Artpreneur Devika Arora Making Char So Bees the biggest rage in town!

By Anna Dias|7th Oct 2012
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Char So Bees 420 Rooftop

420! It’s not what you’re thinking. It’s Calcutta's one and only Rooftop Flea Market event, that focuses on co-operative retail & the performing arts. Their mission is to unveil Calcutta's incredible talent to the world and beyond.Got something to sell or perform but nowhere to show it? Have no fear, 420 is here. BOOM!

Devika Arora was doing her last semester in Orlando florida , when the jitters of having almost finished college kicked in. Having done her Bsc in Entertainment business, photography classes at the University of arts London, and attending Harvard University on a special summer school program for high achieving high schoolers, widened her scope but definitely did not make her choice any easier. She found herself caught up in that only too familiar place “what next”. That’s when Devika felt all those business classes kick in, and she thought up 420 Char so bees rooftop flea market, which was exactly what Calcutta needed. However, coming back to Calcutta from London, Devika noticed that there was talent and art at every nook and corner, but it remained there, and with the slightest opportunity it fled outside the city. If there was a way to retain this talent, no one had figured it out yet, and if they had, it wouldn’t last long enough. “I am a dreamer,” she says, and what started off as a business venture grew into Calcutta's biggest social experiment!


rooftop-420

It is now India's only rooftop flea market that focuses on promoting local retail and the performing arts. Indie artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, designers, dancers and dreamers come together at their bi-monthly events to show the world what they've got. From a humble 600 guests to over 2000 young people at the last event, how’s that for a start up? and Devika thought her major setback was the fact that she knew no one in the city, how would she get people to come? Well guess what we were all definitely waiting for her! 420 flea market has become ‘the’ place to be, so that’s enough of cribbing about your city being boring, and enough of fleeing to different cities! Come Flea with us!


Devika Arora

Char so bees has hosted 6 major events, 420 Intro, Diwali Lights, Bonfire Night, Back to Basics, Dramarama, Haze, and Afterglow. These events went from bring out upcoming bands and artist to organic farming. The stalls sell jewelry, clothes, shoes, posters, homemade décor and food, all having their own personalized touch to suit your taste. What the stall owners pay for space, and the entry fee which is about Rs.40 goes into assuring you have an even better time at their next event. She sets the bar so high at each event, you can’t help but go for the next one with higher expectations, and she knows that! The event that everyone is looking forward to right now is Char so bees: SPOOK the halloween special!Devika Arora is also a professional photographer and has worked for TED.com for the entire India Inside out project. She has used her potential and has rooted for an even bigger cause. The turn out and success of this event has satisfied her, more than what a normal business start up would have. She hopes to soon have the most unpredictable moving 420 flea market. So you either flea with them or you’ve got to catch ‘em if you can!

 

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