These chaddars had been embroidered by Biji, my great grandmother, Ishar Kaur, for her own trousseau probably some time in the early 1920s. Often, women of those times would collect or make such items for their trousseau – handcrafted or embroidered cloth – which later could be used to make several smaller items like dupattas, rumaaley, tablecloths and bedsheets.
This particular tea set belonged to my grandmother’s sister-in-law, Padma, known to the family as Paddi, who bought it from Banaras sometime in the 1950’s for 14 rupees. Perhaps it was made in Banaras, or elsewhere. One will never know, as there are no legible markings or etchings on it.
This letter dated 28 October, 1942 made its way from Ceylon to Thrissur. It is written by my grandfather and speaks mainly of family matters and describes his life in Ceylon. My nanaji, like many other migrant workers, stayed and worked at the plantations for 7-8 years to support his family.