Saturday, January 17, 2009

Writing on Rice

By Philipose Vaidyar
My earliest remembrance of me as a little boy goes back to the first day I ever wrote something. I sat on a straw mat spread on the cow-dung polished mud floor of my house. An elderly man sat down beside me. There before me was a brass bowl filled with home beaten brown raw rice in it. The man- they called him Ashan* (read sh for asperated 's') - held the index finger of my right hand and made me scribble the phrase, Hari Sree Ganapathiye nama**, letter by letter, one on the other.
It was raining when I first walked to the Ashan's school. My sister held a broad banana leaf over both of us. A few more leaves were seen moving higher on that road.
Six raw wooden posts supported the shed thatched with palm leaves. The roof let rains in, making small narrow holes on the floor. Rains used to displace all of us from our permanent seats. Sunny days brought in beams of lights falling and scrawling on the floor. Occasionally some beams even made Ashan's bare head glow. The dried up mud floor gave us several patches to practice our writing during leisure.

I did not know then the meaning of the rice etching I did. But certainly my nama* goes to the Almighty and His Son who scribbled on the floor as he waited patiently for repenting hearts.
My writing styles grew with me, from one finger to ten fingers. Wherever I went, I had to write bills and boards, design leaflets and logos, produce books and brochures. They called me an artist. I was fond of fonts and known for calligraphy. But I knew my way was still further.

I write- letters and messages, draw - pictures and profiles, design and paint impressions, shoot- stills and movies. All these I do to help people see visions about the neediest people groups of our country who haven't heard the sounds of joy and seen the beams of light.

Those who have not told about Him will see and those who have not heard will understand. (Romans 10:21, Isaiah 52:15)
*Ashan- means teacher **Hari Sree Ganapathiye nama- means Worship to Hari, Sree and Ganapathi- three Hindu gods *nama- worship
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