Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad

When I came across the stall of Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at the annual collective of A Hundred Hands, I immediately started with all the questions that I had for her. This was a great opportunity for me to meet such a talented artist who is in an urban setting but continues to be in touch with her roots. Originally from Patna, she has no formal training in the art form. But her work speaks of her flair for the art, and the simple elegant lines of Madhubani captivate us. She says, “I have inherited the art from my culture and am proud of it.”

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective. Pic credit – Tejaswini Iyer

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

 

Vidushini Prasad has been doing Madhubani paintings for over a decade now. With a degree in chemistry, art was never on the horizon. But it was something which just chose her. When she started painting, she never thought it would bring her recognition. But now as a member of A Hundred Hands, her work is instantly recognised. Having displayed her work in art galleries, made to order pieces, installation in FabIndia Sarjapur, exclusive art pieces in NOVICA, displays in bazaars, santhes and innumerable workshops..she is candid in saying that it becomes mechanical if she lets it. “Just like any job…I have to keep reinventing myself and my art.” So she finds inspiration everywhere and brings in new elements in the age old art form. Though a folk art, it beautifully lends itself to the artist’s creativity and this is very evident when I see her work. Right from using old book pages as her base to the fresh colour scheme, it is all her signature style. Her speciality is the kutchi and bharni styles of Madhubani. Sometimes she also does the godhna style which is the tatoo art used by tribals. 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective. Birds everywhere!

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective

Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective. Pic Credit – Tejasweeni Iyer

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective. Pic Credit – Tejasweeni Iyer

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

 

As we chat about her work and the method she follows, she happily shares all the details and even tells me where I can buy the nib for drawing the outline! I am always surprised when people are generous with their art and ideas. When I say this she just laughs and says that creation has to happen by each person, which is the beauty of handmade. Her happy and cheerful personality infuses her art with positive vibes and happy birds chirp out. Her foray into Madhubani art which started with the Ardhanareshwar has come a long way. Her group on Facebook has more than sixteen thousand followers and is an interactive platform for people to share their work, ideas and get feedback. It is this aspect of her personality which I find very endearing. In fact she also uses her platform to encourage an NGO which specialises in Tikuli art helping rural women make a living.

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective. Pic Credit – Tejasweeni Iyer

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands annual collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad in the Bharni Style. Pic Credit – Tejasweeni Iyer

 

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad at A Hundred Hands Annual Collective

 

Check out her collection at the eighth edition of A Hundred Hands annual Collective at the United Theological College, Millers Road Bangalore. Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad gives you the symbols of fertility, prosperity, love and harmony. The different animals and birds symbolize not just the beauty of nature, but also the different aspects for a fulfilling life. My personal favourite was the ‘Tree of life’ with beautiful birds, the owls on the notebook, the Ganesha (which I got for my home), the peacock….I know… the list of my favourites is endless! Madhubani by Vidushini Prasad is not just beautiful but also useful and affordable….the notebooks, key holders and many others. Being part of the ME TO WE project, she has collaborated with the paper mache artist and you have Madhubani in a new avatar. All in all, I am motivated to go back to Madhubani and try my hand at it with the nib. With all the tips that I got from Vidushini, I am sure it’s going to be a success.

 

See you at the annual collective.

 

Twinkles to all of you.

Anupama.

 

 

Experience Handmade

Experience Handmade

It was the first day at the eighth annual handmade collective of A Hundred Hands at Bangalore. Though I was there for most of the day, I could not visit all the stalls. Each stall was so unique, colourful and intriguing, that I just could not go browsing….I had to spend some time with the artist and before I knew it, the day was over. Brimming with ideas and talent these are the select members of A Hundred Hands, where there is a waiting list of over 200 artisans for membership. 

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

I off course, happily did some shopping even as I chatted up with the artists talking to them of all that makes up their art. Even though it was the first day, I could see that it was long awaited by the patrons. And no wonder – beautiful, good quality and unique handmade products from all over India, reasonably priced and all under one roof. The ME TO WE project where the focus was on bringing in new products with collaboration between the artists was a big hit.

