PUDUKKOTTAI: It is 8 am on a chilly December morning and the continuous sound of chiselling cuts through the silent monotony of the street next to the Government Museum here. A small girl, all of 12 years, is crouching on a block of wood, with a set of tools near her. A few curious steps closer, and one could see that she is half-way through carving out a beautiful design on a wooden door.
Anjana Sri is a carpenter’s daughter who was drawn to this art at a very young age. Soon, with help from her father, it became her part-time profession. The pandemic-induced lockdown came as a blessing in disguise, giving her enough time to pursue her interest and learn from her guru — her father, Muthukumar. With a mind filled with creativity, Anjana took to carpentry like a duck to water, says the father of the class 7 student.
“She draws the designs very well. I taught her how to use the chisel and other tools for carving. It did not take her much time to pick up the art and now she can carve an entire double door, all by herself,” says a proud Muthukumar.
It takes almost a day to carve a design on one part of a door. For a double door, it takes about four days from ideation to execution, says Anjana. Such is her focus that she has no time to lift her head and respond to this curious reporter. She continues working and speaks less, letting her work do the talking.
“There are about 70-80 types of chisels. It is important to know which one to use for what kind of wood, depending on its quality. I’ve learnt all this from my father, and hope to follow his footsteps,” says Anjana, who has also been training in Silambam and Bharatanatyam.Muthukumar has been in the profession for 27 years. Father to three girls, he hopes to pass on the baton to his oldest, Anjana.