A weaver’s Life- Stories From The Ground

It is remarkable how some humans let you in their lives, a rank stranger. This speaks so much about their simple selves. This has happened time and again with me whenever I have visited artisans.

 Nasrin Bano, khadi weaver located in a small weaver’s cluster just 20 km from Nagpur. I called her up merely 15 mins before I landed at her doorstep. Completely unknown to each other we still connected. She came to receive me at the main road and guided me to her beautifully indigo painted mud house. She proudly said, all homes here have been concretized, but ours is a mud house. The temperature outside was a good OMG 46 degrees. As soon I entered her home, with a low ceiling height the summer seemed to have banished.

I soaked in the surroundings, made mental notes. Who is enagaged in what activity ? What are they thinking? Will they let me peep in to delve deeper into their lives. I can get so intrusive. Yes, after the formal introductions, we sit beside the pit loom in the right side of the entry way. Her kids still asleep on the other end blissfully unaware of the little commotion we were creating. She proudly demonstrates her weaving skills. She starts speaking about the craft, the yarn, and the process and then as if just waiting to be asked, the very question we would all like to hear, ‘What do you want? What help do you need?’ She opened up to the problems she faces, the fact that nobody bothers to ask, the low wages and that people are all leaving the craft as it gives them nothing and their problems are not addressed.

The conversation leads to chai and glucose biskut time. I was surrounded by lots of smiles, an old woman’s toothy smile, a toddler’s naughty smile and Nasrin’s determined smile.

Part two, back to my city. Not waiting for anybody to ask, ‘ What help do you need?’ But, the fact is I would need a lot of different minds to help me help Nasrin Bano.


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