The bandhni is a hallmark of intricacy and creativity. Tiny knots tied with such finesse, when revealed at times it resembles a sea , the swell of which will lift you and place you among the stars.
One cannot help but wonder how this craft from Gujarat has traveled the world and has left people awestruck. The secret lies in the technique practiced by the Khatri community, who have been handcrafting some of the best bandhni the country has to offer. During one of our visits to their homes, the Khatri artisans let us in on another secret on how the bandhnis have become so exquisite and intricate. The answer lies in the word - Envy.
Yes, envy. An emotion that conjures up feelings of the not so good . "Women have an inherent sense of competition", says Mr Khatri, he is quick to douse any chances of a fire and quickly pacifies our female friend who was travelling with us - "competition fuels creativity". He explains further, "Women carry out the process of tying the 'bindi' or tiny knots", (one of the most crucial processes in the making of the bandhni) over the years, women have developed a sense of healthy competition, the envy they feel when they see a good bandhni made by another woman, fuels their creativity and pushes them to make an even finer one."
This sense of competition has been channelized in the right manner and today the craft has benefited, the women have benefited (artisans run competitions with prizes for the best bandhni) and finally the customer is happy when she sees a bandhni dupatta, stole or saree made with such passion, the efforts of the community as a whole are visible.
"You see it is a win-win situation for everyone", says our artisan.