Then there was this night when I knew stars wander not just in skies but on the muddy soils of tiny villages in Tamil Nadu. Not that I was unaware of the tiny dots and zig zag lines that adorn the humble courtyards of South Indian homes, but the realisation these everyday artists knew very little of the grandeur they created in little over 30 minutes in an unknown corner of the universe.
Maariamma is a housewife and agricultural labourer from the lower strata of a tiny village in Tamil Nadu traditionally segmented class and caste wise. Our conversation over a tea constantly clashed between my curiosity over her kolam practice sans mistakes and her curiosity over my hair cropped world. “A few scribbles on a piece of paper for a few minutes, that’s it!”, she mentioned on her preparation for the annual kolam competition that run among the neighbours of her tiny village on the Pongal day.
All I could remember is the edge she started the Kolam and the centre point where she completed the labyrinth of wiggly lines. A yard brimming with a beautiful crochet mat soon to vanish in the muddle of a village day!