#10

The ancestral home in West Bengal has always welcomed us with open arms. The effect of this house has been such that one has to be rejuvenated by its loving embrace.

The mesmerising Bishnupur abutting our hometown has always been a place which had to be visited. Often some places become so close to your heart that no matter how many times you go there, it still can never enough. The very first visit of ours to Bishnupur and what caught my attention was these temples made from red stones and earth. The cycle rickshaws so typical of West Bengal would welcome every tourist in a way like they were the only ones who did justice to the adage that “The guests are gods !!” Frailed, sweating, fagged yet smiling these men would make sure that they took you around the many temples of Bishnupur and also serving as guides giving you an insight of these relics and the stone architecture.

Even more fascinated I was with the typical horses that were symbolic to this so called Teracotta architecture. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Their long neck, those long ears and a tiny body was so striking. I could not, but resist falling in love with these beautiful artefacts made from the red earth. The markets buzzing with stores from where these horses peeping out, faces of Durga Maa, goddess Kali and all the miniature artefacts so invitingly beckoning onlookers.

The most exhilarating experience was a stroll down the lanes of small factories weaving silks synonymous to this Bishnupur. Was taken aback when I touched their local made Baluchari silk for the first time. This silk is renowned world wide for its rich deep texture, soft as ever and majorly because of these Teracotta imprints on the body.

There began my love for this Teracotta. Be it motifs on sarees or small curious to adorn my shelves at home or office, I loved gathering them all. This saree, also a silk from Murshidabad and I bought it only because of my love for Teracotta. After very many years I wore it to Welcome the Elephant God at home. Silks and pujas go hand in hand and a perfect ocassion to dig out these lost beauties from my cupboard.

Wrapping myself with this beautiful silk with all over the Teracotta prints somehow lent me a sense of strength to help me serve Ganesha with vigour ?

May he forgive me if I have faltered towards his service during his 2 days visit at my humble home. I am but a mere means by which he himself gets done all that is required during this celebration. ?????

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