My study of carpet weaving took me to Rajasthan. The host was very accommodating, so the study extended itself into actual observation of activities in the field – in this case, a couple of village in Alwar. My first reaction was that Rajasthan, labeled as desert area was greener than where I am from.
The people there take work seriously.
The villages and their people have their own rhythm of life. I see this youth atop this small tree. His job: cut a branch without harming the nest.
The birds are busy, too. After lunch, I wait for a while before I finally catch them in the act:
It is quite bearable to be out into the open at this time of the day, thanks to a small sand-storm the day earlier. The villagers look completely at home. After a day that starts early, noon is the time to rest under the shed even if they are all awake.
Next door, the man does not sit up as we pass by. From distance, I could only see his foot perched up on the knee. He turns slightly to watch us for a moment, but remains in his horizontal position.
A few steps ahead and this man is already up. As I take my camera out and ask for permission, he signals me to wait. Then he puts his turban on his head. We are now ready for the camers:
We close in on the shed where carpets were on the looms. Some people prefer to set up looms outside their homes and weave in a group, because that helps them keep up the pace and avoid slacking off. But, we are strange creatures in this micro-community out here under a shed: buffaloes, goats, boys lazing off… all to keep company with the busy weaving women. The boys poke fun at us, we don’t understand, but love their bursts of laughter.
Our weaver friends are gracious enough to let me try my hand at the loom. I am big and heavy. They are nimble and small. Their bench is too small for me. Still, I have my moment of instruction under their accommodating smiles and patience.
They are under continual supervision and help by Shakuntala, who covers about fifteen villages nearby, and helps weavers maintain the quality of their work. She is very patient with me, who was all-thumbs with weaving:
We move on to the next destination. I could see Pratapgarh perched atop a hill, and ask the driver to stop the car. A bunch of boys, who were doing I-don’t-know-what, photobomb immediately and demand that I take more pictures of them.
But I am adamant, too. I am bent upon taking an unencumbered picture of Pratapgarh, and in a few moments, I succeed:
Someone has driven a car up top on this building. Probably weaving is easier than that:
Evening is upon us. We are greeted by the evening skyline marked by the Amer fort. No time to go in, but the beauty strikes even from outside:
Jaipur is soon upon us. This is Moti Dungari just at the fringe. My camera signs off.