This 31st Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar is swell with a number of ancient art forms on display and sale from all parts of India. As we spoke to these artisans we were surprised at the history of each and how intricately were these made. We were most taken in by Pattachitra, the ancient art form from Orissa.
As we spoke to Jitendra Behera (31) whose family has been crafting and selling Pattachitra masterpieces for generations (visit him at FP Shop 8), we could not help but pull a chair and employ the rest of our evening there, listening to his stories. He told us about this ancient art of Pattachitra in detail, the significance of each of these paintings and also demonstrated how it is done. So while patta is a canvas and chitra is a painting, he uses palm leaves and recycled bottles as his most common ‘patta’. He told us that most of the Pattachitra art is around Lord Krishna and his life cycle and each of the paintings have a story to tell.
Interestingly, these Pattachitra paintings are not just a piece of art, but are also used for vastu purposes. While the Ganesha ones are used for prosperity, the Lakshmi one for wealth and business, Saraswati for knowledge and Krishna for love life. The most popular one at his stall is the Dashavatar Pattachitra painting wherein all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are etched beautifully. Each avatar has cut work that can be changed to morning, day and night paintings (INR 700 approx.) and is very good for general well-being of the house.
To make each painting, he sows two palms leaves together and the drawing is etched onto it directly. The ink made of soot of burnt neem leaves is then poured over the etchings and wiped off and let dry. Surprisingly, it is waterproof and thus can be easily wiped using a damp cloth when used at home. It takes a few days to finish a painting, depending on the size and intricacy involved and the price starts from INR 700 and can go upto INR 10 lakh! (Yes, that high, imagine!) He also showed us a painting that took him over a year to work on, and trust us that was one exquisite piece of art we ever laid our eyes on!
At his stall you can also find painted bottles depicting various stories. These are all recycled bottles that have been converted into pieces of art. Apart from this, various other items of decoration can also be bought from his stall at nominal prices.
Artist: Jitendra Behera (9438083925)
Where: Shop no. FP 8, Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi
Nearest metro station: INA (It is literally walking distance from there)
Till When: January 15, 2016 (jaldi jao!)
Photos: Team Kyaa Karein