Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Times Raasrang Holi Utsav 2013

Times of India in association with Delhi Tourism and UNESCO among others, hosted the Times Raasrang Holi Utsav at Dilli Haat, from March 22-24.

I happened to visit Dilli Haat on Saturday and witnessed how this festival of Holi cuts across all boundaries...all barriers and is just about Love. Love for melody, Love for Nature, Love for Life and Love for the true eternal One.

This event gave a platform to artists from different parts of the country and the world (there was a Bangladeshi troop that played on Friday) to share with people various traditions observed on this auspicious day and their Lokgeet (folk songs).

We had a little time before the show and wanted to capture the essence of this Bazaar....

Colours Abound
Organic holi colours
Lord Krishna Radha Sculpture at a Maharashtra stall

The first performance started just before the Sun was about to set in....the troupe was from Barpetta, a district in Assam. A group of Women & Men, young and old, dressed in their traditional attire came on to the stage and mesmerized the audience with their melody and simplicity...
The Barpetta Troupe

Me, with the Barpeta group
Barpetta Folk songs are exquisite compositions in praise of Lord Krishna. Though the non-Bengali speaking audience could not understand much of their songs, their joyous vibe struck a chord with each and everyone in the audience...

The next performance was from the land of Braj, located between U.P. and Rajasthan, it is said to be the land where Lord Krishna spent his childhood...
Holi here is celebrated with lot of pomp and  show....with celebrations going on for a week!!

The audience was enthralled with their song and dance performances, depicting the love, fun and frolic of Radha-Krishna
Mayur Nritya/Peacock Dance

After dancing to the tunes of the Braj ke Geet, we proceeded to the food stall.
The Classis Holi drinks, Thandia (made up of milk and almonds) and Kaanji (sour drink made up of carrots) were everyone's favourite.

A very interesting Fried Palak ke Patte ki chaat was also on the menu

This wonderful evening at Dilli Haat left me enriched, as it opened another dimension to the festival of Holi - India's richness lies in its diversity, from the foot tapping and more popular Braj Holi to the simple yet soulful style of the East!! I left the place with a song in my heart and a yearning to discover more of India's Folk Culture!!

Wishing you all a very Happy and Colourful Holi!! *Love*

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Day Visit to the Delhi Crafts Museum

I had ventured out this Saturday, a bright sunny morning for some work....having few extra hours in hand I stumbled upon one of Delhi's best kept secrets!! Opposite Puran Qila, the Delhi Crafts Museum takes you to a completely different world, far from the maddening Delhi crowd....the pleasant environment, exquisite artefacts, chirping birds leave an ever lasting impression on you that will always want you coming back for more!! :)

As you enter the first thing that strikes you are the Walls...all the walls of the Museum are adorned by beautiful paintings distinct to various Indian regions. Below are few pics that I'm sure will get your artistic buds tingling!!

The entrace door is inspired by the 'Phad' painting style of Rajasthan 

 The ceiling interior shows 'Mandana' painting of M.P.

Bhil Painting, M.P

 Shekhavati Paintings, Rajasthan

Gond Painting, M.P.

Kalam Kari Painting

Muriya Painting, Bastar, Chhattisgarh

Warli Painting, Maharashtra

I found this the most interesting of all the Wall paintings. Pattachitra depicted in total 64 miniature paintings of various 'Kalas' or Art.

Moving ahead, you can catch a glimpse of various artisans hard at work....potters, weavers, masons etc their art showcased alongside. 

Traditional jwellery

Kantha Work Stoles and Shawls

Terra Cota pieces

The most fascinating experience was seeing the Village Complex, Village huts, bullock carts etc have been re-created in about 3000 sq ft. to give the visitor a glimpse of the Village India.You can relax under the shade of trees and admire the work and transport yourself to the simple village life.

Gond Hut, Mandla district, M.P.

Konyak "Morung" or traditional men's houses of the Konyak Tribe of North Nagaland

Kulu Hut, typical of the Mandia area of Kulu region, H.P.

Walls being plastered with fine mud, known as 'Lipai'


I left this place feeling so refreshed and I will be definitely going there again...I still have to explore their gallery, library and souvenir shop. I don't know how to describe this feeling but seeing the artisans at work, making such exquisite things, I felt a keen sense of pride in the Indian Handicrafts culture. Let's do our bit in encouraging and promoting these arts....Spread he word...Spread the Joy...Help makeitbeautiful!! *Love*

WEAVERS, weaving at break of day, 
Why do you weave a garment so gay? . . . 
Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild, 
We weave the robes of a new-born child.

Weavers, weaving at fall of night, 
Why do you weave a garment so bright? . . . 
Like the plumes of a peacock, purple and green, 
We weave the marriage-veils of a queen.

Weavers, weaving solemn and still, 
What do you weave in the moonlight chill? . . . 
White as a feather and white as a cloud, 
We weave a dead man's funeral shroud. 

Indian Weavers by Sarojini Naidu