Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Play-doh Pillayaar

Two Vinayak Chathurthi's ago, I had a sudden urge to sculpt my own Pillayaar. Now I am not religious, but the idea of making something with my hands really appeals to me, so I got all worked up with excitement as the idea took hold in my head. I looked around the house and realized that I did not have anything but an old block of re-moldable clay. Clay which could be worked and reworked into different shapes as per one's fancy each time. Apparently I had had this idea of sculpting something,  a while ago. This clay had gone quite bad in the sense that it was too tough to work any more.

So I rummaged around some more in the closet and came upon a few tubs of colorful play-doh. Not really the colors I was hoping for, but good enough for the purpose. So, I started out by doing the mooshikar in pink(!!, sorry mooshikar!) clay with pepper corns for eyes and pine needles for whiskers. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find any photos of him around. Then the Pillayaar itself, in all sorts of colors. When I was all done, this is how he looked.

By the time I took him from where I made him to the "studio" (a.k.a, the bathroom!!) to be photographed,  he fell on his face a couple of times and had a mild shoulder dislocation that botched his looks a bit.

So, why am I reminiscing about something that happened in August 2009? Because I have this intense urge to create something with my hands again and unfortunately have not been able to go anywhere near play-doh or papier mache!

Edit: Ha! Found him!

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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Filling in the gaps

My husband bought me a copy of Paalangal (Bridges: translation in English, not sure if the author translated this herself) this time from India. Paalangal is a novel spanning three generations of women, some of whom lived in pre-independence India, written by one of my favourite Tamil authors, Sivasankari. So, this book seemed like a good way to get an insight into women of that period. It is strange that while so much has been written about the independence movement and the main events of those years leading up to independence, I have not found much that describes the attitudes and daily goings on of the ordinary people of those times. Especially people from southern India. Somehow I think a lot of the more human aspects of pre-independence history is being lost as that generation is slowly vanishing. I am trying to fill in the blanks in my mind about that part of India's history. Hope to discover more books in the process.

Besides, my Tamil reading skills, such as it was, has taken a nose dive. It's time to attempt a revival. It is so bad currently that I have managed to complete all of 47 pages (in 6 months!) of a most engrossing 2400 page Ponniyin Selvan (the son of Ponni) by the famous Tamil novelist, Kalki.

So does anyone out there know of any more books that talk about people in that time period in India, written by someone who was actually around at that time? Preferably in Tamil, English, Hindi or on the off chance, Sanskrit.

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