Monday, 24 August 2009

Day 93-Rolla n Ro

After weeks of preparation and hard work, the opening day of "Rolla n Ro (originals only)" has finally arrived. And arrive it did, with much aplomb.

As the auspicious hour strikes, so did the founders of the most glamorous store at Chandni Chowk and here they are striking an all too familiar pose. Ro, beautiful and serene in her henna and red rubied veil next to the dashing Rolla with his tabla drums and of course, that elaborate turban.

The other dancers too, take their place on the stage, frozen in their starting pose before the tabla begins.

If you look to the left of the stage, you'll see Sumaiya in a flowy orange sari and matching veil, her famous mehndi-ed hand around her man's neck. Look closely and you may be able to decipher his name in her intricately drawn palms.

And even the resident mystic has taken her place, shielded by a panel of delicately embroidered tapestries and surrounded by the various heirloom pieces from Rosanna. She will tell your good fortune for 500 rupees and expects, if her predictions come true, a generous tip. They often do, with the guidance from Ganesh in his lotus position on OM's table and her able assistant, Sissy, peeping through Sans! copy-bag. I guess now we know what Ro meant when she said she knew exactly what that bag is good for.

And seeing everyone in their positions, Rolla expertly started his drums and the energetic music begins:

WAIT!!! There's someone else expected here. Ahh, here he is, hurrying into the stall and being led to the VIP seat, looking very pleased as he settles down.

As handsome as the devil, the girls' hearts skip many beats at the sight of Jai. Sumaiya, standing at an awkward corner, won't stop stealing sideward glances at this God's gift to women.

With a nod from Ro, Rolla once again started on his tabla and this time, the burst of music really begins (note to audience: you may wish to read the rest of the post with the music on. It may transport you to where it's all happening but don't bother watching this video after the 5th clip):

Thanks to the false start, a crowd was drawn in even before the VIP arrives.

And before they can sing "Jai" Ho (in honour of their VIP), dancing in the crowd has started.

The lone girl in the ribbon of orange veil with no partner can't help swaying to Rolla's drums and you can see she risks spilling and dropping her jug of goat's milk,kindly supplied by Sylvia.

A mother laden with a baby and 2 pails of wood and charcoal has to stop too as her baby gurgles in delight and wriggles to the beat.

So beautiful and elegant, you wonder about her fate..She is obviously poor and yet carries herself like a princess. Although her veil is plain cotton with a mere slice of ribbon at the edge bought at the S$2 store, she wears it like a new bride.

And no wonder the crowd lets her through so she can stand right in front at the left corner , enjoying a 1st class view. A precious moment for her as she escapes briefly from her laden life.

A group of palace servant girls, upon hearing the music from the water point, quicken their steps as their brass pots filled to the brim sit firmly on their heads.

It's just round the corner, they whisper excitedly to each other and one by one they take their place at the far right hand corner. A pretty sight as you watch them, despite their work cloth made of fabric from S$2 store and SuZ's stash. The rings of cloth holding their pots can sometime be used to make holders for handbags.

The last to arrive are the students cycling as fast as their bicycles will permit with heavy loads of their girl friend's books in pink basket (ebay junk to some)

or her shabby satchel and more text books, (more ebay junk)

and with their girls riding pillion, it leaves them little alternative but to stand right at the back, craning their necks so they can see while their female friends grumble at their lack of speed.

Only 1 couple seem oblivious to the celebration, incredulously occupied with the Royal Fan.

Standing behind the stage, they stare at the ridiculous size of the peacock feather on the fan. Comparing it with their albino baby peahen, they wish they have a giant one instead.

Before we get too carried away with the celebrations, we mustn't forget "Rolla n Ro (originals only)" as the whole purpose for the song and dance is to advertise their wares.

For a start, we have the tapestries which sometime can be found at giant stationery store under the section "bookmarks".

Then we have plates of powder paint fronting the stall, Many have mistaken them for incense cones from Bangkok sitting on Thai plates. Known as gulal in India, the powder paint are used to celebrate the Festival of Colours or Holi. Made from herbs and flowers, our Banjaran girls have prepared them way in advance of the March holiday.

Our men are not idle either for they have carved wooden toys which will eventually find their way to a bead shop in Chinatown, Singapore

while their womenfolk sew the cloth ones which will be exported to Bangkok

The lovely cushions take centre stage while

heritage Indian painted toys on "6 in 1" and traditional drums flank the right.

Alas, the song ends but the magic of the music lingers and spread, making the neighbouring flower stall very happy.

Look, Belle! A miracle! The topiaries have bore fruits!

Legend has it that the sounds of Rolla n Ro not only lives on but also spawns the famous genre of music known as Rock n Roll. The stall too will set the stage for not only bollywood movies but their western counterparts, most notably "Moulin Rouge".

I think our gypsies are going to be all right. And when they are, they will have a bigger signboard. Maybe then the words "originals only" now hanging precariously below "Rolla n Ro"will finally be legible.

For you, Rosanna, a Bon Voyage present. And to my little sister, Shir, who is 41 years old today.


rosanna said...

Busy bee !!! you have hummed a lot this time. Thank you for the gorgeous shop. Rolla & Ro could not wish anything better for their commerce and the gathering crowd is well wishing for business. I love how ou made p everything an the girls clothes. They have much more character now.I wish I had a similar success n real life. Big hugs

Sans said...

Rosanna, you have happiness from family and good friends and that's success enough, as you often say :).

