Diyas on display ...
NEITHER THE multi-coloured glitz of electric lighting nor the romance of the candle has ever quite replaced the diya, especially during Diwali time when it can be seen dispelling darkness in myriad avatars, colours, shapes and sizes.
Today, evolving design inputs and zingy colours have added new-age dimensions to the diya experience. These include along with the classic terracotta single diya, clusters of diyas grouped together to form steps, gopurams, cascades, diyas formed in exquisite floral shapes such as lotus and the rose, Ganesha, Saraswathi and Lakshmi diyas shaped as tiny pots, covered with serrated covers and much more. Embellished with painted `alapana,' folk motifs and graphics, and exuberant with colour, dressed up with mirrors, sequins pearls and zari, the Diwali diya is an innovative and ingenious work of art. An exquisite range of diyas crafted by cancer patients from Mumbai is on display at Chamier's Gift Shop (85, Chamiers Road). Painted gold, silver and in all rainbow colours with matching wax, the sets of diyas sport enticing shapes and are covered with tiny seed pearls.
The SIPA Craft Links Shop (70, Kodambakkam High Road) has on display stunning colourful Ganesha diyas, crafted by Pondicherry craftpersons, that are artistic and superbly finished. Kanchana of Seventh Sense, 15, 4th Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, presents her diya collection in natural colours with occasional touches of `kolam' work. Her conceptsinclude delicately serrated `cutwork' hanging and covered diyas for breezy Diwali evenings as well as a range of terracotta `urlis,' sweet boxes etc.
Among the spread of diyas are the special ones crafted by the children of the Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu (SPASTN, Opp. to TTTI, Taramani) as part of their vocational training programme. The colourful diyas are hand painted and come in varying sizes.
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