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Artisans at Nani'ki


Ehsaan lives in a small colony somewhere in rural Uttar Pradesh. Every morning, after finishing his namaaz & naashta, he heads to the tiny chamber across the verandah that doubles up as his studio.

Ehsaan is a ‘Sunaar’; an artisan who makes gold & silver jewelry. The rest of his day is going to be spent in that small space which offers him respite from the worries of his otherwise bleak existence. In the glow of the morning sunlight beaming through the window, he checks his tools; pliers, wire cutters, clippers, prongs, fliers…The whole kit is ready & waiting.. Today he is going to make a “Chandbali”. The deadline is near but he doesn’t let the pressure get to him.

With Zen-like calmness he studies the design sheet. Once the nuances of the design have been absorbed, a silver sheet is pulled out & carefully cut into strips. The next many hours are going to be spent laboriously cutting, filing, hammering, curling, twisting & bending the fine strips into works of art. Over the next couple of days, the passion to create is going to completely consume Ehsaan. Once a piece is ready, it is going to be set with the brightest semi-precious stones; Pink, Blue, Red. They’ll play their part in offsetting the shine of the “Chandbali”.

                                                                                                                 And when the baali jingles to the sound of chatter, they’ll dance too…


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