Posts Tagged ‘pottery town’

India_Leaning In_Anuradha Prasad

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

India_The Creator and the Created_Anuradha

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

ave-maria-anuradha

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

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

Pic 1 Zennfish

Smack in the middle of Pottery Town: pots, towering and miniature idols, kilns, and in no particular order to the process, people at work.

Pic 2 Zennfish

A man spread mud on tarpaulin and laid it out in the sun, before proceeding to knead the mud mixed with water.

Pic 3 Zennfish

Finished Ganesha idols in all shapes, colours and designs wrapped in plastic covers lined the streets. They were waiting to be loaded in trucks and distributed across markets where people who celebrate this festival buy them, worship them, and finally immerse them in lakes and tanks.

Pic 4 Zennfish

A dilapidated building was actually the kiln that is used to fire clay.

Pic 5 Zennfish

Down a narrow lane, a man and a woman were at work. Laid out around them was an army of tiny busts of Goddess Gowri, some painted, others waiting their turn.

Pic 6 Zennfish

On the main street, a man sat outside spraying paint on a Ganesha idol. He held each idol on a work stool. Once an idol was uniformly sprayed with pale coral with no trace of the naples cream base, a woman would quickly remove it and replace it with a plain idol.

Pic 7 Zennfish

Next to them, an old lady sat painting Lord Krishna and his companion Radha. Mother Mary holding Infant Jesus stood by their side.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

The title is borrowed from a short story in Isabel Allende’s The Stories of Eva Luna.