Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The potter gave the final shape to his new creation and touched it with wet hands to make it smooth and fascinating. The wet clay hands slipped over the pot and it got a new shape. His face glistened with joy and satisfaction was apparent on his face. He stopped the wheel and put down the pot from it. He again looked it with the joy and put it outside in the sunshine to get it dried. He moved towards the other pots and checked them whether those were dried or not. He clinked the dried pitchers and the pots to be assured about their durability. The surface of the pitcher was soft and the voice of clinking echoed from its mouth. The jingling sound waved the feelings of pleasure in his body. He threw the extra potsherds in the corner to clean up the yard. One of those potsherds crashed with a pot, the deep sound as if a well echoed from that one and his heart soothed up to hear that sound.
            He wandered in the yard that was full of pitchers, plates, dishes, cups and clay-toys. The small bulls, cows, parrots, sparrows, lions, tigers, bears, and eagles were before his sight that he made with that clay which used to be extra from the pots. He baked them in the furnace and then polished those. He collected the feathers of the birds from the jungle and dyed those with different colours to create gorgeous beauty in his toys. These colourful toys were attractive for the children. He decorated those in the front showcase to beautify his shop.
He touched everything and felt a charm, as these were his siblings. The hard work of years was lying in front of his eyes. Every thing was glittering in the sunshine and the rays of sun dazzled each eye that fell upon toys. He gathered entire potsherds in a corner of his backyard. Those baked potsherds were not less hard than the stones. He mostly threw away those potsherds on the heap of garbage and small boys of the village collected those potsherds to use in their games. His potsherds were mostly used in a game in which seven to eight potsherds were put in an order then a person hit with a ball. The members of the first team made these in the same order while the others beat them with the ball until those were not arranged in the same way. Sometimes, he used to visit the playground of the village at the evening and be jubilant to see the clever and active boys playing with the broken parts of his pots. At that moment, he felt proud that each part of his hand-made things was useful in different ways.
He kneaded the clay to make some new pitchers. He put a ball of clay on the wheel and began to mould it into a pitcher. His eyes were fixed on the clay and the hands were moving magically. The muddy water was rinsing from his hands and falling down on the land while the pitcher was getting a new shape. He made the lower part of it but not for a while, his eyes blinked. He kept on moulding the clay and his hands kept on wetting with the water in the bucket. His hands were full of mud and it seemed as those were also made of clay. The poor artist was deepened in his art to present his new creation in a unique way. The pitcher got a shape and he made its hollow big belly to fill as much water as it can. He put more clay to make its round neck. His wet magic hands kept on moving on the pitcher to make its surface smooth and muddy. He finalized his creation and stopped the wheel. He cut its bottom with a knife from the wheel, put it down and kept it in the sunshine. For few days it kept on drying in the sunshine then he put his new dried pots in the furnace and kindled it to make his all pots more dried and baked. He wanted perfection in his every creation. For a long, those kept on baking in the fire. After cooling down the furnace, he separated the pots and pitchers, one for domestic purpose and the others for decoration. After making two groups of his all pots, he polished both. He sent the domestic ones to be sold in the market while gave the others to his pupils to convert those into the decoration pieces.
He was considered an expert to make decorated pots that were adorned in the drawing rooms of elite class, who presented themselves much art-loving. But he was always paid so much money that he was able to lead his life hand to mouth but he had no concern with money, he wanted to serve art and wanted to be alive forever. The flowers and the landscapes portrayed on his pots attracted each art-loving eye. The colourful cups and the plates were the reason of his fame. The pitchers decorated with small colourful crystals were also an art of his hands. Along with these decoration pieces, he was famous for his domestic pots as well. His pitchers were the most popular among the swimmers of his village. His hand-made pitchers were termed to be much helpful in the swimming and the swimmers used to buy the pitchers from him. They put the pitcher inverted on the water, the air used to fill up in the pitcher and it helped the swimmers to swim on the surface of the water. Most of the swimmers used to sit or lay on the pitcher putting it under their waist or belly and crossed fast brooks and rivers. He himself was an expert in swimming and had won many swimming competitions in the surrounding villages. When he was young then he trained the youngsters to use a pitcher for the swimming. He took them to the river and taught them the tricks of swimming. The young girls of the village also used his pitchers to safeguard themselves from the waves of the water. He was popular among all. The children liked him for toys, the women visited his shop for the sake of pots and the men were eager to buy his pitchers for the swimming.
