi stoles: organic, handspun cotton yarn. You’re free to spend a couple of hours mingling with the many amateur Canon-possessors who click away at all things bright and colourful.

There’s a mixed policy on haggling — allowed for a marble mortar and pestle, not so much for bags at Karam Marg. All that aimless browsing reaps rewards. You may pick up things like a bamboo back scratcher for, say, your other half, who normally relies on cutlery to rid himself of an itch.

Ochre, the Craftmark certified ceramics and pottery brand — with ‘animals, insects and accessories’ as its tagline — is a big draw with crowds. Girls making cooing sounds over bumble bee fridge magnets and saying “sooooo cute” at figures of dogs stretching is not unusual.

Dastkaar Bazaar
At IGNCA, 1, Central Vista Mess, Janpath. Daily 11am-8pm till October 31. Entry free

Blind School mela

The Annual Diwali Bazaar at Blind Relief Association on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (near Oberoi flyover). From October 26 to November 3. Daily 10.30am-8pm

Select Citywalk mall

Diwali Bazaar at District Centre, Saket October 29-31; 12 noon to 10 pm;
entry free

Shilpotsav 2010
An exhibition-cum-sale of crafts by 200 artisans from all over India. At Dilli Haat INA till October 28

Karva Chauth Fest
At 32nd Milestone, NH-8, Gurgaon on October 25, 10 am onwards