Where Gods are born
Narayanapura is a little village on the outskirts of Bangalore that nobody in the city knows of. Nor do many folks in the neighbouring villages, whom I interrogated. It looks that it is only meant to be just there, as a pretty cluster of tiled houses whizzing past the window of your car. But then, it wouldn’t be everyday that you would travel along this road.
Narayanapura is a potters’ village situated approx 30 km from the city, a few km off the road to Devanahalli. The families, around 50 of them, are primarily involved in making deepas (lamps), clay pots and, during this time of the year – Ganeshas. So, as I witnessed, everyone in the family was busy casting out the pretty idols in hundreds. The young men were forcing the soft clay into the cast while the grandpas and the teenagers were putting the final touches on the idols that had been just cast out. The women folk were busy sifting the sand and preparing the clay for the idols.
There was absolute harmony and it was very much a family affair when everybody in the house gathered in their workshops to play their part in the event. Every family had a slightly different cast that apparently had been handed down by their ancestors and this obviously put a signature on the idol. Some had the God sitting on a lotus flower, a few others had a prominent long slender snout and while with others, a nice round belly set them conspicuously apart (I loved these among the lot)!
Oh, by the way, they don’t paint the idols. Perfect, since I only like them that way.
(You can buy these beautiful idols from them directly and they are unbelievably inexpensive. Since there are not painted they don’t pollute the waters as much, after immersion. Take the road to Nandi Hills and after you pass the Jalahalli airbase watch out for a sign board that says ‘MVIT College’ onto your left. Turn left there and after 4-5 km you will be at the village. It better to ask for directions along the way, you might encounter someone who would know the village!)
All images copyright Dr Vivek M