26 November, 2020

Catalytic Craftsman

A generous and timely tribute

Catalytic Craftsman
Haku Shah, as many of the contributors to this volume affectionately recall, is a little man. Nor is he particularly memorable to look at. It's his smile (so open and radiant) and that amazing mixture of serenity and positive energy that most people remember.

As a nation, we Indians aren't particularly gracious in giving thanks, preferring to complain and find fault. We recognise our heroes after they are dead. This is particularly true in the world of crafts. Master craftspeople often get awards when they're geriatric or dead, and are seldom given the dignity of a name, even when awarded. The names of the vips attending awards ceremonies are covered by the Press, the craftspeople themselves remain anonymous.

It is a testimonial, therefore, to the quality of Haku Shah, that he received his Padma Shri at the age of 55 and that a galaxy of Indian and foreign cultural luminaries have collected their memories to honour him with this tribute on his 60th birthday. The contributors come from many countries - the US, Australia, the UK, Japan, Finland, France,...



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