A bead of sweat rolls down my face;
I am struck by the silence. The air
is hushed and filled with concentration.
On the banks of the Lakshya
master weavers sit in pairs, barely breaking
sweat at their bamboo looms.
The men are shirtless. The women rest
their arms on cheap white cotton,
protecting the delicate muslin.
Hands interlace silky gold thread
into sheer cloth the colour of oxblood.
Around us turquoise, yellow and white billows
in the breeze that – like a cool blessing –
comes off the river through latticed bamboo walls.
Motifs – jasmine, marigolds, peacock feathers –
neither embroidered nor printed,
are painstakingly sewn by hand.
Children of the loom, taught by their fathers:
strong backs and magic fingers. Dedication.
(From The delicate material that takes months to weave by hand. Submitted by Angi Holden)