22 March 2009

Make ones day

We go out shooting so many times but this was the time when we decided to revisit those places for different purpose. Deepak and myself decided to get some prints out from Russel market and Pottery town and go back distributing those. We had planned that earlier too during a street photography trip but it never matured.
We started with Russel market and met all and one again. people could recognize us and we hit instant discussions with them. The vegetable mart owner got up to shake hands and called all his friends from near by shops after seeing his 4-5 pictures brought by us. All praised and thanked a lot which made us feel so good, since they were having a good time and we felt proud to have brought smiles to them. An old man after seeing his photo was stunned and the expressions cant be written in words. I felt that through his age he never got his photo and now during such an old age it was a pleasure seeing those.
It was time to meet Anwar, the autorickshaw driver. Deepak had committed him the photo and we had to wait for sometime before anwar appeared. His friends had told that he shall be coming in anytime as he is regular in the mornings to that spot. As deepak showed up, he instantly recognized and after seeing his photo he was elated. he called few autorickshaw drivers also to show his pic and responded in a very savy manner "Sir, colors bahut ache aaye hai". Now you dont expect that sort of response and knowhow from someone on the street. we were impressed. and even more when he offered to get us cold drinks.
As we moved out of russel market, it was pottery town next on our list. Chandru was busy making his pots at his first floor of his house. before that we met up narsimhas team who own a huge oven for making pots and clay items. every evening they put in those items into these ovens and cover them with temporary seal and by the morning, the items are ready to go.Chandru was getting ready to run the automatic wheel when we entered. We showed him the pics and his wife to joined us. A sheer excitement could be seen in his eyes for sometime as he browsed through the pics but got back to work. thats kind of dedication they have towards their work. Finally we asked for narsimha's house which was round the corner. we traced his place and gave him his photo. His whole family came out seeing that and looked so pleased. we shared a quick word with him and then started back home.

14 March 2009

Pottery Town Visit, 14th March

Having heard a lot of pottery town, made me always wanted to visit it. Finally a thread started at the group brought lot of enthusiast together and Saturday morning was when we planned to go shooting.
Pottery town is not far from Fraser Town Police station.
Most of the new folks don’t seem to have idea of where is it located and some of the auto rickshaw drivers could come to help in finding the direction.
The place is not huge and does not give a feel of separated locality of potters’ men. As you reach around a curve on the pottery road, suddenly a bunch of houses appear with nothing but pots and everything which you could imagine made out of clay.
It actually looks a little incomprehensible to see pots and clay items acquiring every possible place in these houses, on the top, roofs, gallery, front courtyards and street.

Soon introspection leads to understanding that not many places are left which involve so heavily in this line of business, which some how is phasing out with time.
The cost of storage in such metropolitans can cost a bomb whereas the chances of damage are extremely high. The potter men’s houses make for best storage solution making this place so very characteristic in appearance.
The potters here are extremely friendly in nature and would talk freely about the nature of their work and what it takes to make a living out of it. Most of the houses have a room where the senior of the business, gets down to making proper set clay for making lanterns, cups, and others. They also these days use electric machines rather than the typical manually rotating wheel for giving shape of clay. Little probe shows that its technical advancements like this which have acted as fuel to their line of business. Had it been for that wheel rotating pot making, all of them would have long gone out of this business.
But it’s not only the rising storage costs, lack of space and depleting market which is a trouble to these craftsmen. Bad weather and also availability of suitable clay to be used has been keeping them awake through nights. Its festivals like Diwali when everyone’s house light up with lamps, these fellows feel relaxed and get to push most of their products into the market.
The innovations in their product lines has been giving hopes with wind-chimes, pots with taps and lot of other such items being brought into being. I just wish that their innovations and help from government by promotion of clay pots should help them continue trading in this line. It was a fascinating visit to Pottery Town and I wish to explore the place even closely by visiting more times.

Do check out my Flickr for more photos here