1 zennfish potter

A door opens into a shadowy space, a potter’s workroom. Strands of sunlight that manage to permeate the space reveal a man at the potter’s wheel. Light bulbs attempt to brighten the small space, an artificiality that is not lost, that seems to further alienate the daylight flooding the streets outside. Against one wall is a high shelf holding figurines; the painted one holds a cigar in his mouth. Next to them is an altar with lamps lit.

2 zennfish potter

Shelves and trays around the room are filled with pots and other creations. Like these tiny Ganesha idols, only one of whose eyes have been shaped on the clay.

3 zennfish potter

Clad in a t-shirt and shorts, the man sits before a potter’s wheel. His hands remain at work while he watches television. Next to him is a pail of muddy water. An assistant bustles around; he disappears into a smaller adjoining room, bringing more clay, carrying the tiny pots outside on pallets where they can dry out in the sun.

4 zennfish potter

The potter says he has been doing this work for forty years now. That is all he is willing to share before turning his attention back to the television. His practiced hands are covered with dripping wet clay as they hold the spinning wheel.

5 zennfish potter

Almost magically, a tiny pot is formed. It is hard to pinpoint how it is created and when it is completed but the potter’s hands seems to know it all too well.

6 zennfish potter

The tiny clay pots are set aside; still wet but no longer formless, no longer liquid clay. An assistant whisks the pallet off once it is full. Neither exchanges a word. Outside, the last of the wet clay dry as they are sealed with a kiss from the sun.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

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