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Fire dolls and life

by endroar
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The clay toys are drying in the cracked sun of Chaitra. Saraswati Pal is looking at the panting heat with a thumbs up. After a while, they will rise up. The earth will burn with the heat of the fire after the sun. Some distance away, husband Ranjit Pal is painting various colors on pre-burned toys. Toys have become charming with the magic of hands.

At noon on the day before Eid, Saraswati's house was visited and saw a huge activity. The work is in full swing ahead of the Eid and New Year fairs. Husband, children, son, daughter-in-law – everyone put their hands in the work. Rooster, fish, elephant, fruit, lion, deer, palm tree, pumpkin, clay bank, vaseā€”all the various clay dolls are already colored. Some dolls are still being painted. They repeatedly check whether the dried dolls are suitable for burning or not.

Saraswati-Ranjit's home is on the banks of river Bhairav, in Palpara of Senhati village in Dighlia. Farmashkhana Palpara is right across the narrow winding road next to their house. In these two neighborhoods of breathing distance less than 80 families were involved in pottery. The number has steadily declined over the last three decades. Many have crossed over to India. The total number of pottery families is now not more than ten.


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