The art district of Mumbai is hosting a festival. Movies are being screened, workshops conducted, books discussed, plays (and other acts) staged. There is also a mela happening!

Don’t believe me?

Here is a potter. He beckons…come closer. A grinning imp, paint streaked across his face settles down to touch the clay.





Oops…not so quickly, it’s collapsing! No worries, smiles the potter, it will do. Might it actually sell for more, on account of it’s twisted shape, in the name of art?

A fresh-faced young girl steps up and asks if she can make one (throw a pot, I believe it’s called). The potter complies and so they start, palms cradling the wet mud.


And who says the future is unknown?

Decipher the mysteries of what has not come to be,
Show your palm to me!!

It is debatable whether predicting the future from the stars is a science. But it most certainly is an art, isn’t it?






What’s a mela without bangles? We’re reminded of Sarojini Naidu’s verses

Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair…
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.



And while on it, here’s some more to match. Bead love galore!




Dust to dust…there’s more to pottery than pots! How about a lamp? Or a hookah holder? Ash-tray?



How about an elephant? A blue elephant!!!!


Blue Elephant

Truly, there’s so much art residing in the corners of this country that so few of us know about. Move over bandhini, batik, chikan and ikat. Ever heard of Urumul Marusthali Bunkar Vikas? They have a stall displaying kurtas that catch your eye because of their simplicity. The man behind the counter invites you to lean in closer and shows you the intricate pattern.



That’s not embroidery or even fine embroidery. Those black threads are woven into the white in that pattern.

Can one go to a mela and not shop? What do we carry our purchases back in?



There’s even a giant wheel.



A taaaaaalll man walks by.



Is any mela complete without food? The crowds thronging the stalls for coupons remind you that cooking is an art as well. So you wait in line, buy a little blue slip that entitles you to one chaat and step up to the pani-puri wala. Enjoy!!

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