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Old fair, new ground

india Updated: Nov 06, 2009 23:51 IST
Malvika Nanda

The annual Dastkar Nature Bazaar is back for the 17th year at a new address. Out of the over-familiar Dilli Haat area, the bazaar is being held at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) on Janpath till next Saturday, November 14. The theme of the fest that on Thursday, November 5 theme is Monkey and the Banana Tree. In keeping with which the entrance of the mela has craft monkeys hanging with banana peels.

Shelly Jain senior project coordinator for Dastkar’s Nature Bazaar says the concept of the 27-year-old organisation is still to “employ rural artisans and give them a platform to market their craft and have a sustainable livelihood option”.

The bazaar displays works of national award winning rural artists has added a corner that features young designers. Puja Bhargava’s silver and beadwork jewellery is worth seeing, and possibly the best of the lot. There’s also terracotta and tribal jewellery from Orissa, Bihar and Karnataka Baghdi, Kutchi, bandhni and ajrak dupattas and sarees are other attractions. Colourful Gujarati and Kutchi shawls with mirror and thread work are another must-see.

Haathi Chaap kiosks have gained popularity for paper art and stationery made out of elephant waste. They also have paper made out of camel waste. Rhinos are next on their agenda. Also on the menu are books for children made with natural non-chemical (soybean ink) and recycled paper.

The food stalls this year focus on nutritious Maharashtrian food. Try the sabudaana vaada and khichdi, thalipit (roti with 13 types of roasted anaj — grain and cereals). There is also pizzas, pasta, chhola bhature and kaathi rolls also but that doesn’t exactly go with the rustic feel of the place.