Written by Deepali
One fine summer evening as we wrapped up our stitching in the park in Panjim garden day, I met Eleanor Veigas, a textile artist who is now based in South Goa. Eleanor shared the Banyan Tree Stitching project which was begun with Bookworm around 1. 5 years ago and now led by Eleanor and Jyothi, who had brought her Banyan Tree Stitching Project to Bookworm. To be frank I did not pay much attention to it as I am not much of a sewing person.
Sewing is the work of utmost patience. But……I was drawn to the project.
It is a picture of a lovely banyan tree. The entire tree picture is cut and divided in to more than three hundred patches and given to women from all over Goa or rather South of Goa and elsewhere. Bookworm picked up sixteen patches and I picked up one patch which had presumably the most scanty design on it. My mind concluded that minimum design will mean minimum stitching… and my stitching endeavor started.
This was wrong ! Every patch over of the fabric has to be embroidered !
To begin with, meeting the other Banyan Tree stitching ladies was a revelation in itself. All kinds of names of stitches flew over my head, all kinds of loops and styles were spoken about, this was all totally Greek to me. The expert and kind ladies taught me the most basic stitches to start with and I started. And as I started and the scant designs started filling up with colors, my mind started filling up with happiness too. I could also do it…not as neat or expertly as the others but fairly good. I am proud of it, it is still in the ‘work in progress’ category but it will be completed soon. I was apprehensive of sewing at the beginning, about whether I would be able to begin and complete it but as my patch is nearing completion, I know that I have done it!!!!!