Monday 24 September 2012

The Forgiving Quilt

(We are happy to have a guest post by DQ Rama sharing her very moving experience of the buDa traditional quilting workshop) 


I came to Nirmala akka's quilting workshop with some apprehension. I have been so urbanized in my approach to work and people that her mere photo was a challenge. Would I be able to connect to my rustic and earthy nature; was the question. My apprehensions were uncalled for. The place where the workshop was to be conducted, the hostess, the facilitator and the teacher were all so natural that I was calmed at once.

The process of quilt making was grounded and rooted in it's simplicity and complexity. Luckily Nirmala akka and Savitha broke the process into tiny bits and fed us over 3 days like a mother breaks the meal for a baby into tiny mouthfuls. When 3 days were up, we were all equally amazed at how we had succeeded in creating  what seemed a mighty art piece.

The second day was an intense experience for me as the quilt started taking form. The steps are linked until the very end, and, from the very beginning. Every step takes the lead from the previous one; the continuity spoke to me. The flow and the connect could not be missed. And the more my urban culture was determined to make every stitch perfect, the more tedious the process became. So I simply gave in to the process and got into the flow, fumbling and struggling and caring the least at spots, and diligent, conservative or simply plodding along at others. Midway through, I had tears in my eyes and the threads and colors blurred into a psychedelic haze. So very much like very much like life was all I could think! Once the quilt had spoken it's secret to me, I was child like and trusting and laughing and garrulous. 

My respect for Nirmala akka grew. Whether she was a rural woman who made home sewn quilts from bits and pieces or she was a budding entrepreneur, I simply saw her as my teacher and as one who had helped me discover a gift from within myself. A person who had travelled a long way in her innocence and trust in life.

How ever each one of us blundered through the process, the quilts were beautiful at the end of the day. Quixotic, ethereal, flowing and loving, an extension of each one of us. And in the final pic, i couldn't see the flaws, the fumbling, the struggling; all that shows is the flow, the magic and the depth of it.

As forgiving as the great mother earth, the FORGIVING QUILT. As demanding as the great mother, the INTRINSIC QUILT, as psychedelic as mother nature, the MAGIC QUILT.


1 comment:

  1. How beautifully that was written Rama! Thanks for sharing a personal moment with us....The quilt is beautiful and alive!