Meanwhile, in Lucknow, we have received a couple of pre monsoon showers and the first lot of Dashehri mangoes. Nothing like these mangoes eaten refrigerated, skinnned and cut into large chunks ! Yesterday my daughter and I snuck in 6 Dashehris and half a kilo of litchis into an upstairs bedroom and ate it over ‘Desperate Housewives’–perfect !
I got the opportunity to visit a small village, Saidanpur, near Lucknow. This belongs to the Habibullah family of Lucknow. I have written about their beautiful house in an earlier post.Take a look here.
I was delighted to walk through this village with Jyotsna Habibullah, an enterprising young lady, working to motivate the village people to enhance their income by selling traditional crafts practised for generations.She is finding them markets such as in fairs or even more permanent ones. Cloth and baskets are woven, hand-held fans are embroidered by the women of the village-they do this between looking after their housework and children while the men tend to their fields. This is what happens in most villages across India. I am delighted to see the traditional style of a village. Why on earth do we not look towards this while decorating our homes ?? It is beautiful in the natural materials that are used. Brick walls coated with a mix of hay and clay and finally given a coating of thinned clay. Dried grass used as thatch or walls and jute string cots to sit or lie upon–how perfectly co-ordinated they are. This is the first house we went to- this one had a conventional door- They are built pretty much as the larger havelis are–with rooms in the front opening out into a courtyard in the middle and more rooms all around-the courtyard being the centre of all activity. A room in the front with a simple spindle and loom- Above, at the back you can see a beautiful appliqued fabric, made, as they traditionally are, from leftover pieces of cloth. A view of the courtyard from an inner verandah where the lady of the house sits weaving. One of her pretty daughters stands outside. I was so busy taking pictures and talking that I omitted taking down names. I have promised myself I will find out next time I visit… The entire house is hand washed with liquid clay. A beautiful jaali on the wall behind–as the lady weaves. Jaalis leave the sun out and allow air to pass. These rooms stay remarkably cool- A view of one side of the courtyard, the door opening onto greenery outside. Goats frolick in the courtyard – As do chicken- Like the rest of the house the coop is made of brick coated with clay–the door in rough-hewn wood. It is all natural, earthy and very artistic .. Another room leading from the courtyard- another beautiful appliqued fabric used as a curtain- colours co-ordinated so well- One of the pretty daughters of the house stands by the door. Another house in the village- Beautifully formed shelf spaces- An elegant thatched roof- A doorway with two women in saris–the drawings on the walls are with geru, a natural, stone colour. On the cot lies a hand-held fan-embroidered in wool- by the women of the house- Even cowdung cakes-used for fuel- are made uniformly, with elegance- A brilliant sea green door–here is real distressed, painted wood- A dried twig basket used as a pen for kids. Adorable kids in the basket–and, completing the picture, in the foreground, a hemp string cot, traditional and beautifully woven- A gate artistically made with rough wooden planks- There were many more things in that very small village that were beautiful(I realize that is an adjective I have used very many times-but cannot be helped–there IS no other word to describe the objects and homes !)but I omitted photographing them–another time, maybe. Meanwhile, those of you building new homes–maybe you will be inspired by these traditional dwellings–they are perfect for our weather, are all natural, eco-friendly and above all, yes, again, beautiful !
Thank you, Jyotsna, for taking me to your village and giving me the chance to experience its beauty !
To all of you, thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post. Hope you have good days ahead ! See you soon !