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Coimbatore potter’s colony is all set for Karthigai Deepam 2021

By Team YourCoimbatore on 13th November 2021
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The potters at Udayar Street in Kavundampalayam are busy making earthen lamps for Karthigai Deepam despite rains dampening their spirits.

Potter V Vadivel is waiting. Seated next to a spread of wet earthen lamps he just made, he looks at the sky every once in a while: he is hoping for some sunlight. To a potter, the sun is as important as rain is to a farmer.

And on that overcast afternoon at Udayar Street in Kavundampalayam, the mood is gloomy. But that does not stop some men and women — there are over 30 families in the potter’s colony — from spreading out their lamps and pots to dry in what remains of the sunlight of the day.

It takes one full cloudless, sunny day for a batch of lamps to dry after they are taken off the potter’s wheel. Potters wait another day for the lamps to further dry. They then bake the lamps in one of the kilns at the centre of the colony.

Velliangiri, a 55-year-old potter says “There will be the sunlight in some time,
I must ready these by then; only then will I be able to deliver on time.”
Before the pandemic started, Velliangiri taught pottery at a local school. He enjoyed the process of teaching the art form to children.

Even today, he continues to involve the children in his family in pottery — unlike other potters who do not want their sons and daughters to take after them owing to the craft’s unpredictable nature. When the world prays for rain, I do feel guilty praying that it does not, he says. But this is how life is at the potter’s colony.

Karthigai Deepam festival falls on 19 November this year. So potters are busy making lamps for the day celebrated for “The triumph of light over darkness”.

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