One of the artisans I met was the genial, quick-witted and eminently likable Rasheed Qadri, a craftsperson who has won state and national awards for his work. "Awards get me recognition, not money," was one of his quotable quotes. He very patiently showed us the various steps that are involved in crafting these beautiful objets d'art. And as he wisely said, sometimes you can only appreciate something when you know it and understand it a little.
Although I do enjoy writing, sometimes I wonder if what I write serves any purpose at all. S often tells me writing is a complete waste of time and that it is only for hot-air types. I usually disagree but sometimes, I do get my doubts: does anyone ever read something I've written and maybe change their mind about some issue? Or perhaps they go out and do something that will make the world a better place, even if only for a few people, even if only in a very, very small way? Well, last week, after my article on Bidri appeared in Deccan Herald, I got an email from someone who said she had been in the handicrafts business for two decades. She said she used to sell Bidriware until her supplier suddenly stopped. "Seeing your article in the paper, I had to contact you to bring back this beautiful artwork into my showroom," she said. It's not much, I know, but at least one artisan will benefit from my writing. I'm moderately pleased.