Harmonic tune running around mellifluously, which we rarely hear in this city of chaos; sometimes it is an enchanting melody of flute and violin; there is a woman selling 'hatpakha' and wooden toys and another sewing flowers, trees, boats, sun or moon on a piece of cloth- perfectly aligned with the melody; clay made pots and brassy ornaments, show-pieces and many other fancy stuffs were also showcased. Isn't it giving a rural vibe? Yes! The Bengal Boi took the initiative to give people exactly this fresh rural feel in this chaotic city of Dhaka.
A wonderful event named 'Karukatha' just ended at Bengal Boi which started early this month. Maintaining all hygiene protocols, the event was open for all. Stories of handicrafts and craftsmen were displayed here. There were four karu shops exhibiting as well as selling their hand made products.
Nakshi Katha seller Hosne Ara Begum expressed her happiness being part of the event. "Since childhood, I have been doing this. I have gone abroad many times to showcase my works and will be visiting Japan soon for the same purpose." On the other hand, Shandhya Rani with her 'hatpakha' was very busy with customers. She and her whole family have been making 'hatpakha' and 'khelna gari' for years.
There was the famous 'Shokher Hari' from Rajshahi. Colourful traditional clay made cooking pots were hung in the stalls. The most crowded stall was the one with brass materials. Eye dazzling brass pieces would attract anybody. There were jewelleries, puja stuff, showpieces, etc.
To create a cohesion between artisans and the present generation, which seems to be unfamiliar with the country's tradition, Bengal Boi felt the need of initiating such an event. "We wanted to create a platform where city people can connect with original craftsmen and the craftsmen too can showcase their handicrafts. It is important to know and practice our culture," said ARM Akhter Hossain, brand, communication and event manager of Bengal Boi.
Bengal Boi also arranged a workshop segment where people learnt how to make handicrafts. The craftsmen taught the attendees making Nakshi Katha, hatpakha, piping a flute, etc.
Karukatha took place in the yards of Bengal Boi at Dhanmondi. Firstly it was scheduled from January 01 to 09. But the tremendous response from the audience compelled the hosts to extend it for another week. The event was a token of refreshment amid this pandemic. Bengal Boi arranged hotels for the craftsmen to reside in and gave them certificates at the end of the event.
The writer is currently studying at the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University. She can be reached at