A little bit of rice flour can make all the difference.
When I am walking around I often look down and notice the surface I am walking on. I have shared in a previous post how clues can be found under your feet that help to piece together the history and life of the place you are in.
Rangoli’s were a delightful element on the ground as I wandered around the south of India. They are not specific to the south but different regions have slightly different patterns or colours or reasons for creating them. They can be a daily creation used as an aid to ward of evil spirits that might want to come into your home, they can be for a celebration, a festival or a marriage. Each one is created by hand using rice flour or chalk. They are mostly white outlines but are sometimes filled in with colours like turmeric or vermillion. Sometimes for festivals flower petals are used to create extravagant designs that grow each day throughout the festival.
I saw many of these simple white designs and purely for aesthetic reasons I was drawn to them. The simple unadulterated white against often neutral mid tones with a splash of colour in the composition from a step or door frame just pleases me immensly. It seems to be another case of less is more. A little thought and time with very little expense can create something delightful that pleases others as they walk past. There is a lesson to be learned in there somewhere!
They are created each morning by the women of the household by first marking a series of dots on the floor which are then joined together in interesting ways to form these wonderful patterns. Down in the south it is more common to see designs based on geometric grid formations where as areas of the north prefer a circular outcome. I can’t help but think that drawing and creating one of these first thing each morning would be good for the brain. It’s like a little work out for the right side of the brain which is often not engaged with as much as the left. For me it would be almost like a little meditation each morning with the tactile powder slipping through my fingers joining up dots until a beautiful imagined pattern came to life. I wonder how it would be received if I started this in Sheffield!