Being a design student I have always been curious to explore the Indian art and culture around me. Learning at the ground level not only helps me in collection of primary data but it also helps me to see the world with a different perspective.
Last summer I had the privilege to witness the art of red clay pottery of Chunar, Uttar Pradesh. The art is said to be practiced in this region since about 120 years. Today, Chunar is a cluster of more than 40 artisans working there since generations.
HOW TO REACH CHUNAR
Chunar is well connected with rail and road. The nearest airport will be Varanasi airport. Chunar is situated at 45 kms from Mirzapur and 65 kms from Varanasi.
It is often stereotyped that a holiday means a luxury outing. But this weekend getaway made me realize the depths within 'holiday'. The learning was not only confined to pottery but understanding human existence, altogether. It was sad to see the below standard condition of the artisans. With no proper support from government, these artisans work without any city exposure.
I'd urge people to learn such art from the artisans themselves rather than spending thousands at fancy homestays.
I 'learnt' that I am lucky to be well of and thus help others. I 'learnt' that holidays should mean relaxation and not just mindless expenses. I 'learnt' the hardwork that goes into making such little neglected things. I 'learnt' more about Indian art and culture. And at last, I 'learnt' about the red clay pottery of Chunar.