In southern India, traditionally children sleep in a ‘thooli’ (தூளி), which is nothing but a cloth, tied to a wooden rod hung from the ceiling with a rope. It is somewhat like a hammock. Usually a cotton sari (புடவை) or dhoti (வேஷ்டி) is used for this purpose. Babies sleep well in a ‘thooli’ than in a cradle as the cloth covers the baby snugly giving the feeling of being in mother’s embrace. A long rope is tied to the rod so that the adults can rock the ‘thooli’ from a distance, even as they are engaged in their chores. ‘Thooli’ is the ideal baby rocker in the hot climate that prevails in India.
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When the baby wakes up, he cannot climb out of the ‘thooli’ and hence, he peeps out by lifting a flap, which is an endearing sight. I tried to capture this natural moment in this painting, which was executed with Indian ink on textured paper using dry brush technique. The baby is looking happy after a good nap in the cosy ‘thooli’!
|Peeping out - Indian ink on paper - 14" x 17"|