As I was browsing through the Diwali exhibition at Poona Club, I realised that there is very little innovation and change in the Diwali wares each year. Same old diyas, paper lanterns and candles. Just as I was about to turn a corner, I noticed a stall at the end of the room that seemed to be bursting with colour. It turned out to be recycled Bacardi Breezer and wine bottles artfully converted into colorful lanterns. The makers of these amazingly creative lanterns, Akshata Ghule and Priyanka Khanchandani, are two enthusiastic youngsters who are full of wacky and creative ideas. Here’s a chat with them…
RS: You are known as The Mind’s Eye. What does it mean?
Akshata: It basically just means what we see around us, but our interpretation of it through our mind is what matters. And, our creations are a reflection of that. Same thing that both you and I see, but we perceive it differently. Mind’s Eye is our take on things perceived differently and then turned into something that is beautiful visually through reusing and recycling of material.
RS: So whose idea was it to come up with bottle lanterns?
Akshata: Both actually. The idea was born on a late Sunday afternoon. We had a house party and woke up to all these bottles stacked in a corner. We were just joking that if we sold all those bottles it would buy us a couple of coffees at least.
Priyanka: And that’s when it just struck us that maybe if we recycled them into something fun and creative it would add so much more value to these useless bottles. Next thing we knew, we were bouncing ideas off and finally zeroed in on bottle lanterns.
Akshata: It’s Diwali too, so makes more sense. We also have glow in the dark bottles for house parties. Of course, there are a lot of things we can do with bottles and we’re still experimenting.
RS: Do you have a place where you operate from?
Akshata: Not yet. We do have a Facebook page where we display our creation and take orders as well. And we do a lot of exhibitions. But yeah, some day we do want to open our own little curio shop at the end of some quiet lane.
And thus ended our little chat, with me buying a Diwali Bottle Art Lantern. It hangs in a corner of a room adding a nice mood lighting touch with light filtering in through the greens, browns and reds of the bottle.