A Tamil Aiyyar wedding is an elaborate two day affair comprised of many rituals. One such ritual is ‘Kashi Yatra’ which is performed on the day of the wedding. During ‘Kashi Yatra’, the groom will ‘act’ as if he is going to Kashi to become an ascetic. As the part of the ritual, Bride’s father will plead with the groom to not to go to Kashi, instead marry his daughter and settle down as a ‘Grihasthu’ (house holder). Eventually, the Groom will agree and come back to the wedding Pandal ready to marry. The symbolism behind this funny ritual can become a subject of some other blog some other time.
The point here is, I had inherited a steel ‘Kooja’ that was bought to be used during ‘Kashi Yatra’ ritual during my wedding. ‘Kooja’ is a vessel that was used in olden days to carry water by travellers. Since the ‘Kooja’ served no purpose in my modern kitchen, it was lying there until one day I had decided to use it as a water jug to water my Tulsi plant. It served some purpose, but was getting exposed to hard water and dust for years.
Over a period of time, it lost its shine, also got rusted in many places. Being emotionally attached to everything that I have got from my father, I had decided to upcycle the ‘Kooja’, before it is too late.
I immediately sat down with a mission to revive and beautify the ‘Kooja’.
I used materials that were available in the house at that time. It required lots of patience, and lot of brain storming as I was working with limited resources. Never the less, the results were worth the effort.
It was my first attempt at trying my hand in a French technique called ‘Decoupage’.
Whatever, my efforts paid off and ‘Kooja’ turned out to be a stunning art piece that now occupied pride of place in our drawing room as a decor item.
I have seen upcycled Kettles, Milk cans but I have not seen a Kooja so far. Who knows, may be I’m the first one who turned a South Indian ‘Kooja’ into a French art decor.
Smitten by my own art work, now, I am looking around for next object to upcycle. Let me search for the
‘Vishiri’, the fan that was used during Kashi Yatra ritual 27 years ago.
Kooja’s present Avtar. In an excitement to upcycle, I forgot to click before photo.