HYDERABAD: G Rekha Reddy, First Master, Ohara Ikebana, has been honoured with the prestigious Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award announced by the Government of Japan for her dedication to Ikebana and for contributing to the cultural exchange and friendship between India and Japan. Gavva Rekha Reddy has been practicing and teaching Ikebana for the last two-and-a-half decades. Having studied under Grandmaster Horyu Meena Anantnarayan and her mother Shamala YR Reddy, she has taught Ikebana and held workshops and demonstrations for 27 years.
Rekha Reddy is passionate about spreading Ikebana, promoting understanding of Japanese culture & friendship between Japan and India. She has been the President, Ohara Chapter & Ikebana International Hyderabad Chapters, Chairperson, FICCI Ladies Organisation, Hyderabad and President, The Wednesday Club.
She has been invited and given Ikebana demonstrations in many cities in India and several countries across the globe. Rekha has many solo exhibitions to her credit and has authored Petals & Palette, its pages juxtaposing Ikebana with MF Husain’s paintings.
She also conceived and co-ordinated books such as Flowers & Flavours & Pushpa Thoranam for Ikebana International Hyderabad Chapter and edited books such as Blooms & Looms on Ikebana and sarees with fellow Ikebana members.
Along with 75 other Ikebana enthusiasts, she recently brought out a book Mishrana — Ikebana of Japan meets Recipes of India commemorating the 70th year of Japan-India diplomatic relations and 75 years of Indian Independence. “The arrangements showcase local flora, creating an awareness of nature and the importance of the environment and its protection.
Most of the contributing members, spirited teenagers to seasoned 85-year-olds, are from Hyderabad, some from Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi. The book has an interesting blend or mishrana of vibrant flowers & Indian flavours to pamper your artistic sensibilities into savouring the vivid culture of Japan and India, a world of flowers and food. The intrinsic connection between Ikebana and food is what makes the book special. Mishrana consists of two things — an Indian recipe and an Ikebana inspired from the ingredients of the recipe,” shares Rekha. Talking about the award and how she was introduced into the world of ikebana, she says, “I am really happy to receive the award. It surely motivates me to work ahead with both Indian and Japanese cultures. My mother was into gardening and she was intrigued with Japan and Ikebana from her trip there with my father.
My first initiation into this world was by my mother and then by my teachers.” According to her, the threedecade- long journey with Ikebana was incredible. “The pleasure of seeing someone happy with such smaller things gave me happiness and satisfaction. Nature has to offer so many things and it is our responsibility to look ahead and keep it from getting damaged. Once one falls in love with Ikebana, they by default learn to protect nature and environment,” she shares. For the ones who want to foray into the mysterious world of Ikebana, they can start by observing nature and then get a container and start playing with flowers and leaves, concludes Rekha.