A sea of spectators descended on the 28th Surajkund International Crafts Mela on a fine Sunday morning. The drumbeats and Goan tunes resonated in every corner of the Mela, as a colourful Carnival float and a band of performers went around entertaining the visitors. The atmosphere took a vibrant hue as the day progressed.
Justice R.M. Lodha, Judge, Supreme Court; Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice Punjab & Haryana High Court; Justice S.K. Mittal, Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice B.B. Parsoon, Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court were among the dignitaries to visit the Mela according to a statement issued by Haryana Tourism.
Chaupal was packed to its capacity throughout the day with people enjoying spectacular performances of dance troupes presenting unique art forms like Jabro from Kashmir, Kalbelia from Rajasthan, Sidhi Dhamal, Mewasi & Raas Garba from Gujarat, Mayur from Uttar Pardesh and Jhulani Karma from Chhattisgarh. These troupes have been sponsored by North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur, North Central Zonal Cultural Centre, Allahabad and South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur.
Sumita Misra, Director General Tourism Harayana and Member Administration, Surajkund Mela Authority, stated, “The Mela has brought some of the unseen, skillfully crafted ware under one roof. The Mela is, in true sense, the custodian of the languishing arts. Artisans from different parts of the country have carried on the legacy of their forefathers and taken it to a new level.”
A practitioner of languishing art of Lavancha/vetiver, M.D.Mathew from Mangalore has set up a stall of products made from Vetiver roots known for their perfumery and medicinal value. There is a range of interesting items made from vetiver roots like caps, chappals, power puffs, key chain holders, letter box, pen stand and so on.
The fascinating art forms from Goa, the theme state of the Mela have been a crowd puller. There are amazing artifacts made from seashells, bamboo straw and coconut shell that are finding many takers.
Boromeu Do Rosario Pereira, who specialises in coconut husk carving and coconut shell craft has exhibited lampshades, animal faces, wine bottles and palm trees created from coconut shell. A self-learnt artist, Pereira’s works are drawing many eyeballs, “It’s my first time at Surajkund and I hope to do good business.”
Geeta M Mayekar from Goa has brought batik paintings, cushion covers and table covers to the Mela, also a recipient of Kala Nidhi award. “My husband is an artist and he draws while I do the batik with natural dyes. Our batik paintings are based on Goan themes,” says Geeta.
P.A. Suryawanshi, a humble Goan artist with his easel by his side has made eye-catching landscapes on handmade sheets with acrylic paints in big and small sizes.
Many self-help groups from Goa like Shaban Mahila Mandal, Priyadarshani Federation and Mulprush group have displayed crochet items, terracotta masks, bamboo baskets, wax candles and sea shell flowers.
The Goan flavours at the Food Court are also a big hit with visitors, as they are offering Masala Fried Prawns, Goan Fish Curry, Pork Vinalho, Patal Bhaji and lots more to choose from.
Apna Ghar from Goa showcases the traditional lifestyle of a Goan family with earthen urns and bamboo equipment adorning every corner.
In the evening, bringing the Natyashala alive are the vibrant Goan folk dances namely Dhalo, Morulo, Dhangar dance, Dasarwadan, Chowrang Talo, Mando, Zagor, to name a few that mark celebrations back in Goa. Today the visitors to the Mela can watch Sri Lankan folk dancers performing in the evening. at Natyashala from 6 pm onwards.