Saturday, March 5, 2022

Embroidered creations of love!

 I have never been the arts-craftsy type of person and have always been envious of people who are dextrous enough to create a tangible work of art like a painting/drawing/sketch or crafts like handicrafts/embroidery/jewellery, etc. My mother though, has always dabbled into such creative arts  like painting and hand-embroidery as a hobby and still pursues the same post retirement.  My daughter loves to draw and prolifically turns out pencil sketches of her view of the world around her…and I cant help wondering if God skipped a generation while bestowing the artsy-craftsy creative gene to our family! 😊

Anyway, my mother finds great satisfaction in her hand embroidery work and more so on her post retirement move to Dharmasthala. Anyone close friend or family member visiting Shristi is sure to leave with one of amma’s exquisitely embroidered pieces as a return gift to remember their Shristi visit. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding nature, or traditional art designs like Warli, Kantha, Kasoothi or Kutch, amma creates magic with her fingers through her intricate needlework embroidery on vibrantly coloured fabrics, or left over blouse pieces and weaves. She has even embarked on what she likes to call her “magnum opus” – an embroidered creation of mathematical equations pieced together into a massive bedspread representing almost four decades of her life dedicated to the scholarship and teaching of mathematics at Jyothi Nivas College, Bangalore. As Im writing this…I see amma’s focussed needlework creating a beautiful string of flowers on a bright red poplin cloth!

Off late, Aadya and her grandmother  share a special connection through their own forms of art. Aadya presented one of her drawings of a silhoutte of a tree as a gift for her “Sanna-ajji” and Lo and Behold! her “Sanna-ajji” had replanted her tree into customised pillow case! 

Thanks to amma, all four of us have personalised pillow cases with taglines specially embroidered by amma…with “Acchu our Hero” for Abhay, “Aadya our Princess” for my daughter, “Multitasker of Samruddhi” for my husband as he truly is, “Budding competent Advocate” for me (while I thought I was already a competent advocate ….trust my mom to give me a reality check! 😊) Her latest gift has been a hand-embroidered patchwork bedspread with unique designs on each piece, from geometric shapes to modified katha work, from traditional art layouts to colourful flower patterns, with distinctive colour combinations, and beautifully sequenced strands of threads of various shades….and all I can say is that amma’s embroidered tapestry of brightly coloured flowers adorning our bed acts as a mood uplifter just like Wordsworth’s Daffodils! 

So dedicating this blogpost to my mother’s magical needle and thread work as we celebrated her 69th birthday last weekend in a hybrid mode – while we physically joined her and my father at “Aroha’s Eco Hill Resort” at Sakleshpur, and her best friends joined in through a zoom call, with goodies being delivered to their doorstep so that they don’t miss out on the cake! 😊   

Following the birthday weekend, we had an extended sojourn at our most favourite place in the world my parents’ farm, “Shristi”, and just as we are about to drive back to Bengaluru tomorrow, we had the grandmother-granddaughter read together one of our all time favourites – “Grandma Bubba’s warm shawl” by Rijuta Ghate, a publication by Jyotsna Prakashan, which brings out books that have an old world charm to them!  Wonderfully written and illustrated, this book came highly recommended by our friends at the Funky Rainbow, and has always been one of those books we fall back on for a warm and cosy read, and it is rather surprising that I haven’t had the chance to blog about it…until now when it feels perfect for the occasion!

Grandma Bubba lived in the far away mountains and took good care of her flock of sheep. As winter approached, grandma Bubba decided to knit herself a bright red shawl from her sheep’s wool that she’d dyed red from beetroot pieces. Just then, her grandson comes running to her asking for a bright red sweater and a bright red sweater was ready in no time! So every time grandma Bubba dyed her wool green using spinach leaves, or purple with purple cabbage, or yellow through turmeric, or blue turned by indigo, each of her family member comes in with a request for a cap, or muffler or a pair gloves or a pair of socks and grandma Bubba is only too happy to oblige! So the entire family is kept warm during winter by grandma Bubba’s knitted creations and did grandma Bubba finally knit herself a shawl ?.... Read on to find out how grandma Bubba’s love for her family brought out the most colourful shawl that there ever was! A wonderful feel-good story that echoed my mother’s sentiments as her embroidered creations adorn our lives and fill our hearts with warmth and love! 

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