PERREAULT Magazine SEPT | OCT 2016 - Page 44

“So now,” he says, “I’m giving complimentary performances at festivals because I have love

from my heart.”

Traditional quality is of the utmost importance to Ashok Tak. His contemporaries use cheap plastic materials and gaudy accessories to bedeck their animals but he will have no part in this. Much of the skill that went into creating his exhibit, with some pieces as old as old as a century and from as far away as Afghanistan, has been lost he tells us. In displaying his collection, he hopes to inspire those that see his art to value traditional skills and not just the modern.

He used to compete in camel decorating competitions but won so many times he no longer enters, so others have a chance.

He’s come to Bikaner for the annual camel fair, a two-day celebration of desert culture enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Camels, glittering like flavor flav with a clock chain in a fluorescent suit are cajoled into dancing as men with turbans and metre long moustaches wave cutlasses under the desert sun.

The announcer’s voice, incredibly amplified and soaked in a novel amount of delay carries for miles.

“Ashok Tak and his mobile camel museum!” booms over the P.A. as the camel decorator and his mount do a lap for the crowd’s enjoyment.

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