The Lost Detail
Arts Illustrated|June - July 2019
The Lost Detail

A village in Odisha, a narrow lane in Srinagar, and the Jal Mahal in Jaipur remind us, in vivid detail, the painstaking slowness of creation and the rich rewards it begets.

Siddhartha Das

A year ago, I was in a small village in the forest of Satkosia, by the banks of the Mahanadi River. Many in the village worked in the green and yellow checkered rice fields. One of the most beautiful sights I have seen in my life is that of a metre-high cluster of ripened grain, standing atop wiry golden straws, swaying in the wind as if moving to some ethereal orchestra. It is difficult to describe the sight unless you have seen it from a little field embankment with metres of yellowed stalks surrounding you while trying to reach the sun. It is intoxicatingly sensorial, and yet a simple thing if you think about it. Years ago, I was on my way to a steel workshop en route to Alwar, Rajasthan, and I chanced upon a field of ripened wheat. I still have a handful of straws laden with grain in my office room. Even after 14 years, they stand straight, ever so lightly bending under the weight of the turgid wheat grains, like a golden jewel peering out of my terracotta vase.

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June - July 2019