Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Vini's work of art
I got back to our guesthouse after visiting the Iskcon Temple and Vini and I had breakfast. Then after getting the directions from my sister Lakshmi’s friend Uma, we took a rickshaw to Pottery Town.

Display of license on autorickshaws in Bengaluru
One thing I have to admire about the rickshaws in Bengaluru - all of them have an identity card of the owner/driver with his photo, information and license details for people to take a note of, in case of trouble. While the autos themselves are the most uncomfortable, this is a great thing for the public and will also make the autowallah think twice before swindling someone.

Pots on display in Pottery Town
We reached Pottery Town after a half-hour ride. I believe there used to be 25 pottery families in the area a couple of decades back. Now, there were four of them, struggling to maintain their business, by the looks of it. The area appeared like a small township by itself with a municipal school in the centre. It was obviously in a very poor section of Bangalore. There was a building stacked with pots on the balcony. There were a number of pots spread out to dry in the sun on the roadside.

Every nook and corner of the building was stacked with pots in different shapes and sizes

We walked for a distance hoping to see more pottery outlets. There weren’t any. There was a small church that was built over a gutter. The spire was tall and looked very nice. I could not help but take a few pictures.

The church in Pottery Town
The pottery families were predominantly Tamils who have been in the business for three generations. We went inside one such house making pots and Vini and I got a chance to take the pottery wheel. Govardhan was the young man in charge of this wheel. He told us that we could pay anything we wanted to and let us have a hand at the electric wheel. He was even ready to guide us when we asked.

Pots drying in the sunlight on the roadside
Believe me, it was fun working with clay. It was our first experience and the two of us had a royal time shaping the wet and silky soft clay to our hearts’ content. Govardhan was quite happy when we paid him 200 rupees for the use of his electric wheel.

A view of Pottery Town from inside Govardhan's home
After trying out various shapes, I ended up making a small bowl that was quite symmetrical. Vini spent a longer time and with Govardhan’s help managed to make a very cute pot with a miniature one stuck to the side.

Govardhan learned to make pots at Age 5 from his Grandfather
Sadly, we could not bring the pot along with us as it was too wet. We carried it all the way to the guesthouse but were too scared to bring it back with us to Mumbai. But I have to say that it was too cute.

That's what I made. It was fun! 
It was way past lunchtime when we managed to get a rickshaw and we got to eat the most horrible lunch at some restaurant on our way back to the guesthouse. We did not linger for long as we had our return tickets booked for the same evening.