One of the city’s most well-known and bustling marketplaces, Parry’s Corner is like an ocean of people and shops, where customers are bound to find pretty much anything they’re looking for.
Venture into any of the stationery shops and ask for canvas boards that you can cut into squares/rectangles for the body of the lantern.
You could cut out patterns on the board and decorate it with coloured or plain OHP sheets and decorate it with quirky tassels, ribbons, beads and other embellishments. If you wish to paint the OHP sheets with designs of your choice, glass painting colours work best.
Glitter and beads,
Like tributaries of a river, there are several tiny allies off Ranganathan Street that are lined with shops selling various odds and ends.
Leave your car at home, it’s safest to take an auto rickshaw to brave the crowd of shoppers here. As you jostle your way through the narrow gallis, you will chance upon some shops selling rangoli powder.
Purchase that along with some glitter powder from the neighbouring stationery stores, mix them well and fill into a used glue bottle (cleaned thoroughly) to get thin lines while drawing. Decorate with sequins, beads or any other curiosities that catch your eye.
In the twisty lanes around the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and tank, you’ll come across shops that sell readymade clothes for idols of god.
You can adorn the Lakshmi or Ganesha at home with one of these tiny saris or dhotis stitched with colourful fabrics. If you have spare cloth at home, you could make some yourself and decorate them beautifully.
Another interesting find are cotton garlands — strands of cotton are woven into intricate patterns that will look stunning on idols. If you can’t find readymade ones, you can make them at home with the help of YouTube tutorials.
Koyambedu flower market
Many families are opting for a ‘green Diwali’ this year by eliminating non-biodegradable elements or firecrackers too. They are going one step further to manage the waste generated responsibly. If you wish to do the same, a nice way to start would be by replacing plastic thorans with organic ones.
Koyambedu market will spoil you for choice when it comes to flowers so you could buy marigold by the kilo (loose flowers, not garlands) and pick some mango leaves off the tree in your backyard. String these on twine and your doorstep will shine like never before.
When you’re approaching Kodambakkam bridge from Valluvar Kottam, on the right side you’ll find a few tiny shops selling various goods made of terracotta. For around Rs. 20, a pair (depending on the size), you’ll find unpainted lamps in various shapes that you can purchase. Ensure the shop packs it properly in a box using paper/hay.
These will make for the perfect gifts to give to friends and family this festive season. So buy the lamps in bulk and decorate them (with non-flammable products) in the colour and pattern of your choice; place a tea light candle inside while gifting.
(Compiled by Arpitha Rao)