Many moons ago while I was a child, Indian Railways was the only mode of long distance travel. I always looked forward to my travel to boarding school by train. We travelled sleeper class and it was a luxury to be able to get a window seat.
What we saw in those long hours in the train is still ingrained in my memory. Observing costumes in different cities, visuals of long winding electrical and postal wires playing on an infinite loop, a sighting of an Indian Roller bird was considered lucky as was throwing coins in the Ganges.
I enjoyed observing the fields and towns that came our way, right from cities like Varanasi, Itawa to Lucknow and Haridwar. Taking a long distance train from my home town Daltonganj was always the beginning of an interesting journey, be it a steam engine or my short trip on a diesel locomotive; these were moments I enjoyed and they were my window to the outside world.
What you couldn’t ever miss were the porters in their red shirts and gold arm bands. There was something about the red and the gold and it has inspired me to bring out this whimsical range as an ode to Indian Railways aka भारतीय रेल
Once the pandemic is over, I look forward to a long train journey to the furthest point in India!
Images hand printed by silkscreen, 100% wood free and recycled paper pages.
In today’s digital world, many of us have forgotten the art of writing. It’s too much of an effort and has become a relic. In the past writers were very particular about the paper and pen they chose. The joy of writing is slowly getting lost amidst buttons on a key pad and the mouse.
Personally, as a creative person, I cannot fathom putting my ideas on anything else other than pen and paper. My hands move with the same rhythm as my mind imagines, the flow of ink on the paper forming words and figures has its own distinct signature giving me immense satisfaction even before the ideas reach fruition.
The recycled paper in this image is from many years ago when we hand-brushed the edges with gold powder. It’s still crisp and beautiful; beckoning me to write a letter today!
15 years ago I sat down to make my first greeting card and since then its been a creative journey that has brought me joy, happiness and recognition. I experimented with recycled paper and created a fine range of stationery along with other lifestyle products.
During this journey my work generated a lot of scrap and left-over paper which I was not willing to discard or part with. We have been saving odd pieces of paper and wastage at our fabrication unit since the year 1999 and collected them in a hope to recycle and reuse sometime in the future.
With time, my passion for paper turned into a full-fledged business and I had lesser time for creative projects, every time I decided to do something with these papers, something or the other would come up and I would again forget about them. This went on for 15 years till one fine day in March of 2015; I decided to make good use of this stockpile!
I believe art can be created from waste and this is my ode to mother nature. This pack of note cards with envelopes is steeped in history and eco-friendliness and a testament to my commitment to reuse and recycle. These are complimentary and distributed to customers buying products at our stores.
I was invited to hold a workshop on recycling at “Bookaroo” – Festival of Children’s Literature. Papercraft is not only my profession but also my passion therefore I readily agreed. It was for a group of 40-45 children. The theme was “There are no rules when it comes to recycling”. I decided that we would not use any scissors but only tear, tear and tear. “One Day Waste Project” that was what I called the raw material that I took for the participants. i.e. I collected waste from my manufacturing unit and prepared 45 sets to use at the workshop. It was good fun working with paper again because lately I have become more of an entrepreneur and any excuse to get my hands on any kind of paper is welcome.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning at Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram. This place has a beautiful museum on Terracota with well-manicured lawns, amphitheatre and lots of greenery. It was a perfect setting for the festival. My workshop was on schedule with more participants than we had space for. We accommodated all of them along with some younger participants who sat with their parents. It was an hour of fun with paper and at the end all we could say was….recycle, recycle and recycle.
This is an amazing festival that is four years old now. Authors of children’s books, speakers and illustrators from across the globe were invited to mesmerise the children. There were sessions on writing, story telling, composing songs, book reading, creating comic strips, etc. (Read more here)
My first love and medium of choice is paper. While working with this medium I feel a sense of joy and belonging and I am always trying to mould it into a variety of products. This range of paper jewellery is handmade from recycled and 100% wood free paper. It has a special transparent coating to make it water-proof. The black border holding the quilled pendant is also recycled board. They are sold as a set, consisting of a pendant and a pair of drop earrings. A variety of colours are available.
This in other words is environmentally responsible fashion.