Greetings! I am writing from the artisan land.
Everything here is so beautiful and colourful. It is almost as all the colours of the rainbow have swooped down and painted themselves on a piece of cloth. You should see the designs, they are so detailed that it produces a gush of excitement inside me. You can’t help it when your face lights up, eyes become bigger, your lips part a bit and there is faint smile of disbelief on your face even your fingers are so tempted to touch it, as if to make sure if it’s real, its reflex I tell you.
The artisans make this already beautiful art more magnificent. They live in huts made of mud and no one can guess the number of problems these artisans have because they are just so happy. These artisans love to talk and are always smiling ear to ear talking about their work. When I asked them how they put in so much effort for every detail, they said the most wonderful thing
“It’s the details that makes all the difference”. The clothes are stunning but the meeting these humble geniuses make your day. It is so heartening to see them do their work whole-heartedly. They look up from their work instrument and smile and the room is full wonderful vibes. They have apparently been doing this for centuries and the skill flows in their blood. It gives me goosebumps to think that 200 years ago people it was a replication of this very sight. It gives me a feeling of being transported to that era. The people, life, surroundings, era all of it changed but this remained constant, the art in front of me has surpassed time and age. I must admit, seeing the artisans makes me wonder about my life, what I am doing and how purposeless it is. They don’t earn money to get three full meals a day and yet put their heart and soul into an art which is being eaten up by the industries. The love and hard work that goes into the making, never wanes. I guess that quote is true after all, “Feeling passionate is the best meal in town”.
Yesterday I met a man called Ganesh in Bhaktapur, he makes sarangis. He plays them beautifully too. It’s sad to think such amazing talent goes unnoticed. Apparently the sarangis in Nepal are different from the ones in India. The artisans are carved out of a single block of wood and the strings are died up sheep intestines (which were killed for other purposes of course) and they are strung together by horse tail hair. How cool is that?! He was so excited when I asked him about the sarangis that he asked me try almost each one in the store. The sarngis he makes were particularly more intriguing because they had motifs of Lord Buddha and Lord shiva behind them. They were done with such precision and craftsmanship and the fine polish was like a cherry on the cake. I did end up buying a sarangi and I shall learn to play it soon only because the passion Ganesh had was so contagious and I just had to find out how this tiny wooden instrument can induce a frenzy in a man who is otherwise so patient. So, as I sit here at the airport ready to leave this beautiful landlocked country, I wonder about amazing experiences and more amazing artisans. These artisans taught me the lesson of how important it is to do what you love and let it kill you (well, you get my point). Expensive clothes, posh house, lavish meals are never a priority to them and yet they are so happy, happy because they do what they love and that gives them satisfaction.
After this trip, as cliché as it sounds, I don’t think I’ll be the same again.
With Lots of Love
– From Nepal