We tamilians ( may be all South Indians) have this practice of adorning our door ways with a Kolam (Rangoli). The early morning ritual of washing the doorway & making the kolam is followed without fail by every lady of the house. Kolams are supposed to be made early in the mornings after bath and are supposed to welcome Lakshmi into the house & generally bring good luck.Its however not the same when you are in a flat…you don’t have to sprinkle water & wash because it’s a concrete floor after all…and you don’t want to drown the verandah with water …plus of course there is only so much space.. but even so, people like my mum continue the tradition with much enthusiasm.
My kolams are mood dependent ( To make or not to make, then what to make-too many questions!) – Some how I can never stay satisfied with the standard floral or geometric motifs ( Some would say just an excuse for not knowing them so well 🙂 ) Anyways I make just about anything from a scenery to flowers to people to smileys to…well just about anything that I can manage to draw – its fun & I do enjoy them ( As long as I manage to wake up , of course!)
I think of kolams and I think of Sri Rangam…In fact ,the one unforgettable picture I have of my native place Sri Rangam, which is a little temple town in Tamil nadu is that of one day early in the morning when we had just arrived by train ( from Hyderabad I think, for my summer holidays). It was 5 am in the morning & dawn was about to break…and the little town was just rousing itself…
We took a maattu-vandi ( bullock cart) that day to get home from the station… …The early morning quiet was only broken by the intermittent jingling rhythms of the bullock cart – as if peace had conquered that moment and spread contentment in the air. All through the way home I saw many entrances already adorned with kolams – beautiful, intricate designs, some plain white & some bursting with colour , mingled with the smell of the freshly washed earth…they managed to etch a permanent place in my memories…Sri Rangam never was and never will be , what it was for me that morning….