Decorating the walls of a room or home is the easiest way to give your space an atmosphere, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. Especially if you’re on a shoestring budget, like I am. You make compromises with furniture, walking right past the plush sofas and elegant chairs in the store, settling instead for the basics and hoping that crafty little touches (a floral tablecloth here, matching upholstery there) will do the trick. But you take the walls very seriously.
I refresh my walls every eight months or so, taking a poster or print down, moving mirrors, swapping photographs between rooms. Keeps things exciting- especially now that I’m chickencooped in here with my books and pre-exam nerves. On off-study days I scour stores and haats for stuff that screams my name, stuff that’s a little off kilter like I am. I buy local as much as I can. My favourite thing to buy for the walls is Indian folk art such as Madhubani prints. I love the kooky use of bright colours, the naive, childlike rendering of faces and birds and trees, the very evident sincerity of the drawings.
And that is why I fell hard for this beautiful, bright red Kaavad painting on wood at the Dastkaari Haat store in Khan Market. It cost me INR 1250 and looks stunning against any coloured walls. I love the fact that the painter’s exceeded the legit painting area and spilled over onto the frames, like he was bursting with drawings and couldn’t care less about inanities like rules and margins. I’ve photographed it against white for clarity, but it’s up on a green wall the colour of a parrot’s feathers, and the colours really pop. It replaces an old digital print of Audrey Hepburn and gorgeous though she was, she’s not a patch on this bright red square of happiness.
This particular Kaavad depicts a Ram Durbaar, and you can see the royal couple on their thrones surrounded by their coterie, with two gods doing their thang in the two upper corners. There’s Shiva on the left and Brahma on the right, and they’re showering their blessings on the two. With Diwali just weeks away, this is a serendipitous yet timely addition to my home. I’m so happy!
Kaavad painting, INR 1250, Dastkaari Haat, Khan Market (above Amrapali)