2.2 Indian Weavers – Notes
Summary of the poem
The poem ‘Indian Weavers’ written by Sarojini Naidu, sums up the life of human beings in three main stages. The poet uses symbols of clothes & time of the day to explain this. According to the poet, the journey of life begins with blue colour. The colour blue indicates joy & happiness.
In the first stanza, the poet questions the weavers why they are weaving clothes so early in the morning. The clothes are blue like the wings of halcyon, which is the other name of the kingfisher bird. The weavers reply that they are weaving beautiful dress for new born child. There is similarity between the break of the day & birth of a baby. Both symbolize a new beginning. The blue colour symbolises something beautiful and precious. It also symbolises loyalty. Thus, the first stage of human life is full of happiness, freshness, hope, curiosity etc.
In the second stanza, the time described is the fall of night, that is when the sun sets. the poet questions the weavers why they are weaving clothes that are colourful like the feathers of peacock. The weavers answer that they are weaving the marriage veil of the queen. The poet thus refers the second- adult stage of life. At this stage, human beings are quite active, get married, shoulder responsibilities & struggle hard to live a better and a prosperous life.
In the third stanza, the weavers are sorrowful & silent. The poet finds them weaving something weird in the moonlight chill that is in the dead of the night. Whatever they are weaving is white as cloud or white as feather, symbolising the colourless life. The weavers tell the poet that they are weaving shroud for a dead person. Thus, the third and final stage of human life is death which is emotionless & colourless.
The words that express the changing mood of the poet are gay, bright, solemn & still.
Figures of speech-
Blue as the wing of a wild halcyon
Like the plumes of a peacock
White as feather & white as a cloud
Weavers weaving at break of day
Weavers weaving at fall of night
We weave the,
Plumes of a peacock,
purple & green,
break of the day,
fall of night,
solemn & still,
colorless, cold white.
Rhyme scheme –
I stanza – aabb
II stanza – ccdd
III stanza – eeff
The effect of asking question-
By asking questions the poetess gives certain information about the time of the day & the colour of the cloth that the weavers are weaving. The poem has a conversational tone -conversation that is between the poetess & the weavers.
Word register for Clothes-
Dress, attire, robe, costume, garment, apparel, suit, garb, outfit etc
The present condition of the weavers-
Many weavers in India are leaving the profession and shifting themselves to a new livelihood opportunity. Looking at the next generation there are only few to take up the activity. There is huge Increase cost of raw material. Co-operatives are shutting down due to no profit & all loss. Master weavers get the activity running at the cost of the weaver in the competitive market. Today the weavers are facing problems mainly because production done on power looms, are sold as handloom product. The fabric is offered for a very low price which handloom weaver or a cooperative society never can never compete with. There are several problems in the systems level, time constrain in the production process. So, there are many uncertainties faces by the weavers today.
Mahavastra of Maharashtra – Paithani
The glory of Maharashtra & the weaver’s pride, Paithani saris are said to be hand woven poems in gold and silk.
This is a hand-woven silk saree with a rich, ornamental Zari (gold thread) and border. It is characterised by borders of an oblique square design and a pallu with a peacock design. The Paithani saree is known all over the world for its uniqueness.
The art of Paithan is more than 2000 years old. The name “Paithani” is derived from the small town Paithan located in Central India, Maharashtra state, about 400 km north east of Bombay. The Paithani Sarees & Fabric is socio-culturally associated with the people of Maharashtra due to its confluence with the culture of the people. The Paithani saree is traditionally a part of the trousseau of every Maharashtrian bride. In the ancient times it was considered no less than an ornamental treasure & was in fact used as currency.
Even today in many households it is considered as a precious heirloom that is passed on from generation to generation…
Weaving a Paithani is a work of Art, where the Soul’s Aspiration & Artist’s Inspiration flow out into Form Colour & Texture!