In his little bunker shop hugging the Chitrakulam temple tank, on its western edge, S. Paramasivan works long hours this season. This is because he is an artist in demand – he is perhaps one of the few artists who can re-paint vintage bommais.
And so, on the eve of yet another Navaratri season, Mylaporeans who trust his skills, go to him with their heirloom bommais, perhaps just one, or a few, that need a fresh coat of paint. A fresh coat that respects the original art.
Oblivious to the roar of traffic and cries of hawkers, the veteran, professionally-trained artist, takes his time to do the job at hand. He says he cannot hurry through it and so, he does not accept everything that comes his way.
Paramasivan has been breathing new life into bommais and dolls of all kinds for many years now. He is an expert at this skill. And he admits that bommais that are being made and sold now in the markets are of average quality and poor in artistic merit.
Paramasivan is busy the year round, creating banners and artistic signages, in the off season.
This season, Paramasivan’s son-in-law, Murugesan decided to expand their services. The shop is now selling select bommais directly chosen from the lots made by artisans in places like Cuddalore and Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
“Since we are artists, we wanted to carefully choose the well-made bommais and bring them here,” says Paramasivan.
On the shelves at the shop are a limited variety on display and for sale. Prices start at Rs.150. The bigger bommais are priced in the Rs.7,500 to Rs.10,000 range.
Paramasivan’s shop is on Chitrakulam West Street, Mylapore. Phone:9841945161 / 7010727239.
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