I heaved a sigh. Took of my cap, and placed myself on a stone under a tree. I could see my workshop from here. The few piled stones led to a slightly elevated doorway. The blue door painted a quaint picture. The tools pegged on the wall glistened in the evening sun.
The root of Namda, my art goes 200 years back in time. Grand horse and camels seats were made for the then kings. And exuberant displays of Namda at palace entrances welcomed guests. As times changed, so did the use of our art, we adapted. Along with school and play, Namda filled my childhood. Working with my father, rolling sheep wool, I picked up the art.
We are the only people in Mundra who work on this art. And very few people in Kutch. Word spreads by word of mouth. It travels far and wide and people come in search for us. It comes in the newspaper and more people come.
If we get orders we do it. It does not pay me well, does not keep me going. I have over the years taken up carpentry as well, making doors and windows for the towns’ people.
A different chapter of life saw me working at the port, at a motor workshop, as a porter carrying luggage amongst many other things. This did not deter me from Namda. My recognition at the Rann Utsav and many newspapers keeps me going. My children too will continue if there is enough work. Training a few people in Namda is also a possibility.It is an art that keeps me calm, my mind free and I work with patience and devotion. After all it is the art of my ancestors, a legacy that I must carry on.