Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Good Morning to you,

It seems such a long time ago, since I said goodbye to you and packed for my holiday to India. But the time has passed by and I am back home in England, trying to get used to the cold and settling down  to life again.

We had a wonderful trip to India and have taken so many photos that I hope you don't end up yawning at them all. I promise I will not overload you, but each Wednesday, I will share photos and items of interest, which I know, you will enjoy reading about.

When we left Newcastle, it was snowing heavily, but when we arrived in Chennai, 36 hours later, we were greeted by a warm, balmy evening. We walked through Arrivals to find a sea of happy faces waiting for their loved one's to arrive,  but in no time at all we found our lovely daughter's smiling face and we gave her such a huge hug.

It was a 40 minute drive to Natasha's home and although it was 9 o'clock in the evening the streets were buzzing with people. It was such a contrast to where I live, as at 9 o'clock I might hear the odd car pass by, but other than that, it is very quiet.

When we arrived at Natasha's, look what we found.

A beautiful Kolam, which had been drawn at the entrance of the house, to welcome us to  Natasha's home. I was unable to take a photo when we arrived as it was dark, but took this the following morning. It was such a shame that a gust of wind had merged some of the colours, but not enough to spoil the design.

This kolam was drawn for Natasha and her husband to wish them wealth and prosperity for 2013.

Wasanti is the name of the talented lady, who drew these designs. Wasanti said she had learnt this skill from her mother and her mother learnt it from her mother, Wasanti's grandmother, and so the skill was passed on from mother to daughter.

A kolam is a traditional floor drawing which is found in Southern India, in this case Chennai, formerly known as Madras.

It is believed that the drawing of a kolam will purify the entrance to a home or building and will encourage the Goddess of  Wealth, Laxmi, to enter the house, thus giving the householders, wealth and prosperity.

The kolams are drawn using white rice flour, which is free flowing to allow the outline of the design to be created. When the design has been drawn, colours are added to more rice flour, which is then mixed with salt to create a firmer texture.   

This photo shows Wasanti working on a new kolam. Can you see the dots? This is how the design begins it's life.  She makes a series of dots which she then joins together with the white rice flour to form the design.

Wasanti has added the blue dyed rice flour and now, adds the green rice flour. It is such painstaking work. Do you see the pair of feet behind Wasanti?  Well those belong to Gajundren, Wasanti's husband.

Wasanti has finished adding the blue rice flour and  carefully she adds green.

As she finishes one section of green, she moves onto another.

.....and another.

This kolam had no colour added and is just as lovely. Each time I look at these designs I think they would look lovely as an embroidered piece of work.

It is hard to believe that these designs have not been drawn with chalk as a guide, before  sprinkling rice flour.....but believe me they have not.

......and quite sad to think, that after all the hard work, the kolam can be blown away by a gust of wind.

As much as I love the vibrant colours, which you get used to seeing in India, there is also a place in my heart for this lovely pastel coloured kolam.

This kolam has not been coloured, but a dish of flower heads, floating in water, has been placed in the middle of the design to add a splash of colour.

This is the book which Wasanti uses to draw her designs. If you look closely you will see how the dots are drawn and then joined together. 

Charan,Wasanti's young son has decided to add his special drawing to the left hand side of the page. 

.....and here is the lovely lady Wasanti, with her husband Gajundren and their little boy, Charan. Just like any three year old, there is always something more interesting to look at.

I have loved sharing these photos with you.  To know, that like me, you will enjoy and appreciate seeing such an unusual artistic form. I have known many skilled women in my life, but I have to say, I think Wasanti is up there with the best of them.  What do you think?

It is also a reminder to me of the skills which Ivy and Phyllis passed down to me and which I have, as a mother, passed on to Natasha and Danielle.

I wonder, at this moment, are you thinking about the skills your grandmother and mother passed down to you?

This week I will be joining, 

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

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