Summertime in Coonoor is when we folks in the plains get to be temporary residents of this charming hill station. It’s also when we catch up with friends ,enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the mist descending down the hill tops,the flitting of bulbuls,the myriad colourful seasonal flowers and take in lung fulls of crisp mountain air !
One of my favourite things to do is to accompany my mother to sales at the local clubs where we can encounter local talent. Also my mother’s enthusiasm for anything home made is child like and quite infectious. To delight in the simplest of things is truly what makes each day remarkable. Ordinary folk finding pleasure in life’s every day occurrences is finally what enriches us as human beings…don’t you agree ?!
The stalls sell everything from freshly made jams, squashes, cakes and chocolates to linen, embroidered home utilities and quaint handicrafts. The smiles are warm , the expectations are minimal and everyone is just happy to potter about busily in a place that is home to breathtaking valley views and friendly locals.
This year our collective gazes were drawn to an exquisitely crocheted woollen throw created with minute attention to detail in a riot of unusual colour combinations.
The collection also included an extensive choice of items consisting of bags, coasters,jewellery,capes and adorable foot warmers, ideal to keep the feet cozy at night (sigh…if only Coimbatore had cold winters!). The lady who makes all these pieces hails from the baduga community and has recently made Coonoor her permanent home after decades spent traversing all over the country alongside her husband who served in the armed forces.
Tara Jayaprakash accepted our lavish compliments graciously and credited her passion for hand work to the naturally gifted community that she hails from. Her mom, grandmom, aunts etc have always been keen on all sorts of knitted craft with particular affinity for wool as it was necessary to keep warm whilst living in the hills.
She too loves working with it and says that she always spends far too much when going to shop for wool. Her products are unique because of the way the threads are fashioned into crocheted squares of pretty mosaic like designs and then put together to form a lovely patchwork effect.
Tara works on her own from home and tries to finish a shawl within a week. She prefers to not procrastinate as that could end up in her taking an inordinate amount of time to finish that which is started .
Though she has begun selling her work fairly recently crocheting with wool has always been a much loved hobby that she has managed to sustain no matter which part of the country the family was stationed.
She is encouraged to showcase her wares by her daughter Pakshalika Jayaprakash who is a jewellery designer and lives in Mumbai. Her Facebook page called studio ostara also carries some photos of her mother’s designs.
Tara is quite happy to chat about her work and does agree to take custom orders. It’s so delightful to chat with such a talented home entrepreneur who is extremely passionate and utterly modest about her hand skills. To purchase beautiful objects of art from people who revere their work just makes the buy even more special, almost priceless in fact !
TARA JAYAPRAKASH- 9845112250