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Monday, 20 August 2012

Bijna a unique exhibition of fans at Bhopal

More than three hundred fifty ‘hand used fans’ from different parts of India and overseas are on a display in exhibition at Ravindra Bhawan in Bhopal. These are fans which are rotated by hand to bring in breeze of air. The exhibition is titled as ‘Bijna’ which literary means ‘fan’. This is part of the five-day festival of tribal and folk, performing arts in on occasion of Republic Day in the State capital of Madhya Pradesh. As a part of the celebration an exhibition is normally organized of some traditional object which has had many transformations is put on display. Last time it was sandook (lit meaning - a box) this time it is Bijna.

The specially erected display hall in the grounds of the Ravindra Bhawan had an elegant display of kites at the entrance giving it an exquisite look. The fans in display look like frames in mirror but are used in an arrangement giving it the right needed ambience and the look, except the ones which are kept in display boxes in locks.

Fans of different types, styles and manufactured by different kinds of materials from different parts of India and overseas are on display. Time immemorial fans have been used by us be an ordinary peasant, or the king some or other form of fan was used. Not alone in kings palace, kings offices, by communities and at religious place, we had fans. Being a tropical country fans have been essential part of our lives and but not much talked about. For many of us though with advent of electricity these may have gone out of fashion and only adorn walls as antique but still many use them both in urban and rural parts of India. They are quit handy especially when the innovations like electricity fail !!. They are used in religious ceremonies, places and still hold values in our lives.

The fans on display were the one which are made from fibre, cloth, peacock’s feathers, bamboo sticks, paper and all f them some kind of handle to rotate the same. Be it simple handle or fans which were installed at ceilings and rotated by help of a rope which was hanged till the ground. The designs, paintings and pattern of the fans are unique to the place of its origin and also portray its use.

Anil Gulati

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