Art of India

Among the fondest of my childhood memories is to watch and assist my mom and my more-artistically-capable sister in their art and craft projects. Over the years, I have made a few personal attempts at craft — popsicle stick crafts, paper quilling, jewellery making and the like. And my interest only continues to increase.

Recently, we got our own apartment in Chennai. Among my wishes is to decorate the house with decor based on Indian art, craft and history. Among the first in this list is to get a Karaikudi pillar and that is done. Additionally, mom also picked up one of those animal-shaped Chettinad locks and a vintage brass door knocker. In the coming years, I want to add my own hand-made art to the list.

In this blog post, I want to collect a list of those art forms — some of them I want to try making.

  1. Lippan kaam (mud and mirror work) of Gujarat
  2. Worli from Maharashtra
  3. Kalamkari from Andhra pradesh
  4. Tanjore painting from Tamil Nadu (I have one of these, yaay!)
  5. Dhokra art made by tribes of Odisha (I have one of these too!)
  6. Dasavatara / Ramayana (or the other) ganjifa of Bishnupur/Odisha
  7. Terracotta of West Bengal
  8. Madhubani painting from Mithila, Bihar
  9. Mural paintings from Kerala (sorry, Ravi Varma fans!)
  10. A kathakali mask (I guess I could make it from plaster of paris and sculpture clay!)
  11. Wood inlay paintings from Karnataka
  12. Meenakari painting from Rajasthan

Here is also a list of dolls I want to gather for my golu:

  1. Tanjore talayatti
  2. Kondapalli dolls (Andhra Pradesh)
  3. Chennapatna dolls (Karnataka)
  4. Marble dolls from Rajasthan

Handlooms of India

India is a land of diversity — be it religion, dance, music, food or clothing. One of the most enchanting things about India to every girl that grew up in the land of Bharata is the sarees of our mothers and grandmothers, and more recently the handloom salwars, kurtas and dupattas. I am no different.

Ever since the uniform-clad days ended, I have always been in favor of cottons and cotton blends. Some include power looms and mills, but I had my favorite handlooms churidar sets that I bought all the time–  mangalagiri, kanchi cotton pochampally ikkat, sungudi, the co-optex ones and the gujarati bandhani. The love has recently seeped into sarees, thanks to my growing collection of sarees post wedding.

My wedding trosseau featured a few handloom silk varieties (Kanjeevaram, Uppada, Salem, Bangalore, Mysore silk, a hand-embroidered Tussar) and as part of the various gifts, I also received a few handloom cotton sarees (a Bengal cotton, a handloom silk cotton and now a Chettinad saree). And, as the gita has rightly warned, the indulgence has only increased my craving for more. Like every saree fan out there, I want to add atleast one of each kind of handloom saree in the country to my wardrobe.

Here, I collect a list of handloom weaves by state, gathering both silk and cotton varieties. Mr.Husband, friends and countrymen, hear y’all, this is my running wishlist and you are welcome to contribute generously to my wardrobe. <My sheepish grin />. Peace.

Handlooms of India by State.

If you know of a new variety, leave me a comment with additional information. Comments that seek to market products will be removed (I’m the arbiter here! :))

More power to sarees and desi women!



A fresh restart

Hello again, world!

After rage quitting online expression last year (both on Quora and Blogger), I’m now back. Oh boy, how I missed writing!

I plan to write semi-actively in this space, but not really on Quora (I still lurk around there, reading and commenting).

Thanks to all the known-unknown people from Quora, who noticed my absence and took the pains to hunt down my Facebook profile / academic e-mail to check on me. Each one of those notes meant a lot to me and they made my day on several days.

And.. did I mention? The feeling of a shiny, new blog and personal website comes nowhere close to writing on a new notebook.