Last year I posted this image on a story at this blog and since then quite a few visitors have come via this image at google. This morning on a whim I went to the google page and found the story which follows. It was found at this post and written by Pooja Jayaram, a student of philosophy.
I had to share it because it visited upon me such captivating images and wonder!
One evening while returning from my college, I saw my 85 year granny learning new Kolam (geometrical line drawings composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots In South India with rice flour) styles from some random Tamil magazine. I asked her why ladies followed this centuries-old tradition even today. My granny responded that it is customary to get up before sunrise, sprinkle water on the mud flooring, swab it with cow dung and draw Kolam.
Ladies coming out of the house experience the early morning breeze which is good for health. They sprinkle water on the mud flooring so that the dust settles and doesn’t enter the house. Cow-dung, which is used for swabbing the floor, acts as a disinfectant. Bending down to draw the kolam is a good exercise for the waist and shoulders. The mixture used to draw it, popularly called Kolam Maave, is rice flour. Kolam is a free hand drawing and is an art. Especially in the Margazhi month of the Tamil calendar special Kolams are drawn and streets of Mylapore (in Chennai) look lovely with Kolams of different colour, shape and design.
Apart from the tradition, there is also a scientific reason behind drawing them. They are believed to produce cosmic positive energies which benefit people residing in the house. Predominately, most kolams are completed with thick, red lines on the periphery. They are called Kaavi/Semman. It adds to the beauty of the Kolam but the reason behind drawing it is that it blocks negativity. It is bordered by two white lines running parallel. These white lines are believed to retain peace and prosperity in the house. Kolam is also a symbol of welcoming people and the absence of a kolam at the doors indicates a mishap in the household.
Most of the designs drawn are with bare fingers using predetermined dots that are arranged in a specific pattern. Later these dots are joined to form different designs. Joining these dots is a tedious job as it requires a lot patience, accuracy and concentration. Drawing Kolam on a daily basis improves one’s concentration power.
Sadly this art is beginning to fade. Gone are those days when ladies used to walk on streets judging which house has drawn the best Kolam. With people now are moving into apartments from independent houses, they are finding it difficult to draw Kolam on marble floors. The kolam doesn’t stay on the flooring and thus, the whole house is full on rice flour mixed with sand. The markets are flooded with metal tubes on which the kolam patterns are already drawn. So people simply fill in the tube with rice flour, drag it on the floor and the kolam is ready. True to my granny’s words…..
Convenience has taken over Tradition.
Convenience has taken over Tradition.
Student of Philosophy | Miranda House
I then found another intriguing post also on this same traditions here.
|image at this post|
|from same post as image above|
I hope you were also captivated. One imagine's the clash of old and new must be very loud in today's India. Seems that nowhere remains untouched by the pace of change. Last week I was amazed, then on second though not so surprised, to read that over this past summer 70,000 seeds were unintentionally brought in to the Antarctica by tourists and people working there.
We are in the midst of such complex changes one can barely keep up ... if we chose to notice. Switching off makes sense... but if we turn our gaze away too long... ALAS!... when you look back it will be different.
A good week to all!
ps warm thanks to all who visited or left comments at the homage blog... very much appreciated!