In a country like India, with such a wide range of cultures, there is no dearth of talented artisans. No matter where you travel – you’ll always find indigenous handicrafts in some form or the other, because not only are my countrymen (and women) extremely gifted, they are also very enterprising. Of course, in this day and age and with the rise of superstores and online stores which can deliver to your doorstep at the click of a button, the Indian artisan is somewhat shunted aside – or even worse, does not even earn enough for their dedicated efforts. Fortunately for these men and women, there has also been a rise in the number of NGOs that bring their talent to light and one of them is the Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of artisans and craftspeople from all over India. Based in Delhi, this 26 year old organisation has done wonderful things for the upliftment and empowerment of artisans, affording them a better platform to showcase their skills as well as a direct income.
One of the first meals I had on my recent trip to Toronto was at Pai, a Northern Thai specialty place and a hit among locals. The first time I ate here, we went at Lunch time and had to wait a bit, because the Restaurant was completely packed, but it was SO worth it. The vibe here is expressly chill, the Staff are friendly and their motto is ‘don’t worry, be hippie’ – which also pretty much describes the decor.