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Treasure trail at the museum

Cutesy craft kits by NGOs and a focus on Mumbai at the Museum Shop inside the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum makes it well worth a visit

The Museum Shop inside the Dr Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum at Byculla is a haven tucked away in the eastern end of the complex. In existence in its current form for a little over a year, it provides a platform to master crafts people like Naseer Alamgir and NGOs like Art for Akanksha and Hamara Nischay as well as contemporary designers like The Design Fly and Kahani Designworks to showcase their work. "A lot of new designers are approaching us saying they will customise for us or sell exclusively through our store. At the same time, we try to connect with people who don't have avenues to promote themselves. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement", says Nishita Zachariah, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the museum.

Do -It-Yourself craft kits by NGO Hamara Nischay
Do -It-Yourself craft kits by NGO Hamara Nischay


The shop has a selection of gifts, many of which have been inspired by the museum collection. For instance, there are mugs (starting price: Rs 225) that depict different communities and their tea recipes or Do-It-Yourself craft kits (starting price: R200) that give children an understanding of people from different communities of India. You can also look for museum-inspired bags, postcards, puppets, diaries and magnets along with traditional products like paper mache, bidri, cushions and bronze statues on the shelves.

The Museum Shop at the  BDL Museum
The Museum Shop at the  BDL Museum

Another focus of the shop is to celebrate Mumbai. Coaster sets (starting price: Rs 600) portraying Mumbai geographically or T-shirts with edgy chest prints represent the city in interesting ways. Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Honorary Director of the BDL Museum says, "Each of the products is chosen especially for its relation to the Museum and the city.

T-shirts from the museum collection
T-shirts from the museum collection

Our most popular sellers are the mugs, bags and puppets. They make for great souvenirs". Additionally, a wide range of coffee table books, artist monologues and publications on Mumbai are also available. "We're very selective in what we place in the shop. Only less than half of the proposals are green lit. One can be certain what he/she is seeing is special", concludes Zachariah.

At: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Dr Ambedkar Road, Byculla (E).
Open: 10 am to 6 pm, Closed on Wednesdays

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