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

I couldn’t resist and happily splurged on Madhubani by Vidushini, Thangka paintings, beautiful earrings made using dried flowers, soft soft stoles from Himachal, Cherial masks, pretty dresses for some pretty princesses and earmarked some more beauties for the rest of the days. Also planning on getting my cousin who is crazy about sarees and in that department you are totally spoilt for choice. Ummmm soft soft fabrics like Malkha, Ajrakh, maheshwari, kasavu with Kerala mural work, exclusive droolworthy kalamkari, ikkat…it was too tempting so I did not venture too close.

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands – Experience handmade. Kaavad.

 

And if you would like to do some good, even as you shop…you have the quilts, bed covers and cushion covers from Purkal Sthree Shakti, the denim project by A Hundred Hands in association with NIMHANS ( you can donate your old pair of jeans for some serious makeover here) and others. If you are into reuse and recycle then you have colourful bags, basinets, dhurries, lamps and decor items made of jute with cloth, discarded plastic bags (not an error …it’s true!) newspapers, onion peel, twigs and leaves. 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands – Experience handmade

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands – Experience handmade

 

Miniature paintings with gold, pattachitra, palm leaf engravings, gond art, kalighat paintings, delicate figurines in glass, marble inlay work, fabric from banana fibre, home decor accessories using sustainable materials….the talent you will witness here is endless.

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

A Hundred Hands Experience handmade

 

And you have just four more days to discover this for yourself. Lose no time…and get yourself to the eighth annual handmade collective by A Hundred Hands. This is an opportunity for you and the artisans…let’s have some fun shopping. The magic of handmade is here in Bengaluru until 3rd Dec. And look out for posts on the different artists from the collective in this space.

Lots of Twinkles to all of you.

See you at the Collective.

Anupama

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Old inscription stones of Bangalore -At first glance, you would think they were illegible and in a language not known to you. But on closer inspection of the pictures you realise it’s in Kannada. Of the 150 (Only within Bangalore) recorded by Mr. B L Rice from 1894 to 1905 in Epigraphia Carnatica only 27 are in existence now. Mr. Uday Kumar an engineer by profession started looking for these stones when he heard of one such stone in his vicinity in Rajajinagar and was disappointed as he did not find it. But he did not give up and went in search of the other inscription stones. When he discussed this with his cycling buddy, Mr. Vinay Kumar, he volunteered to be part of the project. In their words, “What started as a conversation ended up as an exhibition.” With each of these stones, there are stories. Stories on how they found it or didn’t find it, the condition they found it in and the stories on these stones.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore -There were many youngsters going through the history of Bangalore

 

What is the purpose of this exhibition of inscription stones of Bangalore? I was expecting the inscription stones to be at the museum but was surprised to only see their pictures. If the intention is to preserve these, shouldn’t we just keep them in a museum? So many questions and all of them are answered here….in the stories you hear from Mr. Uday Kumar and Mr. Vinay Kumar.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore -Mr. Uday Kumar and Mr. Vinay Kumar. Pic Credit -PeeVee

 

I especially liked the story of Chikabettahalli and the new found pride of the localites in their place of birth. Where urbanisation has brought Vidyaranyapura to the forefront, kids from Chikabettahalli might rather say they are from Vidyaranyapura. But now when they have realised they have a stone inscription from 1524AD mentioning their place and the history, it is a matter of pride for them to belong here.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore -The Old and young

 

A broken stone– It speaks of our lassitude where our history is concerned. Leaning against a temple wall, painted a brick red to match the temple and burning leaves against it, the stone finally broke down. You can see this inscription stone at the museum or rather whatever is left of it. These inscription stones of Bangalore also play an important part in language study and give us an understanding of those times.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

 

The story of the shepherd, who did not know the stone was in any way special. But when Mr. Uday Kumar told him about its significance, he has taken ownership and now explains the significance of the stone to all who come to see it. The story of the priest who does not understand the language but has his family tree traced to the stone inscription and takes good care of it. The stories are many and are best told by Mr. Uday Kumar. With their interest and efforts, Mr. Uday Kumar and team have brought about enormous change in how we see our history and feel about the place we all call home, Bengaluru.

