“Papa, I want to go to the factory with you,” I said at the age of 5. I was taken to our ginning factory just a few kilometers outside of Bathinda, where I was fascinated by the gigantic machines churning out pearl white fibers of cotton in a symmetrical and rhythmic pattern, pressing in monotonous cuboid bails. I saw my father splitting the final fibre for a quality check before sending it out to spinning mills around the country. Moti Ram Ladha Ram group and Sidhant Cotton Co. became the home ground for being around cotton since my early years and eventual closure of the two sets in a realisation, in retrospect, about what we are doing wrong as humans by relying a lot on mono-agriculture, machinery and ignoring the indigenous methods.
My travels during the childhood and teenage years exposed me to a lot of different cultures and craft forms as my parents believed in travelling not like tourists but as explorers. My sister and I always wanted to be someone like Samantha Brown or Ian Wright, getting to travel extensively and getting paid for it. This initial tuning of my attitude towards travelling helps me till date.
I love exploring new places, people, their everyday culture along with their history and traditions. Craft being the second biggest source of livelihood in rural areas, wherever one might visit in India, finding some form of handicraft being made or sold is no surprise. Travelling around got me visiting artisans in most states in India with many more yet to be visited. I welcome you to read the stories about these explorations, observations and reflections so far.
Every time we leave home we open ourselves up to new opportunities and color our experiences.
Tap on any state to explore stories of its culture, land and people with me.
If you wish to travel and explore some crafts with me in their indigenous settings, reach out to me and we can probably take a trip together.