Hang up this six-yard kandeel
A kandeel shop in Dadar is using Maharashtrian sarees to fashion into Diwali lanterns that are brighter, more attractive and sturdier than kite paper originals
In an age when everything old is passe, why should your kandeel experience FOMO? Sumit Naikde is here to help. The 29-year-old has been in the business of making kandeels or Diwali lanterns the regular way—with kite paper—for several years. Last year, he decided to make a shift. On a suggestion from his brother-in-law, he decided to use sarees instead of paper.
The first time he made a kandeel with fabric, he says, it was a hit. This year, he decided he would make kandeels exclusively out of sarees—Paithanis, Tanjore silk, cotton silk and pure cotton. What variety he uses depends on what is available at the local saree shop his brother-in-law runs nearby. "Sarees have to be cut meticulously to make them into kandeels. There is a lot of wastage," he admits, adding however, that because it's fabric he is working with, it not just looks better when the light comes on and the colours stand out, it also lasts longer. While a paper-made kandeel is easily ruined by water, liquid spillage or even a stain, a saree kandeel has a higher survival rate.
Making a saree kandeel is not easy, says Naikde. If you make one from scratch, it can take up to three and a half hours. The time is cut by an hour or so if the metal outfitting is in place. Want to get an old saree converted into a kandeel? Naikde says it's possible, but not this year. Because the year's work is already in the making. You can give your old yards next year and early for a Diwali lantern that carries memories of your grandmother's kota silk.
At: Ranade Road, near Nakshatra Mall, Dadar West
For: Rs 650 to Rs 1,000 (height ranging from 14" to 1.5 ft)
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