Raining on their parade

Raining on their parade

Come ‘Deepavali’ and Pottery Town turns into a hub of light and celebration.

The potters here give shape to their creativity in the form of attractive ‘diyas’. There is a huge variety of ‘diyas’ on display this year too but the rains have played spoilsport and the sales haven’t been as good as the previous years.

Still, the potters have put up an alluring range of ‘diyas’ to attract customers and are keeping their fingers crossed for the days to come.

Suresh, who has been in the business of making lamps and pots for a couple of years now, says he is disappointed with the sales this year.

“We have made more than 15 lakh diyas this year but the sales have not been as good as expected. Some of the lamps have been given away to wholesale shops but others are put up for sale,” says Suresh.

He makes both clay lamps and the coloured variety as well. “Some people have refrained from buying lamps that are coloured while others want only the coloured variety. We stock both in equal numbers,” he adds.

The potters also make sure that they involve their children in their business and teach them the trade.

Shivananda G and his wife Jagadeeshwari G have been potters for as long as they can remember. Their children too assist them in the business. Jagadeeshwari says that she gets busy during ‘Deepavali’.

“Most of the lamps are designed by me. You can’t change the basic character and shape of a lamp, so I work towards enhancing the presentation. I make intricate carvings on clay ‘diyas’ and paint some others in attractive colours like bright orange, pink and gold. We mix two different colours together to make a new colour,” says Jagadeeshwari.

Shivananda pitches in, “We have about 20,000 ‘diyas’ this year but the sales are poor. The lamps that are unsold are carefully packed and kept for next year. It is disappointing when the sales don’t match expectations because this business involves so much hard work and time.”

“The prices range between Rs 3 and Rs 300 a piece, depending on the size and shape,” he adds.

Ramesh, who has been in the profession for a decade now, too agrees to the fact that there is intense competition in the field.

“There is a lot of pressure to make lamps that are unique. Our work has become more challenging after moulded lamps hit the market,” he says. “We don’t always use moulds; we prefer to use our bare hands to make lamps. This not only lends a personal touch to the product but also gives it a different finish,” reasons Ramesh, who hopes that the rains don’t play spoilsport to his business anymore.

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