Whoever said that Indian arts and craft are static was obviously barking up the wrong tree. Each day brings new innovations, the latest being that of inventive garland-making. Now, this art is not exactly new to India. From the simple greeting of a visitor or a person celebrating a special occasion with a necklace of flowers, even coins, the garland of today requires considerable imagination and dexterity.
It has long been a custom in the South to garland politicians. The late MGR, a slightly-built man used to be all but invisible under the gigantic, anaconda-like flower garland which would be put on his personage. The said garland would require at least a dozen party workers to cart off so we can only imagine the Herculean feat that went into standing up under its weight. An equally petite North Indian politician has inspired a different — and may we add far more valuable — type of commemorative garland. At a rally on Monday, BSP supremo Mayawati found herself at the receiving end of a mammoth garland made of currency notes. Party workers had the good sense to hold the garland over her instead of injuring her by actually putting it round her neck. What amazed us is the labour that must have gone into the making of this uber garland. Currency garlands are par for the course in North Indian weddings, but Mayawati has taken them to a new numerical level.
The other question is how the party workers were able to prevent people from nicking the odd note while no one was looking. This garland is sure to inspire creators to greater heights. And we could teach western politicos that there is more to public life than standing around in a three-piece suit yammering about the cost of living. Instead, we’d like to see, say Messrs Obama and Brown putting their money where their mouths are by displaying it on their necks.