The last time I heard this word was from my Dadi’s conversation when I was still in the early years of my elementary school. The hindi word ‘Doharana’ in literal terms mean repeating and dohar would imply layers. It is a light summer quilt that used to be made out of fine, old , almost translucent, cotton saris and bound at the edges with heavier linen or satin to bring structural integrity to the layers.
In trying to describe and write what a dohar means, I am transported to a cool summer morning, on the terrace at my grandma's house hidden under the warmth of cool cotton layers that is blocking the gentle cool morning breeze and yet letting the warmth of morning sun filter in.
Now, you must wonder how I (we) could let go of something that felt so wonderful. It’s not just that, there is a lot more that we have forgotten that still lies along the curb of the roadways that we have traversed with great speed and dexterity focused solely on getting ahead and forgetting all that which couldn't keep up the pace.
While reading online version of Lonny Magazine, I came across the article about textiles from south east Asia and reached the website, Mela and Roam. I explored the site for quite sometime and was held captive not just by the products but their names as well. Names like Orai, Fatehpur, Betul, reminds me of obscure train journeys and halts at unknown platforms that have taken a form to envelope nostalgia.
There are many things like that, that tug on to the emotional and to quite an extent sensible strings of my heart; like the tussar silk where the cocoon is unraveled and not killed to make silk, the hand looms that provide livelihood and a means of expression to the village women, the iron molten and forced into an idea. And many many other arts like that which are dying a slow death burying within a culture and a generation and a philosophy which we should rather hold on to.
|DOHAR - image from Mela and Roam|