 

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore. 

 

This is a crowd funded program, supported by the archaeological department and the government. But more importantly it’s the culmination of the work and efforts by Mr. Uday Kumar and team. Beginning this August, I doubt they have taken any holidays. Working at day jobs as engineers, they have given all their spare time to this project. And the engineers that they are, it’s been beautifully presented with the sole purpose of creating awareness and pride in our history. They also recieved support from across the world with all the different aspects of the exhibition on ‘Inscription Stones of Bangalore’.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

 

The inscription stone dated 900 AD found in Begur near silk board has the first mention of Bengaluru. So Bengaluru is older than Kempegowda…there’s proof. There’s also proof for the cosmopolitan nature of Bengaluru from as far back as 1350AD, where Kannadiga kings had inscription stones done in Telugu and Tamil to facilitate the local population. You can also see the method in which such inscriptions were understood. The paper used to record the writing using water and paint was demonstrated by the archeology department and is kept as part of the exhibit.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Children will also get to take postcards with the history of the stone inscription and a special cancellation seal which the postal department has come up with featuring the name Bengaluru as on the inscription stones of Bangalore. My child was totally excited about posting the postcard to herself. Unfortunately we were so engrossed in the process; I did not click any pictures (This reminds me that she has no idea about letters, the post office and the post box! She thought it was like a temple hundi!) Just shows that in this digital age we need to make efforts to teach them something that we took for granted...the post office in our neighbourhood.

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

 

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore

Inscription Stones Of Bangalore. Pic Credit- Invite to the Exhibition

These ‘Inscription Stones of Bangalore’ make our history…history is not in our textbooks but derived from these stones. Just like the drawings on caves helped us unearth the roots of our civilization, these stones are witness to the times gone by. They tell us of traders who donated to temples and so exempted from paying taxes in return (Tax was a pain point even then!), of brave hearts who lost their lives (Veeragallu or herostones), of kings who conquered and rewards received….Let us give them our Sunday…listen to their stories from those who have been with them and understand the times that these stones come from.

Lots of Twinkles to all of you.

Anupama

 

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

‘A Hundred Hands’ brings home the realisation, that the beauty and sense of satisfaction that we get in anything handmade is unparalleled. And we are lucky that we come from centuries of this tradition. Our independence is also a witness to this phenomenal movement of the charakha where we went back to khadi and handspun. Today we are at the crossroads where we have to choose between handmade and a product of the machine. It is a conscious choice we make to empower our economy and our artisans. The Dhawan sisters, Ms. Mala Dhawan and Dr. Sonia Dhawan started the NGO ‘A Hundred Hands’ seven years ago with just this intention. To empower the unknown karigar and help him create a brand and identity for himself. Having started as an annual bazaar in their garden, it has now over 100 artisans as members with a wait list of another 200. In a candid talk with Ms. Mala Dhawan, she speaks of the need to scale up with corporate funding. Not taking any commission for themselves, it is a tough journey.  It is rare to find such generosity of spirit, especially when the years of work is paying off and the annual collective is a big hit among patrons and consumers. Though they belong to neither the NGO nor the Design world, they are determined to make a difference. And this love that they have for ‘A Hundred Hands’ is seeing them through the many hurdles they have come across. I have been following their initiatives for quite some time now and am mighty impressed with not just their zeal but also the results in terms of the innovation and creativity that they are helping foster among the artisans. 

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

The ME2WE project is one such initiative started last year. It has gained momentum and you will be astounded with the results. The eighth annual collective will feature all these artists and more. You can only imagine the deadly combination when two creative minds collaborate! Absolutely stunning collection of products, a creative journey which has witnessed and transcended  barriers of language, location, sensibilities merging onto a whole new plane. The fresh colourful kanchi cotton sarees with lambadi embroidery, the globes of glass created to become aeriums or glass gardens, handwoven fabric with banjara embroidery, accessories made of crochet with patwa embroidery, handloom fabric from ‘Charaka’ lining newspaper rolled picnic baskets, soft ajrakh block printed fabric lining wool knitted scarves, beautiful mirrors which have brought together encaustic art and corrugated discs…are but some of the many collaborations.

