Watch the movie on youtube,
Even after all these years, Musabhai remembers precisely the printed motif that he sold to a businessman in Ahmedabad when he was just a teenager traveling out of Kachchh for the first time. He showed me the fabric sample and said, “I had made so many blocks myself and stored them all in my work shed in Dhamadka. Then the earthquake came, and the ground shook and the blocks were completely smashed! Not one survived. So I moved to Ajrakhpur and remade them all again!”
Musabhai today is a successful businessman. With his two sons helping him in printing and dyeing, theirs is one of the most visited shop in Ajrakhpur. What we went to document in film was his ‘businessman skills’ and what we received in return was a whole lot more.
“Is she understanding everything I am saying?” he asks pointing towards Sarah who is filming us.
“No Musabhai, I don’t think so. After going home, we both will sit together and translate every word that you said and then she will understand.”
“But my words are ok?”
“Your words are perfect!”
Later on, inside a workshop a few meters ahead, Khalid makes a beautiful hand printed and painted masterpiece, all the while making jokes about why we came to live in Kachchh and work at Khamir and what is our salary! Khalid is one of a kind artist…and person. Truly. Try talking to him and you will see how!
This short glimpse into the lives of Khatris of Ajrakhpur could well have been made into 5 films if not for Sarah’s super editing skills. So many laughs, discussions, debates, bad sound recordings and mutton meals later, we ended up with this. Those were indeed some special moments and I am glad Sarah could put it all together so nicely, in this film “A New Beginning In Ajrakhpur”.
The exhibition is an attempt to tell the story of prints and print making as it unfolded from the time it was practiced on the banks of the Indus to its many facets today. Kachchh Ji Chhaap is an intricate tale of the craftsmen, bringing together narratives of their lives, their milestones and their challenges.
The Exhibition will be held at the Khamir Campus from 7th December 2013 to 28th February 2014.
Winter is almost here. Our early morning walk and talk was beautiful last weekend at the Chatardi; the place where the Kings of Kutch buried their dead. Chatardi has a number of tombs built over several periods and lies in the heart of Bhuj City, close to the Hamirsar Lake.
It is believed that the main structure was erected to Rao Lakpatji, the most flamboyant King of Kutch who had a special interest for the arts. The Rao’s wife and 17 of their servants burnt themselves alive along with their beloved King. The Chatardi today lies in ruins after the many earthquakes that have engulfed this region and its architecture.