The IT industry may have changed the face of Pune, yet this city is known for its tradition and history. The Deccan queen has evolved over a period of time; But places like Burud Ali reminds us of the art of the good old days. When you drive past Mahatma Phule Mandai, cross Ravivar Peth and notice piles of bamboos stacked on mud, you can be sure you’re at Burud Ali.
Burud Ali is the lane of bamboo and cane workers; and their woven-ware vary in shape, size and use. The handful of people that live in this lane are those who remain of the large group of migrants that came to Pune in the 18th century from Satara, Ahmednagar and Karnataka. Everyone picked up this skill by observing their elders.
Says Rajesh Pawar, one of the artisans of Burud Ali, “When we were kids, after coming back from school we used to sit with the sickle and slice the bamboos through the center. Then, we used to make winnows and brooms out of it.”
While this community have a legacy of rich handicraft and history, they are not sure if their children will pursue this profession. They say they will be very happy to teach their children the skill of weaving but it can’t be forced on them.
It’s funny how modernisation forces us humans to forget who we are and where our roots lie, in our relentless pursuit for better living. Yes, everyone has the right to get educated and pursue a career of their choice and yet the prospect of losing this dying art of handcrafted bamboo ware looms large.
This photo story is a little tribute to this amazing talent and creativity..