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands. A collaboration

 

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

Their journey has not been easy but the beauty that has emerged, the collective learning on both sides, the appreciation of each others’ art and process, has enriched the artisan, the art and the patron. The willingness to share their knowledge passed on from generations, enriching the art, learning to blend the different materials and processes to create a new handmade product makes ME2WE a unique collaboration.

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

 

‘Blanket of love’ spreads the warmth of ‘A Hundred Hands’ and aims at educating a girl child. A volunteer run programme, knitters and crocheters are encouraged to contribute blankets, the sale proceeds of which, will be used to educate a girl child. So any purchase you make at this counter will see you making a positive difference to a child.

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

 

The Denim project is a recycling project which also provides a means of livelihood. This was started in collaboration with NIMHANS where the women undergoing treatment wanted to earn their livelihood but lacked the means. Their tailoring skills were put to good use with ‘A Hundred Hands’ taking care of the raw materials, contemporary designs and marketing of the end product. This beautiful initiative resulted in the trendy bum bags, clutches, mojris, iPad covers, jholas and so many other products.

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

Dr. Sonia Dhawan takes care of the denim project and it now supports 8 women self help groups. The leftovers of the denim is not wasted either. The lambadi tribal groups in turn create beautiful patchwork and these become table runners and other products. The art of kowdhi making from Bellary was also revived as part of this project. The cascading effect has been such that there are many who want to volunteer and collect old jeans so that the beautiful products can keep coming. This annual collective, you have a chance to make your old pair count. Tell your friends and bring over the old denim for some serious transformation. You can drop your old pairs at the denim project counter.

 

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

 

Travel plans – The craft tour was one such initiative where heritage, skill and travel came together creating an experience of a lifetime. I missed this one…but the next time I am making sure that I am a part of it.

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

 

The story of ‘A Hundred Hands’ does not end here. I will bring you many more insights from the collective and the artists when I meet them. You could also make your own memories by being a part of their workshops, the details of which will be updated here when they finalise them. In case you are in a ‘no shopping phase’, you can still come over with a friend who needs to shop and off course Christmas is just round the corner (so you do need to stock up on gifts).

A Hundred Hands

A Hundred Hands

My wish for ‘A Hundred Hands’ is for them to move from strength to strength, brightening lives and instilling confidence in the artisans to believe in the future of their craft. Come and be a part of their growth.

Let’s meet at the Annual Collective.

Lots of Twinkles to all of you.

Anupama

PS- Pics are all from A Hundred Hands, used with permission from Ms. Mala Dhawan.

And I will get my own pics at the collective!

Diwali

Diwali

A long break from writing…and not by design let me tell you. Immediately after Diwali I was all set to share my Diwali with all of you. But that weekend my friend who visited me told me to start immediately with the school hunting for my child and I was already late. And lone week on, there’s not much in terms of progress. At this rate, I think my child is destined for home schooling. So this school thing has been messing my life real time. I just could not sit still and write. But I have realised that life has to go on… so today I have chucked the worry under the carpet and decided to tell you all about my Diwali.

 

It is such a lovely festival…a favourite with everyone. Even one week on, we see that Facebook and Instagram are still lighted up with images from Diwali. Diwali conjures up images of Diyas, flowers, sparklers, new clothes, yummy sweets, a lot of laughter, get-togethers and all things nice. 

Diwali Decor

Diwali Decor. Pic Credit –  Preethi Prabhu

 

This Diwali was really special for me as it was all about feeling good. I intentionally decided to light up from within. You know I am a great gal…but I have a very bad habit of hoarding. To the point that when my friend sent the carpenter for repairs and some changes, we did not have to buy a thing….I had everything he needed! Well times like these I feel good about my hoarding habit…but what about all the 364 days…even I was fed up with the clutter. This Diwali was a time for resolutions and changes. And how! I am so super pleased, I can’t stop smiling.

