Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unsung Heros of NID: An interview with a carpenter

NID History from the grassroots: Nathalal Vavadia speaks about his journey at NID

Prof M P Ranjan

NID is approaching its 50th year since its inception in 1961 and there are many official events and activities that are being planned to celebrate the arrival of the landmark year. Here on this blog we have started an unofficial but sustained effort to try and look at all kinds of people who had contributed to the making of this great institute at Ahmedabad and from these glimpses we hope to shape a more complete view of the making of NID. Nathalal Vavadia who retired today speaks about his experiences and we will try and bring many more such interviews in the days ahead.

Image01: Nathalal Vavadia in various moods during a brief interview today, the 30th June 2010, the day he retires from NID after serving as a carpenter in the wood workshop for 40 years.

Nathalal Vavadia: Carpenter at NID remembers the good times from Ranjan MP on Vimeo.

Image02: Video interview with Nathalal Vavadia. Duration 12 minutes.

Nathalal Vavadia joined NID in 1970 as a carpenter in the wood workshop. He contributed to the NID building work as well as in producing the furniture designed by George Nakashima which was produced in batches at NID through the 70's to the 90's.

He remembers the people at the workshop and the intense work culture at NID during his tenure at NID. He retires from service today, 30 June 2010 and in an interview here he shares some of his experiences and insights on the history of NID as a centre of excellence. The interview is in Hindi but it provides a glimpse of what NID was in the 70's and 80's and provides some insights into the work culture of the institute in those days.

Prof M P Ranjan


  1. Hi Ranjan

    So great to see this and am looking forward to reading more on the many unsung heros at NID. I hope you'll be covering my favourite from the Textile Department. Unfortunately distance and time have blurred my memory of his name – but he did exquisite demos of bookbinding for students when I was taking publication design in textiles. Perhaps he's retired already but I'm sure he drops by for chai from time to time!

  2. Great Interview . And an awesome initiative . Over time , this would grow into such a valuable resource

  3. The same thing is happening in the printing press. machines are thrown out without anyone's knowledge. there are hardly any left. they plan to throw out the remaining few, inspite of shirish bhai's protests and convincing them that they are of high value. there are 2 amazing german machines, original hiedelbergs that are real beauties and in fifty years have never had a single malfunction ever. when the nid press dies, it will be a real tragedy. a huge loss.

    the letter press unit was amazing but has been pillaged over the years and hardly anything left now. only a really short-sighted institute would let this happen. when the few old-timers who have worked in the press retire in a few years, there is no one to carry on their knowledge. graphic design will suffer immensely. there is no use of sitting on the computer and never seeing the printing press. we will be creating dtp operators in a few years.

  4. hey Ranjan,
    it's nice ...

  5. For Furniture design discipline, Kaka's are like hands-on professors with great depth of practical knowledge. They are part of our memories in the dusty workshops, bmw chai breaks and last minute jury preparations.

    I think we never really acknowledge their otherwise thankless job. Natha kaka, you rock. To add to the list of other unsung heros from wood/metal workshop - Ranchod kaka, Late Chandu Kaka, Devi Kaka...

  6. Hi Ranjan! Great idea to do this. There are so many ways of looking at the past, and building a picture of it
    from the accounts of people who not only lived through it but were actively part of shaping it, is very relevant. Maybe this could be the beginning of a comprehensive 'People's history of NID'.

  7. Great interview...makes you feel so wonderful about how they dedicate their lives to one work...But there are so many people who do not even have a job...thus are poverty ridden.Every child, woman and man deserves to get the basic nutrition their body requires. It’s us who can make sure they are not deprived.
    Globally more than 173 Million people stood up against poverty in 2009, a Guinness World Record!

    Let us break this record in 2010!
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  8. great interview by the big man this is nice to read many more about that

    its nice

  9. it was realy wonderful blog..!


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