Numerous workshops ranging from theatre to art are held during the festival.
During the nine days that the festival goes on for, it is a maddening and joyous stream of people that visit the festival, the first and the second day were so choc-a-block that it felt like a stampede would occur any moment. Parents strutting with their little ones, showing them objects of interest is a common sight. People are armed and ready to BUY anything and everything they like. We tell them buy now or hold your peace for another year when we will hopefully be back. This festival has become so successful and famous that now everybody wants to be a part of it, I mean stall holders, the pressure is mounting on the organisers to accommodate everyone.
Its been three years now since we have been coming here and a lot of faces have become familiar, the regulars and the faithful come and ask “what’s new?”. I try to have at least 30% new things on the shelves to keep them happy and buying! This year I also put in an advertisement in Timeout Mumbai coinciding with the festival. The response has been phenomenal and till date I am busy trying to reply to all the people who wrote to me. Mumbai is the city where talent is appreciated and BOUGHT. I say bought because a zillion times you will hear eons about your work but not a single penny is spent on it. This city shows its appreciation by buying it. Kudos to MUMBAI.
I held a workshop on paper craft for children above 10 years of age. I took craft kits which included handmade paper packs, motifs, natural fibers, etc for the participants. We had a lively bunch of 15-20 kids who at times had so many questions that it was getting difficult to answer. A mother strolled in with an eight year old but was denied entry due to the child’s young age, she pleaded fervently and asked me if her daughter could just sit by the side and watch. I being self-taught, know the value of “interest”, this if carefully nurtured becomes a hobby and a passion and also a profession. This gifted child went on to win the special prize that I had for the most creative work.
I was wanting to do something really creative with the kids so I thought of a collage making session with waste paper generated at my manufacturing unit. I took a sack full of rubbish for the workshop all the way from Delhi. The children were given the scrap paper and asked to make a collage using only their hands to tear the paper, scissors were kept out of the picture.
While this was going on parents waited patiently outside. There are so many parents who hardly have time for their kids but here I truly realised the bonding and the happiness the children shared with their parents. I think we all need to spend more time with our children.