 

7 Tips for a clutter free home from a novice

 

  1. All that needs to be sorted has to be boxed and labelled. Keep it in storage, go through in phases and clear it. I used to have it lying around, until I got down to sorting and it was so messy I couldn’t think and felt like a failure just looking around my home.

 

Nooks for display- Diwali decor

Nooks for display

 

  1. A gallery wall- this one’s a gem. Preethi Prabhu from Transforminions helped me do a gallery wall and style my work space. Until then, I did not appreciate the wonderful collection that I had of paintings, masks and displays. It was only when it was arranged and put up that I could feel the impact. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has no reservations about nails. This one took some cajoling and convincing as my hubby was totally against drilling the wall. But it’s all worthwhile… especially when I see it every day. First measure the wall and arrange it on the floor. Only when you are happy with the arrangement go for the wall and the drilling machine (This gyan is from Preethi. Hop over to her blog to check out interesting DIYs in home decor)

 

Gallery wall for Diwali

Gallery wall for Diwali

 

Gallery wall for Diwali

Gallery wall for Diwali

 

Gallery wall for Diwali

Gallery wall for Diwali

 

  1. Those repairs…my kitchen was in dire need of a carpenter. A drawer had caved in, a cupboard door had come off and it was a catastrophe waiting to happen. I got those fixed and so many items went to their rightful places. A stitch in time saves nine…so true!
A corner in my Kitchen - Diwali decor

A corner in my Kitchen

 

  1. Less is more…this one’s a real treasure.  My display nooks which were cramped with collectibles were also contributing to the overall chaos. So these spaces were first cleaned up and just two large pieces were assigned in each nook instead of the earlier six or seven. This brought in a sense of calm.

 

Less is more Diwali decor

Less is more. Pic Credit – Preethi Prabhu

 

  1. A place for everything and everything in its place. Let me not go over the top. I am still working on this one. In fact, I am still “a work in progress” where being clutter free is concerned. But I work on it every day in small ways. So I am sure I will get there one day.

 

The Foyer Diwali decor for positive vibes

The Foyer

 

  1. Just don’t buy it. Resist and resist. I don’t think our ancestors ever had this problem of clearing clutter. For one thing this consumerism is the bane of our generation and the next. We tend to buy even before we think it out. So hold your horses before you splurge.
My work space for diwali

My work space for diwali

 

  1. Share and gift. Sometimes we end up with a lot of things that we bought say in a sale. I especially do this with handicrafts and home decor items. I had three dhokra wall hangings which I had bought and never used. This time we gifted two of them to the people we loved. Look around you…I am sure you will find something to gift or share.

 

Diwali décor from my home

 

For me it was all about going clutter free. How was it for you? What was your focus? 

Clutter free Diwali decor

Clutter free Diwali decor

 

I also needed a pleasing space to work in. So I happily got a lively shade of blue. Not one but four shades in small 200 ml boxes. This was the first time I tried painting a wall and I should say that it was wonderful. Though I wanted to do an ombre wall, that is four shades in gradation, when I saw the last shade, I so loved it that I made waves with this shade all over. What do you think? How’s it come? Then it was time to style it with a bookshelf, that I already had elsewhere (I just moved it to my blue wall) and a pin up board. Tada…

Diwali decor - An inspiring workspace

Diwali decor

 

DIY Pin up board– I had seen an ikat fabric covered pin up board in Preethi’s office (You can see her office tour here) and that was when I decided I wanted a custom made one. Half pin up and half black board. I already had this board from Amazon. Preethi and me brainstormed on how to achieve the look I wanted. It was a pin up on one side and a black board on the other.  After removing the frames, we cut up the black board halfway and a foam sheet (I already had this!) was replaced, covered with a kakamkari cloth (I was supposed to get a kurti made out of it). This was all glued together and the frames replaced…lo and behold I got this one-of-a-kind pin up cum black board. You could try this…let me know how it turns out.

