Every morning the same sight greeted me. My mother would be busy clearing up the courtyard and sprinkling water all it. She would then go about drawing dots using her fingers and draw such beautiful designs using the rangoli powder. I would generally end up watching her in amazement because she was so dexterous and nimble with her fingers. The patterns were never the same and over years I too became adept at it. In those days only rice powder was used and only the intricacy and size of the pattern changed on festive occasions.
Over years, the rangolis became colorful and the dotted, symmetrical patterns evolved into freehand or stenciled versions. Regardless of the color, shape or size, the beauty and splendor of the rangoli has not changed.
And like almost all Indian traditions, the rangoli has a deeper meaning too.
RANGOLI WITH RICE POWDER
Rice powder is taken between the index finger and the thumb. Symmetrical and geometrical shapes are then drawn around evenly spaced out dots.
The rice powder is a way of attracting and feeding ants, bugs and birds. This symbolizes universal co-existence and harmony.
The rangoli is the first thing that greets and welcomes our guests and visitors.
When they see a beautiful, symmetrical and eye catching rangoli at the doorstep they feel good and happy and enter our homes with positive energy. So the rangoli acts like an energy filter for our homes.
The symmetry of these shapes especially the circle soothes the energies of our body and mind and we experience a sense of peace as we draw such shapes using the white powder.
The color white that was traditionally used to draw the rangolis is actually an amalgamation of all the seven colors and it is supposed to soothe and calm our mind.
On festive occasions, the women of the family take great pride is drawing intricate patterns and filling them with beautiful colors. This simple act actually nurtures and strengthens the bonds within the family and is seen as a sign of togetherness.
It’s a small wonder then that the rangoli continues to cast its magic spell on all of us.