Ode to the Beauty of a Leaf Bowl

A small leaf bowl was used to distribute prasad (food offering) at the temple on my way to Coimbatore. I had just had breakfast in a roadside restaurant (ok, if you are thinking of freaking out, please chill. food at roadside restaurant is safe and tastes fantastic if you knew which one to patronize :-)). They served pongal in a flimsy plastic bowl. Since that upsetting event was still fresh in my mind, the leaf bowl looked prettier than usual.

Photo Gallery of the Beautiful Leaf Bowl

The Leaf Bowl

The Leaf Bowl

The underside of the same leaf bowl

The underside of the same leaf bowl

Leaves one on top of another. Stitched together with natural wood splinters

Leaves one on top of another. Stitched together with natural wood splinters

Clearer view of two leaves overlaid with two natural ‘stapler pins’

Clearer view of two leaves overlaid with two natural ‘stapler pins’

Ta-da, the Beautiful Leaf Bowl…

Ta-da, the Beautiful Leaf Bowl…

Happy Facts

  1. Natural: Duh! :)
  2. Local: Uses material – leaves and wood splinters – that are locally available
  3. Truly Disposable: In fact, it will decompose in the soil and become soil nutrients after disposal
  4. Beautiful: Each bowl has unique characteristics and beauty

Sad Facts

  1. Dying Skill: Weaving leaves into a bowl such as this was a common enough skill in the past. It is a dying skill now.
  2. Dying Knowledge: Who knows what plant those leaves come from? I am from this part of the world and I don’t :(
  3. Dying Resources: How do we know that these plants will not get mowed down in our rush to a cash-crop, mono-culture farming?
  4. Out with the Old and In with the New: Is that always for the best? Or can it lead to unmitigated disaster sometimes? Leaf bowl vs. plastic bowl – need I say any more?

Where is ode you ask? This is a new media ode, complete with pictures and commentary. Were you expecting a Wordsworth? ;-)

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