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Artist’s exhibits not for sale, but to inspire people at Chandigarh’s ‘swadeshi’ fair

The products exhibited at the stall of the ‘71-year-old young man’ are not for sale but to inspire people to utilise their free time and imagination into something creative.

punjab Updated: Nov 23, 2017 13:36 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
exhibits not for sale,Swadeshi Mela,Chandigarh
Artist Ashok Bhandari at his stall in Swadeshi Mela, Sector 34, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. (Karun Sharma/HT)

“Imagination is the key to live stress-free life,” says engineer-turned-artist Ashok Bhandari Nadir, who has put up a stall to exhibit his art at the Swadeshi Mela being held at Sector 34 Mela Ground from November 22 to 26.

The ‘71-year-old young man’ as he calls himself has 1,800 plants at his home, inspiring people to stay healthy by spending time doing whatever interests them. “People usually get into depression as they grow old but I do not want anything of that sort. Imagination is the key for me to live a healthy and stress-free life,” says Nadir.

“When I see a piece of scrap, I start visualising how it can be used. After that I start working on it and as more scrap is collected, I create things out of that.” — Engineer-turned-artist Ashok Bhandari Nadir

The products exhibited at his stall are not for sale but to inspire people to utilise their free time and imagination into something creative. The name of his stall, Art From Scrap, itself tells that he uses waste material to create art pieces.

“After retirement I thought I need to do something and started writing poetry. 10 books have been published till now. Moreover, at our hydraulic door closer factory, there is so much scrap; I got an idea why not use it to create something,” he said. From different kinds of tables to small trains and bikes to lamps and kangaroos, he has spent months in designing and creating his art works.

He has created a group of kangaroo musicians; every kangaroo has a different musical instrument while one guides them.

All about an idea

“When I see a piece of scrap, I start visualising how it can be used. After that I start working on it and as more scrap is collected, I create things out of that,” he told HT.

The tables of different forms have taken months for designing. Some are made by joining small two-three inch pieces of wood. Nadir has completed his engineering in mechanical production from Panjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, in 1968. He has been into creating artifacts since 1986.

Five-day Swadeshi Mela begins

The five-day Swadeshi Mela began at the Mela Ground, Sector 34, on Wednesday. It was inaugurated by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Organised by Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Centre for Economic Policy Research from November 22 to 26, the mela will promote indigenous products made by small industries and businesses.

The fair has stalls of seasonal clothes, phulkari, quilts, Kashmiri shawls and Punjabi salwars. Handmade jewellery, bags, artifacts, agricultural products, pickles and other food items are also available at discounted rates.

Some music is also on offer during the evenings where singers Hans Raj Hans, Mankirat Aulakh and Master Saleem will perform.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 13:36 IST