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The Colourful Cart


Hi,


Let me take you on a journey to the flea markets of Bengal through this art journal page. This is a very common mode of transport in small towns and villages in Bengal.


I saw this cart during my visit to a flea market held every Saturday in Bolpur Santiniketan. The market was flooded with handicrafts. Santiniketan is definitely famous as the place of the great Indian poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. But this place has much more than this. The place is a hub of art and craft. This humble town gives you a sense of aesthetics amidst simple things. The earthy colours of the eco-friendly handicrafts also depict beauty in simplicity.

Rabindranath Tagore encouraged the simple village folk to make simple eco-friendly artefacts and day-to-day-useful household items out of the local produce like bamboo, date palm leaves, vegetable dye, and leather to create alternate income for them as agricultural income was irregular. Katha stitch (local quilt embroidery similar to Sashiko embroidery of Japan), batik prints with locally made vegetable dye, and painted leather goods are famous in Santiniketan. This tradition continues even today and the local authorities have started this weekly flea market in Khoai (a place in Santiniketan famous for its natural earth erosion formations caused by the flowing river). The simple craftsmen hailing from neighboring villages come to this flea market and sell their artworks and crafts. This flea market attracts tourists and locals equally and has beautiful collectibles at throwaway prices.


Apart from shopping a bunch of junk jewellery and a few artefacts, I was randomly clicking the crowd to capture the colours and vibrancy of the place. This cart was quietly and unintentionally clicked. Recently, when I was browsing through the photos of the visit, this cart caught my eye, especially its colours. So I painted it.


Life sometimes gives you beautiful surprises. So it is worth to keep looking for them. That's all for today. In my next post, I will come up with another story or a day of my life. Hope you enjoyed reading. Enjoy!


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