Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Jute, pots and brass
11th July 2010
We left again at 8am conscious of Safia’s evening flight back to the UK. On the way we were due to make two stops. One at a potter and the other a brass works. We sped past the lush green backdrop only to screech to a halt as Safia had seen some jute being harvested. And what a wonderful site it was! Three men waist deep in water cutting down the giant stalks of Jute, to go along with the interesting sight was also an interesting smell, the jute that was lashed together in the water sitting there to ret gives of a rather whiffy odor. All along the side of the road were the stack of the jute being dried out in the sun. I was sad to hear from Suraiya that these farmers receive very little money for all their labour, as so often is the case, most of the money goes to the middle man in the markets.
Mrinmoy Pottery is up a very long, slippery muddy track which was not particularly easy in flipflops, although the dude guiding us seemed to prove me wrong… Mrinmoy Pottery has been going for 14 generations, through exporting with the help of Prokritee they are able to more than double their earnings. We were each given a blessing bowl which I fear will be smashed before the end of my journey.
We were of course running late, so the stop at Dhamrai Metal Crafts was very short. The building was straight out the raj, perfect shabby chic although erring more toward the shabby these days. The guy that was making the wax moulds was doing so by kerosene lamp – it could have been one hundred years ago.
So we tried to speed back to the hotel, but of course that is impossible in Dhaka, traffic was against us. But luckily the lovely Monju was there to take Safia to the airport so she had time to pack and bid us farewell – it is very quiet without her!