A hedgerow of wild roses gallivanting across the entire length of this elegant half-round choor, known better among Bengalis as a bouti, belies the stateliness of the ornament and is barely reined ...
A hedgerow of wild roses gallivanting across the entire length of this elegant half-round choor, known better among Bengalis as a bouti, belies the stateliness of the ornament and is barely reined in by the polished frame borders that just about manage to put a stop to the indiscriminate dalliances of the vine with a firmness that only straight lines can have. The naksha-work is detailed and exquisite in its palpability : the flowers and leaves in prominent bas-relief can be felt for real as you smooth your hand over them, and the line of buds on each side acts as a border within a border.The bracelet clasp reveals a European sensibility and it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine this hand-chased hand-wrought guinea gold masterwork as part of a regal suite of jewels belonging to a passionate Italian princess.
Then why is it called Gayatri ? The question comes to mind immediately and the answer is not pleasant reading.
Truth is, this bouti is one of our worst failures. It was ordered by Mrs.Gayatri Bhattacharya of Survey Park and she'd been continually asking for delivery, settling for a date just before the Pujas. As luck would have it, the naksha-wallah --- an eighty-two-year-old gentleman in a waist-belt and cervical collar (he has advanced spondylosis) with an attitude just as cantankerous as his art is divine --- simply did not complete the job on time, and then took a further two months to hand it in. Even then, it's our fault entirely. We shouldn't have chosen him, knowing the deadline and the sentiments associated with Durga Puja. Mrs.Bhattacharya was terribly disappointed but was kind enough to select another choor in place of her bouti. Really, such largesse is rare to come by. Yet,deep within,we know she couldn't have been fully satisfied with the ornament she took as the one of her order is quite past compare. What good this pursuit of perfection then, if we can't deliver on time and the importance of the occasion is lost on us. So, we've named the ornament after her, in her honour, and also to keep in mind this incident which must inform our decisions in future.
We've been thinking of phoning her and asking whether she'd still like to have it, but what if she hasn't forgiven us? Do you think we should call?