kolam

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A Sri Lankan serpent demon (Naga Raksha). 

From the British Museum website: “The Serpent Demon is a fierce character representing the evil power of snake poisons that can destroy human and animal life. The figure can be recognized partly by the presence of the cobras coiling to form a crown around its head and the snakes that emerge from its nostrils. There are several species of poisonous snakes in Sri Lanka; the cobra in particular is often depicted on demon masks that are used by dancers in rituals to expel evil from the body of a patient.”

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Everyday art in India: a Kolam in a Minute (from TaraBooks)

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Kolam

Kolam is a form of sand painting that is drawn using rice powder by female members of the family in front of their home. It is widely practiced by Hindus in South India. A kolam is a sort of painted prayer - a line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. Kolams are thought to bestow prosperity to homes.

Every morning in southern India, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice powder. It is a matter of pride to be able to draw large complicated patterns without lifting the hand off the floor or standing up in between. Patterns are often passed on generation to generation, from mother to daughter.

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NAKKA MUKKA
Poster design done for the Wednesday Lecture Series
Inspired by the art of kolam
Photos by Duarte and myself

This was an extra outcome, we did not have actual rice powder to make a traditional indian Kolam (that is drawn on the floor), so we replaced it with chalk. I spent a good two hours drawing it on the floor and now its a floor poster.

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This beautiful drawing is something called Kolam. From the wikipedia entry, “Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Every morning in Tamil Nadu, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice powder. Decoration is not the sole purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams were drawn in coarse rice flour, so the ants would not have to walk too far or too long for a meal. The rice powder also invited birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one’s home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes. Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.”

These Kolam were drawn outside of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Center for Herpetology. We visited on New Year’s Day, so we got to see beautiful, brightly colored Kolam, to celebrate the special occasion. I took these photos myself. :) A central part of my memories of India, from childhood to now, is walking along the streets and admiring the Kolams drawn outside of almost all of the homes. 

Gue lagi sendirian. Di salah satu tempat makan cukup besar di jalanan kota Bandung. Dago, iya, de a ge o. Thankyou buat yang udah ngeja

Hendak berpenampilan keren, apa daya kapasitas dompet compang camping. Gue datang dengan celana jins lusuh beserta jaket pinjaman yang sudah beberapa kali tergerus air hujan hingga kering sendiri

Rambut berantakan, kantung mata menghitam, lengkap dengan tas ransel besar entah berisi apa. Gue fix kasat mata terlihat miskin dan menderita

Lalu gue duduk. Di salah satu tepian kolam renang. Emang ada kolam renang. Entah iseng, salah fungsi, atau emang sengaja di design demikian. Mungkin biar makan sambil seolah-olah ada nuansa renang dengan bau kaporit yang agak menyengat

Disodori kertas menu, gue diam terpaku. Gue kesini bukan karena lapar. Gak haus juga. Ya…..kalian taulah. Numpang wifi. Agar tidak terseret pergaulan globalisasi. Gapapa lapar haus keroncongan, yang penting tetep update instagram

Kiwi yakult. Akhirnya gue memilih. Seriously bukan karena murah. Emang gue pengen. Tampang boleh miskin, tapi gini gini gue pewaris tunggal perusahaan nike inc. Kalian boleh ga percaya

Melengkapi kegabutan, gue nonton drama koreya. Hampir satu episode, lalu lapar. Gue pun memesan. Lagi lagi makanan yang memang ingin. Nggak kepatok harga meskipun akhir bulan

Makanan dateng. Minuman ludes. Perut kenyang. Piring kosong. Pelayan menghampiri. Piring gue diangkat. Beserta gelasnya. Gue ngga. Mungkin keliatan berat

Gue masih duduk. Emang belom pengen pergi. Niatnya mau nyelesaiin drama korea satu sesi. Sampe tamat. Tapi bill tiba tiba dateng tanpa diminta

Gue senyum

Etika tempat ini ga ada. Itu sama aja kayak ngusir perlahan, –kalo menurut pelajaran bisnis customer relationship management yang pernah gue pelajari

Gue senyum. Gapapa. Gue diemin aja billnya. Gue belom pengen pergi

Hela nafas sedepa, pelayan nyamperin lagi. Nanya billnya udah apa belom

Gue senyum

Tempat ini bener bener gak tau tatakrama. Untung gue lagi gak badmood. Sampe sampenya lagi badmood. Kelar udah. Ga akan gue bayar. Gue panggil managernya khas sinetron sinetron di tipi

Gue senyum. Gapapa. Gue ambil dompet. Gue keluarin uang 50rb an baru. Kebetulan gue punya. Dan sengaja aja. Biar pada amaze

Samar dari kejauhan. Uang gue di trawang. Muka gue memang muka muka kriminal meragukan, mungkin

Menatap air kolam, gue kembali meratapi kehidupan. Sang pelayan menghampiri kembali

Gue emosi. Tapi ngga jadi. Karena dia kasih kembalian

Sekarang, di hadapan gue ada dompet buat bill bekas kembalian. Belum diambil. Mungkin pelayannya takut. Gue udah pasang muka sangar

Gue gak yakin kenapa gue diperlakukan gini. Apa mungkin karena sendirian dan berkutat sama maya media meanwhile rang orang pada cekikikan sama teman nyata di hadapan, atau bisa jadi emang standarisasi pelayanannya demikian

Wait. Gue masih punya satu opsi..

….mungkin karena gue pesennya kedikitan

WELL, OKE MAS ES TEH MANISNYA SATU 😭😭😭😭😭

Lucky me, dalam gue yang gabut nulis tulisan ini, ada kalian yang lebih gabut baca tulisan orang gabut ’-’)/