Kalakshetra had become a Dilli Haat of sorts all of last week. It was hosting a Craft Mela/ bazaar. I understand Dakshin Chitra had been the venue for smaller scale exhibition of this nature.
Craft maps detailing what is native to a state had been put up with some illustrative handicrafts - pretty informative, provided you have the time and are not distracted by purchases and a certain curious little monster who is running off by herself, handling fragile curios, much to others' delight and her mother's dismay.
I was keen to buy the ultra intricate work of Durga Bai - Gond paintings on paper and cloth- but I found it rather expensive. But art is difficult to value is it not? I was too embarrassed to bargain. Had I gone alone, I am sure i would have picked it up but my mom threw in a word of much needed caution . Also interesting was that this artist had illustrated a Tara publication Children's book by Anushka Ravishankar. I can at least buy that !
I bought a little black kettle from Manipur made of some (langpi if I recollect right) stone and a colourful wooden building like thing with multiple doors adorned with stories of Krishna and Ram from Chittor
And towards evening a large group of youth( Kalakshetra students - ex and present) in traditional attire gathered under the shade of a tree and began singing devotional Carnatic songs. They were seated cross legged and near them was the hugest kalamkari sheet/ curtain on the wall that i have ever seen. Anush very enthusiastically ran up to them, all by herself and sat behind. A couple of girls in the last row kind of adopted her and placed her between them - this pic was taken before that. She accompanied with thaalam( manual rhythm- beat) for an entire 2 songs.
I could not help but wonder if I should include Kalakshetra on the prospective school list a few years from now, when we are ready to put Anush in a regular school.