Tuesday, 23 September 2008

AT A HANDICRAFTS FAIR



This is the picture of a pallankuzhi – a game that children, maybe even grown ups used to play about 50 or 60 years ago.

When my mother was writing a blogpost about toys of long ago, I had to surf the net to get a picture of one. And here, on a visit to one of the many handicrafts fairs that pop up every now and then in the neighbourhood, was one just asking to be photographed.

When I was discussing this with her, my sister told me she has one in her bungalow in the tea garden, that my brother had gifted it to her girls, and that Ma had taught them to play it – the only way to keep the games alive. In Madras, when the Mylapore Festival is held every year, there is a revival of interest in this game.

There were a couple of less grand ones, too, all huddled together with a lot of brass and copper vessels. I was told that they were all antiques from a Chettinadu collection. I took a good look at them and the exotic prices they were displaying – even after a 10 % discount, they ran into thousands. (The pallankuzhi was marked Rs. 1800, I forgot to ask if it included the shells.)

I realized that I had a fortune at home! And with that satisfaction, wandered off to look at other stuff.

This collection of fruits and vegetables looked good enough to eat.


And the symmetry of these mugs was eye-catching.


Glass bangles, arranged so beautifully..... my weakness ...


And these colourful pieces displayed so artistically made a great background, but the salesman was in no mood to show us any other pieces. Just like the girl who took no interest in pulling out the embroidered tops I wanted to see.


It was a kind of perverse (or inverse) working – what we did not want to buy, enthusiastic sales persons tried to force us to buy – what we did want, they weren’t willing to show us.

17 comments:

Webradio said...

Bonsoir Raji !
Elles sont belles Tes photos...
Toi et Ta famille, vous avez des merveilles chez vous.
Tes fruits et légumes sont appétissants.
Il faudra que Tu nous expliques les règles du jeu de pallankuzhi...
A bientôt.
(Si problème de traduction, Tu me le dis....)

Swarna said...

I love handicrafts fair for pure 'window shopping' pleasure!
As to Pallankuzhi, I think there is a westernised version of the game? Do make an entry on how to play the game?

Swarna said...

Just realized- Webradio has also asked for the rules of that game :)

Devika said...

Such a colourful, lively post!
loved reading it...
Will catch up with others that I missed, when I was away, in the coming days

Karthik Narayan said...

aaargh the photographer and blogger portmonteau to become the phogger :)

That makes u File-as Phogg :)

Indrani said...

Great shots taken at the fair! They were all waiting to be photographed. :)

Chipie said...

Bonsoir ! Les fruits et légumes, les tasses, les bracelets...tout est vraiment très joli ! Les photos sont splendides ! On aimerait les voir de près...

Kat said...

My wife had always beat me in Pallankuzhi, right from kiddy days :(

She knows so well on which kuzhi if selected would yield the max. returns.

Loved that nose-in-the-air remark "....I realized that I had a fortune at home!"

kallu said...

Looks like you had a lot fun, Raji. Better armed with a camera than a purse I think.

Maddy said...

i saw that they had guys on the streets in Bangalore hawking antiques..of course at atrocious prices. but well at least one gets to see these things..i had totally forgotten the very existence of pallankuzhi!

hey why don't you get rid of this word verification?

namaki said...

I am discovering your blog thanks to your visit on mine ! ;-) all those colours, information... I'll come back !

Abraham Tharakan said...

Terrific. The fruits and vegetables look so real.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Webradio, Swarna, thanks. Soon there will be an entry on how to play the pallankuzhi!

Thanks, Devika, Karthik, Indrani,for stopping by.

Chipie, merci. J'ai cherche pour votre blog, mais ne le trouve pas.

Kat, let us have a game.

So true, Kallu.

Well, with new games on the rise, the old ones do fade out. The word verification is to prevent the wrteched computer generated comments, Maddy. I have not yet opted for comment moderation - maybe I will soon, then I shall get rid of the 'captcha'.

Namaki, thanks. Do visit.

Abraham, thank you. It was a coincidence to see the picture of the fresh veggies on your post.

Suchitra said...

Great post ! Reminded me of my childhood afternoons spent playing Pallankuzhi with my mom and grandma. Wow, even I have the forture tucked up somewhere at home ;-)

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Nice feeling, eh, Suchitra!

werty said...

The handicrafts shops like gudi in bangalore are also encouraging handicrafts from all over the country this also provides employment to many handicraft worker including tribal people. please visit website:- www.gudi.in for more information.

Hema said...

Hi Rajima.. I came to your blog thru google.. the pallankuzhi is surely very nice.. I have used it in my blog.. I can remove it if you feel so.. I too saw a more grand pallankuzhi in egmore museum.. long forgotten game.. didnt know there was a fest for this in mylapore

Sociable