Shilpgram Festival- The Great Indian Bazaar- Part 3: Quaint & Quirky

Shilpgram Festival- Every December, the Indian Craft mela brings together artists, sellers, performers and shoppers from across the country for 10 days to Udaipur. The last and final part of this photo blog series on the festival is an ode to the Quaint and Quirky. No carnival would be complete without this collection, especially not in India.

Here is what the camera captured and the meanings the mind decided to decode. The thoughts that the images probably had but never said out loud. 


I stood looking at him for a long time, inquisitive, fascinated, sad, angry, ….the feelings just kept pouring.

He was tied to a natural oil press. He went round and round with his eyes forced shut. He never saw the festival nor its faces. When life gets this unforgiving, I wondered if a little humor would help.

bull blindfolded shilpgram festival

Frame the shot, before you go(re) for it!     #bullseye

Bull licking his face

A bull(y) can dig his nose in public     #lifessmallpleasures

Shilpgram bull India Blindfolded oil press

I am forced to do my job blindly. Whats your excuse?     #stopbullshittingyourself



As I walked around carrying the bull on my conscience, I saw he wasn’t the only Beast of Burden. Humans were weighed down by their jobs too. Some physically exhausted, others emotionally vacant; they were going through the motions. I wondered if making light of life would help.

women police security at Shilpgram festival

“And you think they could’ve atleast made the HATS a bit girly”        #boredbanter


dancing diya thali women India

Forget balancing,  try saying:  “Pot on top of plate on pot on top of plate of…..”  #loadedladies

artist saluting the crowd shilpgram Indian festival

Feeding your ego, feeds his family         #itsasellout


musicians indian artists shilpgram mela

When the Audience is Away, the Artists will Not Play                    #canIhaveyourattentionplease


SIGNS– They inform us, educate us and even entertain us. Sometimes they give us signals so in our face yet we almost always miss reading between the lines.

toilet sign shilpgram festival india

The arrows missed their aim, please don’t miss yours           #allovertheplace

Non functioning solar lamp pole

No Sun can power a ‘System Shutdown’                              #lightsout

public drinking water pot shilpgram festival

Dont ‘bottle’ up your thirst- Dip and Drink! I dare you                                 #waterwatereverywhere

Dustbin filled with leaves shilpgram festival

When the bin eats organic, where goes the plastic?                           #wastematters

Walking through the Shilpgram Festival, taking in the smells, sounds and sights was like a crash course in my culture. I love India and at Shilpgram I fell in love all over again. Come last 10 days of December to surround yourself in color, culture, craft and character that you will only find here.

Hand made Ceramic mugs Shilpgram Udaipur


Part 1: An Ode to the vibrancy of India. Color and Craft and the Color in Craft. Art from different parts of India and the richness of the country’s heritage comes alive in these images



tribal painted face shilpgram


Part 2: An Ode to the diversity of India. Artists and Performers, Shopkeepers and Sellers, Buyers and bystanders from villages close by an states faraway.



7 thoughts on “Shilpgram Festival- The Great Indian Bazaar- Part 3: Quaint & Quirky

  1. Pingback: Shilpgram Festival :The Great Indian Bazaar- Part 2 : Faces of the Festival | on the High road

  2. Pingback: Shilpgram Mela: The Great Indian Bazaar- Part 1: Colors & Craft | on the High road

  3. Somya…Great series! 👍 Savored every glimpse of the colorful & culturally rich Shilpgram Festival through your camera lens. Also loved the witty captions deciphered by your heart as well as mind while taking turns exploring the vibrant pictures..:)

    Of all, the blindfolded bull had the most impact on me…the image refused to leave my mind until the last word I read and is still lingering around with many Why’s??! It just seems cruel to do so..Wonder if people have done any study to check if indeed the productivity of the bull is affected when the eyes are left open to see the world around! And really how much?? If only people imagined themselves doing the same job with eyes forced shut…would they then treat the bull differently??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for such a detailed feedback Jay. I agree with you about the image of the Bull. Powerful and disturbing. The reason his eyes are forced shut is to avoid nausea and a sense of disbalance occuring from the continuous circling. Not that it condones it.

    Liked by 1 person

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