Second life of a gift

Updated: Nov 03, 2019, 09:34 IST | Jane Borges, Anju Maskeri, Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

A Smart Sale is held to create an opportunity for staff at residential complexes and BPO offices. Clothing or consumables like chocolates are not accepted

What do you do with an expensive gift you don’t feel like using Right Box designed by former media professional Vishakha Singh helps you find joy in decluttering while it feeds the aspiration of someone who desires a product. Singh says, "We collect unused gift items, check them and offers a minimal price for each. These are then sold at a minimal price to another consumer set, thereby bridging a tiny gap in affordability and desires." A Smart Sale is held to create an opportunity for staff at residential complexes and BPO offices. Clothing or consumables like chocolates are not accepted. "We’ve even received luxury items from Ravissant, Good Earth, Cross and FabIndia. This proves that even if the products are branded and expensive, they may not hold value for every receiver."

From Hindostan to India

Red woven silk jacket with gold wrapped thread brocade,  presented to Lord Fitzclarence by the Maharaja of Indore in 1855. The highly theatrical aesthetic that governed Durbar attire in 19th and early 20th century India stands at odds with conventional western notions of good taste.  These striking combinations of vivid colour, sparkling gems, and luxurious textiles were deliberately designed to overwhelm, delight and entertain the subjects of the maharajas and nawabs. Courtesy/ Arts of Hindostan, Instagram

All histories matter. Those closest to us, even more. Which is why, Arts of Hindostan, an Instagram page that documents "visual and decorative arts, architecture, design and fashion inspired by the Mughals, Rajputs and Company Sahibs," has gained over 15.8K followers, within a year. It has also found a mention in auction house Christie’s Top 20, of the 100 art-world Instagram accounts to follow in the Tastemaker category.

The page not only curates interesting pictures of Indian art and architecture from between the 16th and 20th centuries, but also examines in detail the story behind its creation. The picture of a velvet and metal Mughal dais cover from the late 17th and early 18th century, for instance, is accompanied with an important back-story: "It is likely that velvet textiles were introduced to the Mughal courts from Safavid Persia, and while some were purchased there, it is believed that Persian craftsmen skilled in velvet weaving were present in Akbar’s workshops," the caption reads.

The curation gets even more eclectic with artefacts and jewellery, like the gold hair braid ornament (Jadai Nagam) from 20th century Tamil Nadu. It is said to have been "worn by Hindu brides and Bharatnatyam dancers and, previously, devadasis or temple dancers". Only recently, the page also saw contributions from botany artist Nirupa Rao and photographer Karen Knorr. "Arts of Hindostan was started to inspire us to appreciate the rich and varied art and design traditions of Hindostan. We showcase interesting, well presented and varied content often with a contemporary twist," said the founder-curator, who wished to remain anonymous, over email.

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