Diwali decor

The Sandalwood box from my granny resting on the cash box belonging to my hubby’s grandfather

 

Diwali involving kids– I want my child to feel a sense of involvement in all the festivals. So from last year, Diwali is the time to buy earthen Diyas in varied shapes, sizes and paint them in different hues. It’s a favourite bonding activity for both of us. Then she gifts them to her friends, my friends and relatives. We also use some…so each one of my Diya is unique and we light it with a sense of pride. And yes you can do it by yourself or with your spouse. Children are just an excuse to bring out the child in us.

Diwali - Diyas in different shapes and colours

Diyas in different shapes and colours

 

Also the savouries and snacks that I prepare, I enlist her help and she is all of five. But she loves that she gets to do something as important as laddoos and cut through for shankarpalis. In fact we are so used to doing things in one way, we stop thinking about them. My five year old wanted pyramids and smileys in her laddoos and that is exactly what she did. And off course I also got a Diwali Hamper from Sinful slices…they make the yummiest cakes and desserts.

Diwali - Rava laddoos or pyramids or smileys?

Rava laddoos or pyramids or smileys?

 

Diwali Hamper from Sinful Slices

Diwali Hamper from Sinful Slices

 

Even after so many days past Diwali, the glow of Diwali remains. It remains in my soul and my home because I intended for this Diwali to light my life from within. Try it for yourself, Diwali was just an excuse…and don’t forget to tell me about it.

 

Lots of Twinkles to all of you.

Anupama

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

“Amma, who is that giant?”, “Krishna is trying to steal benne!”,“Such cute chairs!” There is no end to the questions and exclamations. Curiosity and enthusiasm are the secrets to a life filled with wonder. The bombehabba brings this wonder not just to the children but all those involved and lucky to come across it. Though we don’t have the custom of displaying dolls during navratri, my child is lucky to be a part of the beautiful Bombehabba at Sankalpa.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Policeman at the forefront of all the celebrations

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

A view of the display

 

A snapshot of the Dolls Display

 

Bombehabba is celebrated as part of the Navratri festival in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Known by different names such as golu, kolu, bommala koluvu, bommai kolu and gombehabba, the spirit of the festival is the same…unmatched enthusiasm for the dolls. The meanings for the different names are ‘Divine presence’, ‘Court of dolls’ and the ‘Dolls Festival’. The children love this festival and it brings out the child in the adults. It is believed that when the Devi took on the demon Mahishasura, all the gods gave their powers to the Devi. This rendered them to a doll like state. The Bombehabba at Sankalpa and everywhere else is an ode to their sacrifice. An offering is made to the dolls on display and distributed as prasadam. Festivals in India are occasions for celebration and socializing. The Bombehabba is more so because of the unique arrangement in each household depending on the different themes. The “ooohs” and “aahhss” are countless. Usually arranged in steps, some opt for odd number of steps and some houses are totally ruled by the dolls, ranging from one to several rooms.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The New Town featuring malls, apartments and cafes

This navratri was all about Mangalore Dasara for me and I had decided to write about Bombehabba only next year…but when I saw the beautiful Bombehabba at Sankalpa, I HAD to write about it…let me show you all that I saw.

The Pattda gombe – Also called Pattath Bommaikal or Marapacchi bommai, they are the main dolls, depicting the husband and the wife. Given to the bride by her parents, they are the first of her collection of dolls to be displayed at Dasara. Made of teakwood, rosewood or sandalwood, they are dressed and decorated in silk and accessories. Alongside the Pattada gombe, a wedding ceremony is also featured here.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Pattada Gombe

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Pattada Gombe decked up in jewellery and silks

 

Goddess Saraswathi – She is the inspiration, the centre and being of Vidya or learning. Children are seen at her feet, bowing to her in humility and prayer.

Ma Durga – Riding the tiger, she is the epitome of courage, bravery and will.

