This weekend, Delhiites can look forward to a rather quaint ritual. On the last weekend before Dussera, Titarpur, which hosts the construction of the largest numbers of Ravan effigies, is transformed into a veritable fair. Families bustle among giant, grinning heads of the demon king and street-food vendors. It’s also a shutterbug’s delight.
“Mostly, we see local visitors who have been passing by seeing the effigies take shape from bamboo, brown paper, old sarees, copious amounts of paint, coloured paper and shiny cloth tape.
But nowadays, we see some foreigners also taking interest,” says Daasey Pal, who has been making the effigies for 25 years. Offering a structured experience of this annual event, which has managed to stay under the cultural radar, is Himanshu Verma of Red Earth, whose project, 1100 Walks, has started a tour this year.
“The Titarpur walk with us is about experiencing the place as part of a group, being able to talk to some of the most experienced artisans about their art and doing it in an informed, safe way.
Our research lets one have a fuller experience of the place. Otherwise, it’s not something that people are very enthused about doing on their own,” says Verma.
More details on www.1100walks.com.