The summer was ahead and he was making new pitchers so that the people might be able to drink cold water as well as the swimmers might fight with the rippling waves of the water. The water level of the river rose up in every summer and was a reason of joy for the swimmers. He availed them the pitchers and the praising words of the swimmers ran a new passion in him. He remembered the days when he gave the tips of swimming to others and he was considered as a master.
Within days, he made many pitchers and now the yard was full. There was no television in the village but the people visiting the city used to inform others. He heard the news that this year due to heavy rain, the river was on flood. He also visited the banks of the river then the water was at its full swing. The radio had also announced the news about the danger of flood. His heart trembled to hear the news. The water began to rush with the banks to create any rift. The young men of the village were strengthening the bank so that the water could not destroy the village but the water was much ranged and its angry waves wanted to swallow everything. The people started migration to other safe places but he was not ready to leave his full yard.
The night was ahead and all night there was hustle and bustle all around. It was first night of his life in the village that was so much noisy and disturbing. The people kept on migrating while he kept on waking all night long. At morning, the whole village was empty and the people were shifted to other places. His heart was grieved because of the lonesome village. He went to the yard again, touched everything and felt a new life in the depth of his being. He felt as all his toys became alive and wanted to share his feelings. All the pitchers wanted to flow him away from this place but his heart was not willing to leave the yard. Here was lying his hard work of the years, his life, his art and his culture. He peeped outside in the street then the last running man said to him,
“The government has announced that after an hour the water will enter in this village. Uncle! Save your life. Let’s move….” The man said sobbingly and caught his arm to drag him away. He jerked his arm and said:

“I am not coward like you. The village needs us I’ll stay here.” The man ran away but he kept on standing there. He looked towards the sky then the black clouds were ready to shower. He became anxious and started to shift his pots under the roof. His hands were trembling and the eyes were wet. The drops of rain started to quench the thirst of the land. The pitchers and the pots began to imbibe the raindrops. He heard the rustling of water and a wave of terror moved through his spine. The water was gushing towards the village crushing everything in its way. He climbed on the roof to view the situation then he saw the water all around. The old muddy walls of the houses had been demolished. The roofs were floating and the vagabond dogs were running madly to save their lives from the cruel waves of water. The animals left behind in the village were also running in the streets to get themselves saved from this disaster. He conjured from God and in due time the water entered in his house. He jumped from the roof to stop the water but it was not dependent upon his permission. The pots and the pitchers began to float on the surface of the water. The colours of birds mixed with the water, his eyes shed tears and heart’s beat was out of order. His each creation was melting down to become the clay. Still he was counting the colours of the birds that suddenly the wall of his weak verandah fell down with a booming blast. The pitchers, the pots, the plates, the dishes and all the toys cracked with a loud sound. Some pitchers broke, some floated on the surface while few drowned. While the birds were drowning in the water, he felt as those flew up towards the sky scattering the colours like a rainbow. His body was drowned in the water; he caught a pitcher and tried to swim but all decisions of fate were against him. The pitcher was already weakened with the falling off the walls. He could not control over the pitcher and it slightly slipped under him. The master of swimmers forgot all tricks. The water entered in the pitcher and the rushing waves of the water swallowed him. For the last time, his hand rose out of the water as he was also trying to fly. After flood, his corpse was found, lying in his own yard. His small hand-made birds were saluting him on his devotion for art. The broken pots made a safeguard around him as those did not want to lose their creator.

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