Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

For the love of art...

Porvorim resident Electra Karandikar is all set with her handcrafted artefacts, paintings, embroidery work, crochet, knitting and stitching for NoMoZo 2.0 event happening at Porvorim on Sunday so that Goan traditional art should not die

13th January 2019, 03:11 Hrs


Inspired by the NoMoZo theme, ‘Happy feet on a motor free street’ which invited people to participate with cycles and skates or to showcase their art, do live performances, conduct workshops or sell their products - a local resident of Porvorim, Electra Karandikar is all set to exhibit  her art and craft to the visitors. “I called to check if I can get a free stall at NoMoZo to exhibit my artwork, and I was granted one. So here I am zeroing in on which of my products to showcase of the two roomfuls that I have in my home.” An excited and fully charged Electra is all set to participate in the event, albeit as an artist.

A retired teacher with her untiring enthusiasm to live each moment of her life, Electra wears many hats. At 75, she is the most energetic and joyful being on this planet, living each day spreading smiles on the faces of those who meet or greet her. “I have total 34 big, embroidered wall hangings, 20 of them framed, and 14, unframed. There are framed and unframed panels, paintings, ribbon embroidery, artificial flowers, and crocheted bookmarks, as well as doilies, serviette holders, drinking glass covers, hand towels, and vases with handmade flowers, Kutch mirror work, and canvas work. Apart from all these Electra has created everything that babies need - baby blankets, baby bed sets, baby booties, baby dresses and other baby clothes. Come and pick what you wish,” invites Electra. Age has not deterred her from following her hobbies with passion.

Based on her own experience of living every moment joyfully, Electra shares the idea behind this creation. “It is to inspire people to develop a sense of appreciation and have an aesthetic perspective so as to live life beautifully,” she quips and reasons that it is when she sells her handcrafted products that people would know about these forms of art. “Let people come and see, value the hard work put in and if they do not wish to buy, let them learn to make it. If they think, why buy, let me make it on my own, then it is still better. My motive is to display my art, inspire people, and compel them to learn it. The art must not die. Today’s generation does not have time to sit and knit or stitch. One must not forget that these small things add beauty to life. Parents and teachers must encourage teenagers to indulge in these traditional art and crafts of Goa. If now we, then who, would teach them?”

Quite a restless person she does not like to while away time in doing nothing. Over the years, many have learnt various forms of art from her and she seems to be eager to pass it on to the younger generation. She recalls that in her times children learnt it in school and at home from mothers and grandmothers. Electra’s mother Leah de Souza learnt it from her mother Dona Braciana and Electra began learning when she was just six.

Having taught embroidery to her daughter Jyothi, a computer engineer who has learnt Japanese tailoring and stitching too, but has no time to follow her art. “It’s the merging of shades, colours and hues that brings the beauty out,” she deliberates. Most of Electra’s designs have Portuguese influence. She draws first and then does embroidery. Highlighting her speciality and peculiarity, she humbly states that her drawings are the mixture of old and modern, Goan as well as Portuguese, which blend with the modern designs.  

She bubbles with joy like a 15 year teen while sharing her dream plans. Not wasting a moment of her life in gossip or slumber, Electra is on her toes all the time. “I still teach and live a very busy life, but I make time to do things I enjoy, instead of wasting and whiling away my time in chatting or gossiping or even sleeping or relaxing. I am a restless soul and do not like to waste a single moment,” shares this strict disciplinarian, who is an ideal example of wisdom, wit, knowledge and consistent hard work. A retired teacher, she points out that there is a subject to teach art and craft in the syllabus at school level but students are reluctant to take it. Only two or three schools in Goa offer the subject to their students but more schools should follow their footsteps, as it is the merging of shades, colours and hues that brings out the beauty in anything and everything in life.

‘Electra’s Designs’ contain handcrafted artworks that showcase influences of Portugues, Goan and contemporary modern designs beautifully created by Electra Karandikar to be displayed at the upcoming NOMOZO 2.0 event on Service Road in Porvorim on January 13 from 3.30 pm to 10 pm

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