I have to thank you and the rest of my very kind friends who have indulged me. The liberty I took from drawing real experiences from your lives have made my stories and my project meaningful to me.

This is a store dedicated to your craft, like the flower stall for Jayne. I am serious when I say without all your generosity and talent, my projects will just be a past-time. Now, they are my expressions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in making them.

Liberty Biberty said...

Vive la vie boheme!
Another wonderful tale and you have so many pretty little things. Love the pink basket and shabby satchel, those bikes look pretty shabby chic too!
Great music!

Pubdoll said...

Words fail me Sans, what a post!
Complete with an abundance of beautiful goods to be sold, fantastic bright colours in the gulal link, a handsome Jai, music (in his honour? I liked very much the first "Jai Ho" song), dance and a video of it both combined, a great story and even puns!( I loved the legend that the sounds of Rolla n Ro spawned Rock n Roll and that the stall set the stage for Bollywood movies.)

Eva said...

I have no words! every time your post are better and more elaborate!1 And with music (I love "Jai Ho")
Wonderful pics and wonderful story.
Congratulations dear Susan!!

Happy birthday to your sister!! Today is the the birthady of my husband as well (36 years old!) :)

Sumaiya Mehreen said...

What a party! I love the orange "me" ...

Sans said...

Thank you Mercedes. I am glad someone likes the satchel. I think it is a hexagonal origami box flattened..LOL. The box(?) came quite torn but the vintage paper are so gorgeous especially with age, I had to use it for something. All I did was add the paper twist rope for the handle. I have seen how the origami box can be made and it is another great way to make mini hat boxes.Need to get Kristel's help again.

The pink box is actually just strings over another paper rectangular box, came squashed but it doesn't look half bad with books.

After this, I think I am ready to take on the challenge of Satine's room, eventually, someday. LOL

Sans said...

Thank you so much, Helene. You always take the time to tell me the bits you like and they are worth millions to me :).

This post took me a record 6 hours to create. I took way over 100 shots for this stall over a week because it is so damn hard to photograph + lack of skills. I even used FaiZ' very sophisticated camera In the end, many of the pics were trashed and I had to re-take them again after I shift the whole set to face the other way :), away from the window and light.

I also took some time to learn how to make video but that was only 30 mins. Anyone who wants to learn how to import music into your blog post using the video link, go to this wonderful article at

I then waited 20 mins to publish it so that it fall on today (although I started yesterday) so that it is on Shir's birthday).

The Moulin Rouge reference was because of a remark MarG made when she saw the display :).

You are priceless, Helene :).

By the way, the Slumdog Millionaire album is a must buy, imo. I listened to it so much, I drove my housemates mad.

Sans said...

Woohoo, Eva, your husband is the 3rd person I know whose birthday falls on today :). Happy birthday to your husband too! Thank you Eva :) for always being so supportive.

Sumaiya, it's taken me a long long time to identify the doll for you. With the mehndi post, there is now a story behind the Sumaiya in my story who is a master mehndi artist and a beautiful gypsy girl. This doll is picked for her more conservative dressing as I don't think tattoo stomach is really you. Let me know if I am way off!

Texas Belle said...

Wow! This may be my favorite post ever! So much color! So much detail! The work you put into it is evident. Now I want to shrink myself down and join the pary, lol!

Sans said...

LOL!Belle, and do remember to pop by the flower shop :). Just could not resist stuffing some "fruits" into the topiaries for you . Was hoping you would read this post and you did! Hooray ! :) Thank you for paying me the highest compliment :).

Ara said...

Sans, this was just an exciting post to read. I loved having the music in the background!! I could acutally see everyone dancing around all the goods! Your sets are so beautiful as well, I could have stared at that first picture forever trying to see all the detail! -ara

Sans said...

Thank you so very much , Ara. I am glad the music work for some of you. I was worried that it may be too noisy :). When I was writing, I suddenly badly wanted to hear the Rollas' music so for me, it was good :)

MiniKat said...

Love this post, Sans! The scene is so well done. I love all your accessories, like the satchels too. :-)

Sans said...

Thank you Kat :). How is Temple today? I will go check in on her if you have any update :). Guess your arrow is pointing at me in the circle swap :). Poor you :). Am I a tough one since this is not a regular witchy halloween kind of project. I am thinking I may go get a Taj Mahal kit and build a tomb ..LOL. Don't sweat over it, I will love anything you do. I am very excited!

JFolk said...

WOW! I have never seen this in miniature, love, love it! Its so unique! I look forward to coming back and seeing and reading more!

Sans said...

Thank you, Jaime:). I will be so thrilled to see you here often :).

Carmen L said...

Hello Sanz, I congratulate you on your magnificent works, exotic what that is quite!! .The dolls estan done by you?. Quite beautiful.

Sans said...

Hi Carmen, I am so happy to see you here I have enjoyed your work :). No, I did not make the dolls, I only added cloth to them and pots, baby etc. I hope to see you here more often ;)!

Snowfern said...

happy birthday Shir! or did i miss it?


this display is gorgeous! do you ever fear your dolls would secretly get up and dance around at night? :O tee hee hee *evil laughter*

Sans said...

Thank you, Cindy :) and greetings from Bangkok ..again :)

Josje said...

Fantastic colours, happy music, great party! I too mistook the gulal cones for incense cones, lol. It all looks great!

Sans said...

LOL! Josje, you were right about them being incense cones :)

Elise said...

These really are inspirational - thank you !

Sans said...

Thank you Elise for popping by :). Really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment !

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