Conjuring up exquisite Gudis for Gudi Padwa,74-year-old Sushila Deshpande offers many the perfect new year gift
Sushila Deshpande has been preparing for Gudi Padwa since a month now. From travelling to Tulsi Baug to buy the raw material to frisking the cupboards for some forgotten stuff she has been combining together materials and her expertise to come up with gudis that leave you awe-struck. With an ingrained dexterity to craft this harbinger of good tidings,these Gudis are only one of the many artistic offerings this 74-year old lady has mastery over.
Making around eighty Gudis this time Deshpande has been either displaying them at the stores or gifting her relatives. “While I buy some of the things including the kalash and the kapad,the rest are things I recycle. The base for instance is an old VCR cassette,the flowers are made out of cloth,agarbatti stands out of pen caps,coconut replicas out of wax and so on. Some of the bases are blocks of wood that I have drilled to interleave an aluminium stick to keep them raised,” adds Deshpande who is extremely fond of carpentry and effortlessly uses the drilling machine for many of her creations.
And while her art and craft that includes everything from soft toys to origami,takes up almost all her time she takes breaks from it only to to tend to the vegetable patch she has craeted in her balcony. Add to all that photography complete with a temporary studio in her house,one act plays,reiki training and Deshpande comes up as a master of all.
But she’s happiest when she manages to reuse something that has served its purpose,giving it a new lease of life. “For instance when a cane chair broke in the house I used a part of it for a pumpkin base in my garden and made dandiya sticks out of the its lower base. Whatever you see in the market these days was done by us years ago. When you do it yourself its beauty and value is known. Infact I urge people to come to me and learn the art,” says Deshpande who was an art and crafts teacher in Kolhapur and has also conducted several workshops in and around the city.
Getting back to give the finishing touches to the Gudis,Deshpande describes work as her relaxation and picturing her perception on art she adds,”I dont particularly store anything but of everything I have,I see beauty in it. Art is not something that should have a price or be sold,it is priceless and once you start valuing it in terms of money it no more remains an art.”