We moved to 9 houses in a little over two and a half decades. I loved every house as my own and always ensured that I left the house in an extremely spic and span manner before we moved to a new city and a new house. All the houses blessed us in their own way – some blessed us on a monetary basis, others gave us a lot of peace of mind, yet in that particular house we had experienced the best and most memorable phase of our lives. One house in particular took the onus of moulding my personality – it asked, demanded and extracted copious tears from me till I started learning the value of emotional independence…….I am still learning but I realized my happiness had to be of my own creation – I could never get it from any other source let alone a person. So, some houses gave us an abundance of beautiful memories that will last me my entire lifetime, yet other houses taught me invaluable values that would help me lead my life in a dignified manner.
Strange that some people dismiss and discard houses as brick and mortar structures. Does it really matter whether we live in a rented house or our own house? Why then do we treat something that is not ours with such dismissive casualness? Every house is a home – and is a silent witness to all that is happening behind closed doors. Every house is a home which has a treasure chest of secrets that it hides mutely in its bosom.
Every house will have its own story to tell……..and a home often outlives the inmates of the family members.
What about family members – real life human beings? None of us will ever live for ever and ever. We all know that. And after we reach a certain age – all we yearn and crave for is to touch as many lives as we can in a positive manner, help as many deserving people as we can, pass on as many values as we can to people who are dear to us and create as many happy memories as possible with our loved ones by sharing as much time as possible with them.
We will all depart from this earth one fine day – but many people continue to live in the hearts of other people. There may be a physical void in the lives of our dear ones, but there will never be a mental or emotional void in their lives. Every time they fall back on a value or a skill or a talent that they learned from the person who is no more a part of this wondrous planet – they will think of that person in a positive manner. A small smile will adorn their faces, they will have a forlorn look on their faces as they take a trip down memory lane to recollect the happy times that they spent with that person and cling to such precious memories to sustain themselves during tough times.
Our values, virtues, skills, talent, faith, beliefs and a lot many things will most definitely outlive us as we pass on a bit of souls to our near and dear ones.
All of us have our own unsung story to narrate………… it does not really matter whether we are inanimate objects or live human beings.
And so the looms of Odisha beckon and entice us again today because their story is not very different from our story.
My story is not over yet…… says a simple wood made loom of Odisha.
Listen to my story……….the story of a strong, sturdy, well oiled, well-loved loom……a simple hand crafted loom…….
Listen to my story……….and I promise to bring about a paradigm shift in your outlook and perspective.
Don’t dismiss me and discard me and cast me aside as outdated and old fashioned.
Like all those houses mentioned above, I too am a silent oh so mute witness to tales that are centuries old.
Weavers work on me with love and passion. The yarn that they use are all sourced indigenously. The dyes are made from vegetables or other plant based sources that were available locally. Men, women, children, mothers, young girls and lads, old men and women…..every family member is involved in some aspect of weaving or creating some handicraft or painting.
I am their only means of livelihood. All of them always take great care of me. Their touch is loving, they worship my soul by offering their prayers to me at least twice in a day and on certain auspicious days they even decorate me after cleaning me and repairing all the parts that are squeaking with overuse.
I, an ordinary simple wood made loom – am honoured by the reverence and the respect that these simple rural folks shower on me.
I, the silent loom – am also the mute witness of all the copious tears that the rural women shed when their passion and their talent is never given due recognition. These rural people do not yearn for any materialistic luxury. These rural women do not have lofty dreams of travelling the world. These rural women are content to get a decent price for their efforts, their passion and their dedication.
And these rural women are heart broken when they are paid a pittance for their work.
And like that one particular house that I mentioned earlier, these rural folks learn the real real hard hard way that they needed to mould their craft to cater to the changing requirements of the modern market.
And I a simple wooden loom am a silent witness ……….when these women weep their heart out simply because they never got the opportunity to go to a school, never got the exposure needed to nurture an open and flexible mind.
Their skills, their craftsmanship, their talent ………..their ancestors had passed on all these invaluable values to them…….their ancestors continued to live in their memories and through their craftsmanship………but the reality was harsh and bitingly cold and sat heavily on their weary shoulders.
These rural folks were now oh so tired of questioning their destiny all the time.
And I an ordinary wood made loom am a silent witness when despite all these setbacks and heavy hearts – they rise again at the crack of dawn and start working on me……..channelizing all their tears, their hopes, their faith and their beliefs into the garment or the sculpture or the applique made lantern or the peacock motif on the tussar silk saree.
I an ordinary wood made loom, witness on a daily basis the manner in which these young women create a make shift cradle in a shady corner of the loom shed and sing with devotion to their version of God even as their babies gently fell asleep ……..innocent and unaware of the trials and tribulations that his weaver/artisan/craftsman parents were undergoing.
And I an ordinary wood made loom……..am also a silent witness to the changing scenario that technology brought in on one fine yet another ordinary looking day.
I – a well-oiled old old but now happy loom welcomed chirpy youngsters like Samaira who bridged the yawning gap between urban and rural India.
I – an ordinary wood made loom – was remodelled and redesigned to create new trends in the fashion industry. The weavers who worked on me were grateful for this bright ray of hope –their trials and tribulations had served a bigger purpose by making them more flexible and open to new ideas and concepts.
I – an ordinary wood made loom – am seeing the classystreet.com team create magic in their lives. The sad sad smiles are slowly turning into smiles of wonder and curiosity. My weaver friends are now learning, exploring, thinking, creating and experimenting with new designs, new fibres, new dyes, new permutations and combinations to create trendy, smart weaves which have a huge touch of ethnicity in them.
And I an ordinary wood made loom knew that God had answered all the silent unquestioning prayers of all the artists and weavers of Odisha by creating ecommerce portals like classystreet.com where the prime focus was on the handicrafts and handloom sarees of Odisha.
My story isn’t over yet………..
In fact classystreet.com and I – an ordinary wood made loom – are just silent – oh so mute witnesses……..who are waiting for the magic of handlooms and handicrafts to take the entire world by storm.
Our story is definitely not over yet……………..
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