Today i met an old khaka master. He had been making khakas for last 50 years. He has worked for a variety of labels and fashion houses. As we were discussing a khaka for a lehnga, i excitedly said to him, ‘your kids are so lucky, they’ll get to inherit such great craft from you. And ofcourse your treasured khakas.’ To which he replied in a tone full of disappointment and misery, ‘kahan beta, yeh kaam koi nahi karna chahta. Woh kehte hum apke jaise nhi banenge. Hume iss sab se agey niklna hai. Shayad woh sahi bhi kehte hai. Aj kal to waise bhi har koi china ka kapda khareedne laga h.( to which he meant the economical fabrics available ready in market). I was guilt stricken that moment. Since then i have been questioning myself, who is at fault ?
Is it us, the manufacturers who are abandoning them for higher profits or the customer who is just moving over our heritage, leaving these craftsmen hopeless of their craft ?
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