One might wonder what’s with a small container that is used to light a lamp. Such doubting Thomases should see the variety of lamps that is lit during Diwali, undoubtedly ‘THE’ festival of India. Millions and millions of earthen lamps are lit across the sub-continent on the darkest night of the year. Most of them are modest earthen containers devoid of any embellishments. But that is just the beginning. Many people will resort to decorate their deeyas themselves with colours, trinkets, etc.
The shape, size, colour of lamps take a creative spin in the hands of aesthetically inclined. Not a colour is spared to splash the lamps with. Pot, star, square, conch, butterfly, flower, leaf, fruits, paisley, swan, folded hands, parrot, peacock, ganesha, etc. shapes are moulded into lamps. Mirrors, sequins, svarowsky crystals, etc., are used to embellish the modest lamp.
Nowadays one doesn’t just want to light a plain deeya, they want to light one that is a beautiful piece of craft. Each of these handmade lamps are lovingly made by an artisan. By buying such handicraft products one is patronising the craft thereby giving livelihood to a crafts person and also help greatly to keep the art alive.
Innumerable varieties of lamps are available at this exhibition. Clay lamps from four craft pockets - Kengeri, Jaipur, Varanasi and Shantiniketan - are on display. Bronze lamps of Natchiarkoil, Tamilnadu are evergreen favourites in the traditional households. Tall deepada kamba and deepada mallis look divine when lit in the family altar.
The copper enamel lamps from Maharashtra will look great even in the stylish interiors of a modern house. Brass lamps from Uttar Pradesh are low on cost but heavy in traditional embellishments. White metal deeyas of Hatras and glass lamps of Firozabad add a touch of modernity to the ancient world of oil lamps.
Lamps hewn out of chlorite schist stone is the work of Mysore artisans. These lamps will appeal more to interior designers for they look good both inside as well as outside the house. The master craftsmen of Bangalore have cast beautiful bronze lamps, one more exquisite than the other. These objets de art in addition to brightening up the most sacred space of your home, will certainly become a family heirloom.
That’s not all. Diwali is the time of happy tidings and well being. Giving presents is as sacred a custom as lighting a lamp. A beautiful lamp can be an apt gift for anybody. A lamp represents health, knowledge, love, security, warmth and well being. By gifting a lamp one is conveying all these positive wishes.
This Deepavali, gift a lamp, gift the light of hope, happiness and prosperity.
Raghu Dharmendra Biodata - *Blowing My Own Trumpet* H.S. DHARMENDRA (b. 14 Nov. 1976) better known as Raghu to friends and the art fraternity is a die-hard Mysorean. A product of Mys...