Two weeks ago, a friend of mine suggested that we go and visit the Hundred Hands handicrafts fair at United Theological College in Bengaluru. The last handicrafts fair I went to was the Surajkund mela near Delhi in 90’s. I don’t even remember what it was like to go to one. Each booth was unique in one way or the other. On one end you could find a craftsman using leaves to make light lamps, while on the other someone was using discarded jeans to make bags. You could see some amazing artists from all over the country. There is no dearth of talent in India . Opportunities like such fairs help in not only display artists’ breathtaking art but also go a long way in supporting such talent by helping them make a good living.
Amongst all the talent – one booth that caught my attention was that of a husband-wife duo Anushri and Akshay who are trying to inspire people to write again using cheerful handmade notebooks. The venture called Mug aur Mooch is a brainchild of Anushri, who has been making handmade stuff since she was six and has been collecting notebooks all her life. A corporate lawyer by profession, she decided to pursue her passion by doing her post-graduation at Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (IICD), Jaipur. Akshay on the other hand studied at IIT Chennai.
The name Mug aur Mooch brings a fresh and finesse of modern design to rich traditional crafts of India. The Mug represents the reinvigorating freshness of inspiring design, while Mooch represents royal pride that we have in Indian crafts.
Each notebook is a collection of color pages to make them cheerful. The notebooks that are sewn together, contains embroidery on the front cover and a short funny story on the back cover. The process of creating a notebook is quite involved and starts with cutting of corrugated boards. Once the designs are finalized, a team of women from Kormangala village help Anushri put the notebooks together. I had the opportunity of meeting two of them. While Sheila aunty, a retired silk factory worker brings experience, Anita on the other hand is taking a break from her desk job to look after her one year old.
Anita with Anushri Sheila Aunty with Anushri
Once the books are ready – they are sold either through their portal www.mugaurmooch.com or through booths at crafts fair like Hundred Hands. You can find out more about them on their facebook page as well.
There is a lot of hardwork that goes into creating that one notebook you see – and I hope through the photo essay you will get a glimpse of the same. The full screen gallery can be seen here.