Gandhiji had once called upon people to go back to the villages. Apparently now most Gujaratis in the city are willing to, if only to shop for ghagras and cholis with authentic Kutchi work. With Navratri around the corner, they are making a beeline to village craftsmen to pick up their evening dresses.Karan Desai and his sister Kuntal ventured into the interiors of Kutch and brought back mirror patches, Kutchi bharat dupattas and ghagras decorated with shells.
Says Karan, “It’s about getting the best. Chaniyas with flairs and tight fitting cholis, embroidered kadiyas and typical Kutchi lehengas are always prize winning, the only new thing is the colour and the different style of embellishments. Comparatively, the stuff available in Mumbai is extremely expensive but Kutch offers a variety of clothes for different budgets so it’s always a good idea to shop there.”
Shruthi Chedda, another Navratri junkie, agrees, but her taste is more contemporary - she chose to pick up clothes from Lowe Garden in Ahmedabad, a hotspot for authentic navratri stuff. Says Shruthi, “The heavier the dress - with mirrors, patch work, shells and other embellishments - the better it is considered. In Mumbai you get these heavy ghagras at just a few places and they are all really expensive. It’s better to take a trip to Ahmedabad.”
Narendra Sejpal, owner of Gurjar store in Matunga, says he also gets his stuff made by craftsmen from Kutch and Gujarat. “The kind of pieces they create, no one else can. And people love the authenticity of it. We get They book their ghagra and cholis before a month in advance. Abroad too, the work of these craftsmen is in great demand.”
But the masterpieces come with stiff price tags - from Rs 5,000 to about Rs 50,000 per piece. “This year leheriya ghagras, florescent colours and oxidised jewellery with stones is in great demand,” he adds.
Those who can’t go all the way to Kutch or Ahmedabad, there are some options in town as well - Thakurdwar in town offers a variety of cholis and ghagras.
But it’ll majorly dent your wallet — don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Courtesy: Daily News & Analysis - Mumbai,India