Category : interview

While the purpose of a blog may be to showcase ones own work, there is also the intent to encourage others to take up the idea being promoted. More and more blogs on a particular niche is a sure sign that the idea is catching up. Woodworking in India is one concept that is not widely popular. And so it is a tremendous boost when a blog like IndianDIY is doing its bit to ease the concept to hesitant, yet interested Indian hobbyists. Meet Indranil Banerjie, the man behind IndianDIY who is an ardent Woodworking hobbyist from Noida.

I was prompted to write this feature after my interesting meet with him in Bangalore. He said, “I have learnt so much from the Internet. And it is time I give back without expecting anything in return”. His blog is all about giving back to the DIY community. Read on and know more about him. Over to Indranil.
Indranil Banerjie of
An introduction
I took to woodworking four years ago after my 51st birthday! After working hard all my life on a desk, I wanted to do something creative with my hands, something physical that I could hold and feel. Woodworking interested me, but I never had the time or the money to pursue it . At 51, I had the time and a little money to seriously consider it. 
We had settled down in a sleepy suburb 35 km from Delhi and there was nothing much to do. There were hardly a couple of restaurants, one movie hall that showed only Hindi movies and no coffee shops either. I began in a small way wondering if I would ever be good at it or make something worthwhile. Today, I am at an intermediate stage and have not looked backed ever since.
Book Case
Teak Wood Book Shelf
 How did you discover your passion for woodworking ?
Beautiful things always fascinated me. I liked the elegance of fine furniture and in my extensive travels all over the world came to admire wooden objects as much as object 'd art. Like in all crafts, there is something of the creator that gets imprinted forever in the object. Perhaps my pathetic quest for immortality :)
Kitchen Shelf
Kitchen Wall Cabinet
Why is age, sex or location a barrier (or not a barrier) for hobby woodworking in India ?
Like the marriage ads that say age, sex or caste no bar, I feel all good enterprises in life are indissoluble. A beautiful woman is so regardless of age, caste or geography. The call to arts and crafts is similarly exalted.
I want to get into DIY Woodworking. But I don't know where to start. Your advice ?
I found the greatest difficulty was to actually do something instead of just thinking about it. The fear of failure is always high and the only cure is to plunge in. Make something, no matter what others might think and the days will not be far when you will feel fulfilled. That is the road to excellence.
DIY Dovetails
Indranil with his dovetails
Is the required platform / Tools available in India for someone to pursue DIY home repairs and carpentry ?
Yes, everything is available. You have to search and adjust your capabilities and acquisitions according to your pocket. Power tools are not necessary but nice if you have the money. Hand tools on the other hand are relatively cheap and will last a lifetime.
Quality can be a problem at times but good suppliers can be located with a little help.
Your favorite project so far ?
DIY Woodworking Basic
Dovetailed Wooden Chest / Box
And lastly, what have been your 3 big challenges in this journey of yours ?
  • The weather - North India is horrendous for 6 months of the year and I can barely pursue my hobby during that period.
  • Time - there is so little each day.
  • Bringing myself to the cut - I always hesitate and procrastinate. I wish I could be more resolute and actually cut the wood without thinking on and on whether I will make a mistake.
At Totos
Beer and biriyani
There is so much to ask. Yet, will stop here hoping this little interview leaves you with wanting to know more about Indranil's wonderful blog and his woodworking adventures. He is celebrating completion of 100 posts on his blog and has an exciting giveaway for you. Do take a moment to check his contest announcement and participate. I am yet to send in my entries and have already laid my eyes on the two books he is giving away. Meanwhile, do leave me a comment if this feature impels you to take up Woodworking as a hobby.

P.S. All photos are owned by Indranil. Kindly do not use these photos without express consent from the owner.

DIY in India is certainly a concept that is catching up. While there are individuals in pockets already indulging in Do It Youself, the idea by itself cannot gain widespread awareness unless there is more focus, attention and thrust coming from the industry at large. Bosch, India, is now getting to broaden that interest through its Home and DIY power tools and its DIY experience center, The DIY square.

