Friday 22 January 2016

Peeping out...

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.

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"
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