The Kolam – Every day Art

Traditions are both a comfort and a legacy. While we hold on to and modify some of the customs we traditionally follow, there are some that are in danger of slipping by. We are now at a point where we need to bring them back especially when we have more to gain than lose by following them.

It could be something as simple as drawing a kolam on the floor at the entrance to your home, for example. The kolam drawn traditionally with fine, powdered rice flour was understood to be a sign of prosperity as well as for providing a nibble for the tiny beings like ants that live around us. More than anything, it is a pleasing sight at the door to any house and even if it got muddied, stepped on and stamped out as is likely to happen, it didn’t matter as a fresh one was usually drawn twice a day – once at dawn and once at dusk.

The kolam then went from being a 5 minute hand drawn art to a permanently stuck-on mat or floor sticker. While that’s better than having no kolam at all, nothing beats the comforting, welcoming sight of the white, powdery art which you know was drawn ‘today’.

Then, how could we not celebrate the kolam in even its simplest glory?

Here it is across tees, magnets, mugs, bags and more with a Chennai souvenir twist to it.

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