January 08, 2009

Apna Haath Jagannath

Look what one of the most prolific bloggers in India had to say :

"A while ago a friend I haven’t known long or very well gave me something really pretty. I got barely a glimpse of it as I left her place and she only told me that she hopes I don’t mind her giving it to me, because it’s Hindu mythology. I glared at her for imagining I’d ever take offence at something like that, she grinned, we hugged, I rushed off. "

Everyone who visits this blog knows of the recent bloggers' meet at my place. I was not sure if I would be repeating what the kids already had. So I decided to get the moms something. After all, in all the celebration of the kids, we often forget to reward ourselves.

A lot of people liked the coconut ball painted with the Orissa style Jagannath in "Corners of our home." So what began as a gift for Blogeswari, who is doing up her home, ended up being the chosen one for the other ladies as well.

I had a Christian friend who had a Hindu name. She seemed secular enough till she rejected the vibhuti from a temple a colleague offered with a look of scorn ( no problems with the rejection- the scorn was unnecessary) . I have had Ganeshas returned by Hindus because they are Vaishnavites!! I have had a troll admonish me for celebrating Christmas despite being a Hindu.

A seemingly innocuous gift, you could just delight in its beauty, forget any religious significance. But Good intentions aside, a gift should bring joy to the recipient.

I had to be sure- so I asked the Mad momma- though I guessed that despite her trademark strong opinions about a lot of issues, this would be a non issue to her.

If it in music or books - I ask if the person already has that one and replace it if they do. And I gift money when in doubt or when I do not have the time.

Now a little more on the decorative coconuts as I gathered from the artist at Dakshin Chitra-

  • The coconut flesh is scooped out , I had thought it was on a copra ball.

  • Then the shell is smoothed.

  • A fine fabric is stretched and glued onto the shell

  • Then some kind of paste is applied and dried

  • Usually a Jagannath, a form of Lord Krishna native of Puri in Orissa, is painted on, along with floral patterns

  • Since the painting is done with veg-natural dyes which are NOT water proof, for cleaning them only dust off, do not wipe with a damp cloth.

  • The coconut balls are available in Orissa handicrafts and at Dakshin Chitra in Chennai.


Blogeswari said...

I have already decided where to hang it the Pattachitra ball in our new place.. Thanks Art for a lovely gift

Choxbox said...

Me too - thanks! Its beautiful and n3 is fascinated by the fact that it is coconut shell.

Artnavy said...

glad both of u liked it- in fact I knew u would

Monika said...

I know what u mean a lot of secularism for people is just about talking the minute it comes to them they just want to avoid it

BTW i loved that jagannath

Mama - Mia said...


a thing of beauty should be treated as just that! why bring religion in picture?!

and one can trust you to pick most gorgeous and creative things! :)



Artnavy said...

thanks for the votes

VJ said...

Can I say I am all for Ganeshas even thought I am a born Vaishnavite.. I love collecting them !!!!
Maybe gift them to some good girl like me :-)

Artnavy said...

yeah sure- so is navy!!
A good boy i mean- a vaishnavite who loves ganeshas

How do we know said...

we have become rather insular... and its sad..for everyone.

Sands said...

It looked lovely from the pic on MM's blog. It's sad when people can't accept a gift for what it truly represents and look for petty reasons to get offended.

dipali said...

It looked lovely! And sounds great:)

Anonymous said...

all gifts cannot and need not be accepted. it is at discretion of receiver. there are too many evil people in world. will you accept a candy to your kid from someone in a railway station?

do you think a radical islamo fascist will accept any hindu [presents? whereas as you say hindus will accept any other gift. call about tolerance. minority religions are most anto tolerant.

Saya said...

Hey.. you must check out 'Aesthetics' on RK Salai. Think you will love that shop.

Sue said...

It's beautiful, Art. :) I'm most j!

Artnavy said...

thanks saya

sue- why J- i told u - i have set aside one for you na

Sue said...


Monika said...

sounds & looks like a great gift :)

Artnavy said...

tnx monika

now i find they do it on betelnuts as well