Home and garden tools
Home and DIY Power Tools stall
I recently had the good fortune of interacting with Mr. Vijay Pandey, Vice President of Bosch power tools, India, at their facility in the Garden City. The event was organized for folks from the media to break Bosch’s image of being a predominantly Automotive focused organization and was aimed at introducing the audience to the other streams of business lines that it was already flourishing in - DIY, Home and Garden power tools being one of them.

VP, Bosch Power Tools
Mr.Vijay Pandey at the Bosch Brand DIY Square
Here’s couple of interesting things that came out straight from the horse’s mouth.

He said,
“Bosch provides the joy and first hand experience of DIY by allowing interested hobbyists to unleash their creativity at the Bosch brand store and DIY Square – An experience center that provides tools, assistance and all the needed guidance to overcome the hesitation of using power tools. The use of DIY Square is completely free (unless there is considerable amount of materials used) and there is absolutely no sales pressure. Walk in. Walk out. And have fun in between.”
When asked about the target market,
“We are not trying to replace the carpenters, nor are we trying to convince every individual to DIY. There is a certain section that knows DIY is cool and the outcome of DIY is worth showing off. We want to target that section by providing them with a platform to learn and the right tools to experiment and experience DIY”
DIY Stall
Tools demonstration at the venue - Got to hold and try the tools
It was also interesting to note that the tools are very easily available through Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and other E-commerce portals. Bangalore is lucky in one sense that this whole revolution is starting with the city. We had a tour of the DIY Square (And that is a separate post by itself) and I spent the most time there laying my hands on the tools and watching others get a grip of it too. Friendly staff eager to see us brim with joy was an added bonus. Try it and if you like, buy it is an idea I wish existed here in Chennai too. 

DIY tools
Bosch tools on display
DIY tool kit
Bosch Home Smart Kit 
The whole event left me with a sense of pride. I walked out with the resolution to up my ante. DIY is cool and I hope to continue enjoying the benefits that it has to offer. And it is indeed nice that Bosch is doing its bit to popularize the DIY culture in the Indian sub-continent. That said, what is your take ? Do you think there is growing enthusiasm to embrace this culture ? Share your thoughts as a comment.

Disclaimer : My entire visit was sponsored by the event organizers. However, I was not asked or influenced in anyway to write this post. My opinion here is voluntarily written and is completely mine.

CRAFTZINERS is a growing community of very highly imaginative and talented people who create art and crafts projects in their homes and communities. Craftziners is one of the most prolific art and craft  site providing a platform for new and upcoming talents and also a resource for how to create new art and crafts.
When Madhavi, the editor of the Craftziners magazine wanted to feature Woodooz and us in the January issue, we were thrilled beyond words can explain. Here are some excerpts from the interview. For the full interview, do check out the magazine. We are on the 10th page.

I was featured on Craftziners Magazine

Tell us more about Woodooz and how it all started ?
Woodooz right now is about everything (well almost) that one can do with simple hand tools. It is also about exploring creative outlets to escape the everyday routine, through arts and crafts. When we moved in to our new home and wanted to buy a center table, our search ended in vain and we did not find the right fit. It was Preethi's brainwave that we build the table ourselves with customized dimensions. We drove straight to a hardware store, bought a cheap electric drill, and it all started from there.
How did you decide on the brand name "woodooz"?
Working extensively with wood, which was our prime medium and with fabric, handmade papers and other media that added vibrancy to our work, we wanted our “brand name” to represent all that. So we derived the name from "Voodoo” that stands for black magic, only Woodooz is about the magic that is an outcome of a spectrum of colors, functionality, and the purposefulness of our work.
  • Do you still believe "Do what you love and the money will come" ?
  • How has blogging and the internet influenced your work as an artist?
  • What are your top 5 goals that you’d like to accomplish within the next 5 years?
These are some of the questions among many others that we so loved answering. Hope you like the read.

Thanks a lot Madhavi for the opportunity to be featured in your magazine. It is indeed very motivating and we wish you all the best in bringing small crafters and bloggers into limelight through your Website.

- Somu and Preethi

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Woodooz Home Decors,
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