Gujarati bride inspires Garba

The traditional earthen pot, or garba, gets a designer makeover by five enterprising women. Check out the exquisitely designed garbas based on traditional textile patterns

Everything from furniture to food comes with a designer tag these days so why leave your Garba behind? Garba, or the earthen pot, that signifies a woman's womb and forms the centre of attention at every performance venue during Navratri, has been given an exclusive touch by five women from Ghatkopar.

The fab five: Kalpana Thakkar, Manisha Bhatt, Poornima Chauhan,
Josna Chauhan and Shilpa Chauhan. Pic Sapna Desai

"We used to go for Garba shopping and never be satisfied with what was on offer. Since I am a beautician and I know how to apply mehendi, I thought why not put the drawing skills to test and make our own garbas," says Manisha Bhatt, who along with Kalpana Thakkar, Poornima Chauhan, Shilpa Chauhan and Josna Chauhan has been making elaborate Garbas every year since a decade. Initially, they started out with just 25 of these bejewelled pots. This year, they've progressed to making 500 garbas.

But an increase in the number of Garbas has not reduced the number of designs the artistically inclined women make. Their work includes Bandhni inspired designs, Panetar and Gharchola (or the Gujarati bride's wedding outfits), and Lehriya (striped design).

The women have even donated some of their products to Seva Project, an organisation that works in the field of education. Along with the Garbas, the group also make foldable and waterproof rangolis (that can be stored and reused) with pearls and colourful stones, which we loved especially.

What is a Garba?
Garba is an earthen pot, which is kept in houses as well as in big Mandals during the nine-day festival celebrating the various avatars of Goddess Shakti. It is believed to represent the womb and the lantern lit inside the pot is symbolic of the embryonic life. Traditionally women dance in circles around the decorated pot and on the last day of the festival the pots are collectively immersed in a water body.

At: Kabali Building, in Laxmi Narayan Temple, MG Road, Ghatkopar (E).
Call: 9769113299 cost Garbas start from RS 121, Rangolis start from RS 350 
Log on to: http://www.facebook. com/pages/Designer-garba

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