Gowri and Goddess Lakshmi look resplendent and complete the Devi in all her forms. The Goddess is the epitome of compassion, learning, courage, goodwill and wealth. The Navanayikas, the Ashtalakshmi are all symbolic of her benevolence.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Navanayikas

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Saraswathi Puja is an important aspect of the display

 

Krishna – many of Lord Krishna’s Bala Leelas are depicted at the Bombehabba at Sankalpa. The Benne Krishna, trying to steal butter, the scene of the Govardhan mountain being lifted by Krishna with just his little finger, Krishna eating butter are some of the depictions that are very popular with the kids. Instead of us telling them about it, they will be the ones to educate us on these pranks. Krishna’s marriage to Rukmini and Rukmini Shringar are not to be missed. I especially loved the maid holding the mirror…Shrinivas Kalyana is also depicted with all the Gods and Godesses in attendance.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Krishna and Balram stealing butter

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Krishna Rukmini wedding ceremony

The couple selling provisions – I loved the small vessels around them with the chillies, spices, grains and grams. The vessels in sandstone, brass and copper are truly appealing.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Vessels in different materials

 

Prahlad Pattabhisheka – Prahlad, the king who brought back happiness to his kingdom, who replaced the evil with the good and who set a new benchmark for devotion.

Kumbhakarna and Bakasura – with all the tasty snacks before them captured the attention of the kids and then it was all about them and their stories.

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Kumbhakarna being woken up

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Prahlad Pattabhisheka attended by the Gods and Goddesses

 

Ram and Hanuman – Hanuman bringing the sanjeevni and the monkeys building the Rama Setuve needed some elaboration. Miss A has a question…”If I write Shree Ram on a rock, will it float? Then we could also go to Srilanka! What fun!” Well….I wish.

Village life – The scenes from a village are beautifully translated in this Bombehabba at Sankalpa. The grinding stone immediately transported me back to my childhood home. When I used it for the first time, what pride I felt! The first masala ground by me maybe when I was 10 or so..
Not because I had to do it, but because I wanted to!

The Harvesting season and Pongal– I loved the simple yet effective way of bringing the reason and the celebration together. The many stages of growing our food are all seen here.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Grinding stone

 

Stories I say – Stories are an all time favourite with kids and everyone else as well. The lion and the mouse, the thirsty crow, the cunning fox, the crocodile and the monkey are all there waiting for you at the gombehabba at Sankalpa.

The star of the show- is definitely the Mysore palace and the Dasara Procession. Including the ambaari, the cultural extravaganza and the band leading the way, it’s amazing. The view from the archway is awesome, right up to the palace. Flanked by the zoo on one side and a park on the other, it gives us a glimpse of the festivities around Dasara. The lions, Ms. Jyothi Chetan tells me, are inherited by her and are more than a hundred years old!

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The beautiful display of dolls during the Dasara Festival.

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The Dasara proccession

The Kondapalli toys were looking majestic and I have decided the minute I go off my ‘no shopping phase’ Iam going to buy some for myself…ok not some but at least a pair!

The School – complete with the building (a DIY made of chart paper), the teacher, students with benches and desks, a blackboard and a fan! Most apt when the Bombehabba is at Sankalpa Montessori School.

The Town – The cityscape is depicted with high rise buildings, quaint houses ( a DIY of paper cups), channapatna toys, vehicles, roads with humps and bumps( the speed breakers), the streetlights and vehicles. The cute chairs and tables in plastic, the malai kulfi seller, the play area for kids are all super cute. 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The school with the teacher and students

 

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

Kondapalli toys

When I visited, I couldn’t resist asking the visitors about their favourite doll in the display…Check out the video on that.

 

All in all, a wonderful team effort to showcase the gombehabba at Sankalpa in its full glory. Kudos to Ms. Jyothi Chethan and her wonderful team.

Bombehabba at Sankalpa

The team at Sankalpa headed by Ms. Jyothi Chetan

Lots of Twinkles to all of you.

May the festivities continue to bring light and goodwill in our lives.

Anupama.

 

PS- If you miss it this year, no worries. You can always take this as an inspiration and have one of your own next year. Don’t forget to send me pictures though.