In this chilling weather, the most important thing that we look for is winter wear- could be sweat shirts, long over coats, leather jackets, various light weighted shawls and heavily worked covers. We purchase these spending a lot of money online, bargain with Street sellers and so on.. The trends and styles keep changing and we move with the herd to follow the trends. However, the warmth in knit sweaters, that our mothers, sisters, or anyone who would be expert in such skills are nowhere to be found anymore. Rarely, do we see anyone around wearing anything that is woven, knit, embroidered or skillfully painted. Sometimes it is because we find it obsolete and sometimes because it is hard to meet anyone these days who are skilled into it or have the time to spare to create those.
This topic is quiet a delight for the readers who feel that yes we may say that, women are no longer interested in household and usually feminine skills as before, and, therefore needs quite a detailed discussion (read criticism) ; but that isn’t necessarily true as men used to be equally skilled, equipped and experienced in manual art since the ancient Indian Harappan Civilization which eventually diminished. There were artisans, pottery makers, and painters which were pleasing to every eye.
This traditional and not just in the interior of rural India but also into our homes with Woolen, Hand-Woven sweaters, embroidered covers, and other household art works have lost the trend so much that neither the demand nor the experts are anywhere to be found anymore. People now would prefer playing mobile games, chat over the Internet or maybe watch a quick movie instead of building up a hobby that is creative. (Infact the usual introductory question- What is your hobby? has also been almost buried, because rarely does anyone have one these days, there are many ways of spending time rather than cultivating a hobby and wasting time – per logic these days)
The style or hobby aspect can still be sidelined, what cannot be overlooked is that those of us who are experts only in these skills are facing tough competition due to dipping demands all throughout now and then we blame the Authorities for not being able to rehabilitate the manual workers, the thought that provokes consciousness is that as members of this society, do we not have any responsibility to do the least we can to progress as much we can but also retain the heritage and art that made us proud someday in the world.
Say, we go for tours all around the country today, it is so easy today to travel, we upload our innumerable selfies, posters, group photos with strange disfigured fingers pointing in some direction. May we not click pictures of the work or the artisans and eventually promote their work, so that the next time someone else visits the same place, they know where and what exactly to buy that which looks good and that it helps to retain the potentiality of our invincibly talented art masters.
We wait for Mega fairs, malls to bring in few pieces just as a matter of prejudice and we buy them at much higher prices just to ensure that the next time someone visits our home we are able to portray the exquisite choice of collection we have..
The same doctrine applies to the wear, covers and art work made by our mothers too, do we realise that the pace in which crafts is losing importance it is but natural that expertise will die one day and in a way that it can never be restored..
I am sure, the generation that knew the skills are almost on the brink of getting over. The least we can do now is atleast take pride in wearing a work that is gifted to us with love, warmth and affection, because we never know just the way Indian process of Telegram, Hand written love letters have gone in the gallows, so will the warm, love filled hand woven sweaters.. Time to think and Act!!!
Thank you for reading through…