I saw my first rangoli on the steps of the Bank of India – an intricate chalky pattern half washed away by the morning rain.
I was fascinated but my friend told me not to worry – the whole city was covered with beautiful rangoli…and so she proved right. Scattered on pavements through out the leafy streets of Bangalore were hundreds of these intricately drawn, fragile motifs, no two the same, renewed each morning and fading away through the heat and under the feet and business of the day.
‘They are patterns which reflect a whole cosmic universe in miniature. They are drawn each day by the children and women of the house as a way of propitiating the spirits entering their home – offering them order, harmony and in return requesting peace and blessings.’
Returning home, I noticed that we too had our own daily rangoli artist – Geeta the cook. She filled my sketchbooks with beautiful drawings and gave me a live demonstration.
Another friend, Samooki turned out to be the daughter of a priestess and temple keeper and was an expert in drawing patterns with out end…
Now back home, with my own rangoli rice powder, I think about how I could make my own rangoli patterns in the street outside my home and what they would look like…
They might provide a subtle orientation to my day and our home, I’m sure, like saying a prayer help to connect us to the day and everything that will unfold and pass away within it.