On the 10th of April 2015, a few members of the Enactus team visited the target community of Project Aipan in Timarpur, Delhi. As always, we were welcomed with a beautiful Aipan painting at the doorstep. With our faculty advisor Ms. Gunjan Madan accompanying us, the door opened to an enlightening couple of hours which gave us an even deeper insight into the culture of Kumaon.
On the one hand, Mrs. Asha and Mrs. Manju’s self-invented Aipan designs beautified the red pastel sheets, and on the other, their melodious Kumaoni Music left us all humming to its tunes. Their eyes gleamed with memories and their voices sweetened through their smiling lips whilst they sang their local folk songs.
They also taught us words like ‘Hudung’ which translates to ‘Damru’ in Hindi. They also juxtaposed the presence of the various festivities in the past and the present day.
As they sat, devoted to making exquisite aipan designs, they would occasionally glance at us as we sat there with our cameras trying to capture every moment and trying to familiarise ourselves with Aipan, Kumaon and the culture behind them.
We could see them smile through their eyes when we showed them the response that their pictures received on social media. Those hundreds of likes and comments fuelled the fire in them. And when it was time to leave, they had with them a bag full of red pastel sheets waiting to be adorned with serene white paint; and we had within us a tune that was much more than a combination of scales and pitches.
Written by Geetika Palta