The sun was on it way down. Birds flew to their nest. In the distance, cattle were herded home. A lone cycle rode by. I too, headed home. The day had been particularly long. As I slipped my aching feet into my shoes, I recalled the day, large orders were at hand and days would go by hard at work. With factories sprouting through the neighborhood, labor was fast disappearing. There was a shift amongst the block printers with the difference in pay.
To me it has been an art, a trade, a life. Living in Dhamadka, I used to watch my father and grandfather at work with Ajrak. I saw myself take my first steps as early as 12. Work went on then with chemical dyes. Ten years later and now in Ajrakpur, there has been a vast shift and inclination for natural dyes. Through the years, material too changed, the earlier thick cotton is now replaced with lighter cotton and silk. Designs change according to the market. Sourcing my fabric from South India, I work largely for exhibitions.
Ajrakpur, being fairly new, has its few problems. What do we do with large amounts of water after washing and dyeing? Although my workshops are here in Ajrakpur, my heart and home remain in Dhamdka. Years have passed and work takes a steady pace.