Upcycling ups Delhi-NCR mood: Pots, cutlery, furniture get a makeover amid pandemic

When in India is it difficult to not have a jugaad? Those in Delhi-NCR who love to hoard and repurpose/reuse old things, have found a new liking towards old objects in their homes, during the pandemic. Be it a hand-me-down sari or a an earthen pot, most things have got a dash of colour on them since their owners had some real spare time on their hands! So, from simple household furniture such as trunks and cupboards to cutlery and bottles, denizens have given a twist to most, while on #WFH mode.

“Pandemic was a kind of signal from the universe to take a break, ponder, cleanse and redesign your thoughts and lifestyle. And to upcycle is a wonderful way to align yourself with the flow of events as it helps you to rejuvenate your home as well as your spirit,” says Sameera Satija, a Gurugram-based auditor, who revamped a trunk lying in her daughter’s room, and also worked with broken ceramic crockery to turn them in pieces of art. “The idea is to reuse, instead of discard old products, in order to not give into fast-paced consumerism,” adds Satija.

Anuradha Ramachandran, a freelance writer, recently upcycled an old trunk taking help of her college-going niece Kriti Sahni, to decide on the various book titles that now adorn the new look on this metal storage piece. “The theme for the trunk ties in my love for books and reading with my current state of mind; especially during these extraordinary times where I feel we have more than enough. We need to take stock rather than spend on more. And Kriti helped me bring the idea to life,” says Ramachandran.

And this comes naturally to Gurugram-based art teacher Piu Ghosh, for whom the canvas of late has been her daughter’s cupboard! “From ordinary paper I moved to painting furniture during the lockdown. I also painted crockery and made small additions to our dining table and walls. My husband is also artistically inclined, and we are trying to impart the same to our daughter,” she adds.

Some denizens say that upcycling became a fun way for them to bond with their kids, while remaining indoors. “I made a batman dress out of old materials at home,” says Prachi Puri, a Gurugram-based businesswoman, who used the last few months to train her 5-year-old how to utilise thermocol plates, newspapers etc for school projects. Puri adds, “I paint old bottles, and make craft items from cartons, old plates and spoons. Reusing and recycling helps me think in a positive and constructive manner,” she says.

An eco-friendly lifestyle is what motivated Gurugram-based homemaker Shilpa Anand as well. Her hobby has turned into a passion during the last few months of lockdown, and Anand has been posting pictures of her paintwork on old biryani pots and discarded water bottles. “Amid the pandemic, upcycling and painting acted as a therapy, and helped me stay calm and occupied. I turned old chocolate boxes into serving trays, and made DIY gift bags out of corn flakes boxes,” says Anand describing how the children in her society started coming to her to learn to recycle things at home. “It’s inspiring for me to realise that my work is influencing our younger generation,” she adds.

Author tweets @bhagat_mallika

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