Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheap Indulgence

On the weekend ,I indulged in some shoopping at Khadi & Mrignaynee.Mrignaynee,the M.P Stae government showroom at World Trade Centre,Colaba,Mumbai had been advertising that there was a sale upto 50% off.As I had never been there before,I thought, that, I must go & have a look as the discount was too tempting. I landed at Mrignaynee & the first thing that caught my eyes were the  jute bags .They were available for Rs 22/- & Rs 15/- each depending on the size ! I brought two of each -two big & two small ones.Next ,I moved to the clothes-very few readymade tops were available.Many were without sleeves.I had to make do with a simple parrot green & white coloured batik top.There were more batik prints in vibrant hues but all without sleeves & some were blouses.I got another top in white, with violet & pink block design.Both the tops cost me on an average Rs.100/-.Then, I brought some pieces of cloth for as low as Rs 50/-per metre each.These, I got as I want to stich salwar suits for wearing at home.All the clothes which I got are pure cotton .Some have stripes ,others are plain.The clothes feel very good to touch & the colours are simply vibrant.

Next ,I got a simple soft dupatta in plain blue shade for an unbelievable Rs 60./- only.My dad brought  a cotton block printed saree in red,black & white block print for Rs.700/- only.The blouse piece is a part of the saree. The saree is one of the softest I have come across in these times of polyster & synthetic fibres.My mom had told us to get her a black saree & we got a chanderi black saree for her.That cost us less than  Rs.2000/ as there was some discount.The actual price was Rs 3000/-.All in all,it was a fabulous bargain.The icing on the cake was that we were shown all the clothes which we brought by unfolding them so that we could see if there were defects like missing weaves ,tears,etc.

We then headed towards the Khadi Bhavan at Fort ,Mumbai.My dad needed sajara ( short kurtas with half sleeves ) for home wear.We enquired for them & were shown the same in typical khadi woven patterns in myraid shdes like blue ,buff,etc.We brought 5-6 of them at prices of  Rs.200-250/- each.I brought one plain white khadi salwar for Rs 250/-.I always buy white salwars,& chudidaars from khadi as they last very long( because  khadi is  handwoven ) & are very comfortable for wearing in the hot & humid climate of Mumbai.Also ,a lazy person like me can get away without starching clothes as khadi clothes are thicker.I also brought two bath towels from khadi bhavan as they are thin , dry fast & absorb water better.My dad brought a set of  five white handekerchiefs for Rs.120/-(for the set of five ).We also brought Agarbattis like Chandan ,Mogra,Gulab etc.there as I prefer even incense sticks from KVIC. We got white khadi pyjamas for my father from there for Rs 225/- each.Then we moved towards the billing counter.I just stopped at a sign next to the packing counter as it  said "30% off".I asked the young  lady at the counter about the things on sale at the discount stated.She pointed out to various salwar-chudidaar sets which were damaged or torn or very old were on sale.I chose one which was in a good state-a blue kurta with collar &  beaded embroidery with a loose block printed chudidaar.I got it for Rs 400/- only.Next ,I asked her about pastel shaded bundles of clothes lying in the shelf ! She told me that they were all shaded salwars for Rs 90/- each.I saw them & was floored ! I brought four of them as I can mix & match with so many kurtas.The salwars are very soft -in fact the khadi used is super soft to touch & feel.My dad also brought another sajara at a discount there .My dad was lamenting that he would have got all sajaras at discounts if only he had known the presence of such a counter before !  We finally moved to the billing counter & paid our bills.

I would like to inform my readers, that, of late,Khadi Bhavan has stopped all discounts -there used to be 5-10% off on cotton khadi almost through the year.Now ,this is not so.Still,I felt that we got excellent stuff.Akin to Mrignaynee,the young girl at the discount counter was taking great care to make us understand & see the defects in the clothes which were on sale at 30% off.She simply refused to show us the white khadi pyjamas on sale there as she opined, that they were all smudged.To be really honest,I have found all this is  missing in brands & malls.

I prefer going to Government emporias for clothes as one can buy clothes of the all the States of our great country at such shops.Hence, ,we can all become brand ambassadors for our handlooms.Moreover,only  if we continue buying such handlooms ,can we hope to keep the precious arts & crafts of our artisans alive.Otherwise , we will lose all  such traditional arts & crafts for ever.We have already lost many weaving methods & other hand crafting techniques as they were no longer sought after.Many people like the Holkar family,the Taj hotel group,& Fab India are  trying their best to revive some of the forgotten ones.We can do our bit by buying  handlooms & handicrafts.This will surely help in keeping these arts & crafts alive.

One more handloom shop that I keep returning to is the Co-optex handlooms .Co-optex hand looms showcases handlooms of Tamil Nadu .I buy bath towels,bedsheets,dress materials,kitchen towels from Co-optex.Just a month ago, I brought some unstiched dress materials with dupattas for less than Rs 300/each.The set included a dupatta as well.The tailor charged me a fortune,considering that I paid a pittance of Rs 300/-for the material  .It  cost me Rs 170/- to stich a  salwar suit. Labour cost is moving upwards rather rapidly !

I also had a chance to visit an exhibition cum sale of Gurjari.Gurjari is the initiative of the Gujarat government to exhibit & promote its arts & crafts.I brought a small bag cum purse from there.On sale were rakhis,pretty torans,artificial jewellery ,semi -precious stones set in various necklaces,bracelets,ear rings ,soft padded purses-cum-bags ,folders,dress materials,bedsheets,dupattas,scarves etc.

I have also visited other State emporias like that of  Orissa,Uttar Pradesh ,Karnataka etc .All have impressed me & the trend continues.I feel, that our homes will be as colourful as the rainbow if we can indulge in products of our many states.Moreover ,then our homes & in turn,we  will, reflect unity in diversity !


Sunita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
medha said...

The saree looks fantastic!!It is indeed more eco friendly to use jute bags instead of plastic....you got all at a very good price indeed!!!


Can't say what this hurry is all about (in posting a blog). Notice 2 spelling errors in the opening line. Then the mystery of 'amp'! What does it stand for? As I'm commenting 5 weeks too late (& none else is annoyed with 'amp'), guess, my English is vintage. We'd been buying clothes at SWARAAJ ASHRAM, Kanpur for 3 decades & miss it a lot in Pune. Rebate is a tricky issue! Edict has to come from GoI & then a slash in price is revealed by reversing boards painted in advance. Khadi Silk & Wool go with heavy price 'cut' between October 2 and January 30 remembering Bapu. Colours on cotton aren't fast enough. Unisex Tops called 'JAIL-GANJI' white, brick red and blue are my favourites. Hand printed bedsheets & pillow covers are catchy too. Socialist shoulder-bags are good for travels & bazaar routine. Embroidered Ladies purses with mirror-work are charming though short lived. Wonder why honey, Chyavanprash, Choorna and pickles are left out in your draft. They are all charms for kids.
Don't call it 'cheap', learn to say "inexpensive Indulgence"

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