This Ancient Ladle Technology requires just a stick and a coconut shell. While the kings and the very rich used highly ornamented vessels of gold, studded with gems, many ordinary people used improvised accessories from nature. Today it is all steel and aluminium and plastic and pollution.
In my childhood, brick powder for washing vessels, and muggu podi (rangoli powder) was stored in dry coconut half shells.
Today, some of us are a confused lot. We love the convenience of plastic, the glitter of gold and the simplicity and environmental friendliness of the coconut shell.
However unless you make a statement while using coconut shells, people might think you are poor. So we make it a point to let the world at large know that we are well-to-do, well read and in good standing and that we rever the implements shown in the picture because of our simple living and high thinking. And because we have an ethnic taste!
We pay a hundred rupees to be allowed to take pictures of these instruments and another hundred rupees to be served a ‘ragi mudde’ with our meal.
Maybe we are trying to have the best of both worlds..! Or may be we are lamenting an inexplicable loss in our new found development and progress. In our trade-off did we strike a good bargain?
Author and Photographer : Satya Sarada Kandula