The story of a quilt.

I think I hit the wall yesterday, the getting up early isn't a problem, but what I'm trying to fit in a day is.

So I slept in the afternoon for a few hours, then went to bed at 7.00 pm and stayed there till 4.30 am, now I should have plenty of oomph for the coming week. Its going to be very exciting.



Today I'm featuring another Kantha quilt I purchased.

It's old.

It's made of cotton Sari's.

It's quite worn.

It's large.


The multiple acts  of giving textile articles and the importance of connecting people through them is described in this poem written by  Nakshi Kanthar Math.

The verse is a tragic folk tale written in simple language and centers around Rupai and Saju. Rupai is a young peasant Rupa, who falls in love with a girl named Saju in his neighboring village. They get married. But after a quarrel and fight with some peasants of another village Rupa leaves home and flees far away. Saju, the young wife becomes alone. She waits every day with the hope that her husband will return to her, but nothing happens. She becomes tired, all her hope becomes falls. Many days pass.. Saju begins to prepare a Nakshi Kantha (an embroidered quilt). In that Nakshi Kantha she types (writes) all the (sad) incidents, tragedies. More days get passed. Rupa does not return. Finally Saju dies. before her death she requests her mother to put the Nakshi Kantha on her grave. Her mother does accordingly. And since then the name of the field becomes Nakshi Kanthar Math.


Spreading the embroidered quilt

She works the livelong night,

As if her poet were

On here bereaved plight.

Many a joy and many a sorrow

Is written on her breast.

The story of Rupas life is there,

Line, by Line expressed.


Beginning with her life as a beloved daughter and then a wife, Shaju stitched the farewell scene when her husband departed. And as she gradually gave up hope of his return and a reunion, she depicted her own tomb with her husband at her side. The Kantha serves as a repository of her tears and her sorrow, and also a a potential source of solace for her husband. Anticipating his loss, Shaju instructed her Mother.


How will he bear the pain mother

On this quilt lies all of mine.

All my pain and my grief,

Embroidered line by line.

So lay it on my grave, mother.

This picture of my grief,

That his and mine upon its breast

May mingling find relief.

One of the final images of the poem describe  the husband lying at the grave wrapped in the Kantha that she had stitched as a coping mechanism during their separation, now serving as his embroidered shroud. Here the quilt is conceived as a surrogate for his wife's arms.



The quilt was probably used for household purposes.




I don't know the history of this quilt, but I will use it.

In fact I have a bright orange and turquoise one that I sleep under.

I often wonder who made these gems that I treasure.

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