Celebrating mass-produced, frugal, aesthetic design from india

Totally floored with the broom!!

Lying behind the doors, tucked behind the corners, stashed in closets and lying discreetly under the bed /cots of our beds is the good old broom or popularly known as the jhaadu !!

Imagine the day when your maid /bai doesn’t turn up and the house doesn’t get broomed. This simple inexpensive object not only keeps the space around us spic and span but also is a necessity in every Indian Household given our dusty climate.

The charm and the ubiquitous sound of the jhaadu spill to the Indian outdoors too. Walking out early in the morning to our streets, makes one an eye witness to bunch of sweepers, quietly swooshing…swaashing away with a long handle jhaadu. If will care to observe more, you will also be able to spot a shopkeeper or two , opening his shop and sweeping the  porch with a extra small nariyal jhaadu .

The jhaadu can be broadly divided into two categories:

  1. For  indoor use
  2. For outdoor use

The indoor use jhaadu comes in two versions: the phool jhaadu : made of dried grass, held together with a plastic/metal hollow cylinder wrap ; and the teel jhaadu : made of dried twigs  ,with a metal wire /plastic ribbons holding the twigs together.

The phool jhaadu comes is a popular and obvious choice for dusting dry floors and teel jhaadu for wet surfaces.(Remember the swooshing sound the teel jhaadu offers !)

In the outdoor broom category, sizes vary from the gigantic harry potter style, broom used by professional sweepers to sweep roads to the small nariyal jhaadu used for sweeping semi –outdoors (porches, courtyards etc.).   The GIANT TEEL JHAADU (broomstick) characteristically has a Long handle, life size proportions and a 1-1.5 ft long bristles of dried twigs bunched together.

The jhaadu’s rugged and frugal choice of material allows it to come in touch with and yet survive various types of floors India has to offer. Be it a kota stone, a marble or rough cement flooring, the graveled road, the kuccha floor or the paved brick road.  The poor jhaadu braves it all.

There are several variations to the models described above and various regional names too. Its presence all over india makes it a Design Mela chaap product.

Why is it an object of our affection?

This cleaning tool scores high on the factors of
its mass –production ,
ease of assembly,
and the uniformity its design possess despite being produced all over india.
Most of its sizes are designed to suit human proportions.

And yes!! It comes dirt cheap. (literally!)

We applaud this simple design for its ability to retain its basic design character through ages.

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