After checking into our hotel we quickly made our way to Om Prakash’s pottery shop about 20 minutes away. He learned pottery from his father and was trained in one of the SDS programs started by Mrs. Lall on increasing skill for decoration and marketing. He now operates a business that has won awards and is attracting global demand: http://ramgarhclaypottery.com/index.php
|Me, Giant award winning clay hookah, Leah (award winning roomie) and Bachan Prasad our awesome coordinator.|
|Om and his kiln!|
|Sharing Greetings :)|
|Front left: Sanjay (area specialist), Om Prakash, Dr. Lall, Leah, Me|
Back right to left: Kireeti Ghanta, Kidan Asgedom, Family and Workers at the site.
I even got a try at the wheel!!
I failed miserably twice even with his kind and patient direction, but it was rather overwhelming since there was a large crowd of workers, journalists, and friends gathered around me!! I would almost have it and then my finger would slip and it would collapse. I laughed and said, “Oh well! I tried” and the crowd laughed and began chattering as they prepared for someone else to try. Still crouched on the dirt floor with clay covered hands I looked over to Om and said “Danyabad” (thankyou) and he looked at me with an intense seriousness and quietly said, “It doesn’t only take skill, it takes confidence.” I nodded to which he smiled, and I made my way up through the commotion of the crowd to let Leah have her turn. She made a beautiful pot with his incredible tutelage and we all laughed some more as I stood reflecting on his words. Why is it that India and its people always have lessons for you? It seems sometimes that the people here can see my spirit and reflect it back...as though it is their responsibility to strengthen my spirit for life. And so I stood absorbing this while standing in a sweltering room on the dirt floor of a rural Indian family business, as children ducked, hid, giggled and ran around me. Truthfully I don't know that I'd trust this kind of training from anywhere else :)