Vadodara, IND

Vadodara, IND

Sunday, 05. January 2014

A Happy New Year 2014!

We spent New Year’s Day in Mumbai. Before that we took up a friend’s offer to drive out to the country to visit a small village. The village, which was 6 hours away from the city, has approximately 900 inhabitants. It is completely without electricity, far away from any shop and even water is strictly rationed for each household. All firewood for cooking, they have to find themselves. The seeds for bread flour are hand ground between two big stones. Everything was very basic, like it possibly was 1000 years ago. Unfortunately on the drive back, Franca became very hot and got sick and sweaty. Due to a bladder infection, she hadn’t drunk enough in the village and up there in the dry air of the mountains her body couldn’t cope. So our days in Mumbai were spent with one of us sick; alternating between hospital visits and fever attacks.

From Mumbai we drove approximately 600 km north, along the coast, to visit Ekta Doctor. She was waiting for her first brand new furnace to arrive the following day. We got up at 8am and ran over to the studio, where the truck with the new drum and furnace was already waiting. How do you lift a 700 kg furnace off a truck without a fork lift to hand? Ten men from the company next door worked very hard to wheel the furnace off the crane with the help of an iron wagon all the way to the studio. Now all that needs to be done is to dismantle the door and wait for the electrician who doesn’t seem to be in a great hurry to get here. Surely Ekta can wait a while now that she’s got the furnace? Here, all planning and decision making needs to be started twice and then takes four times as long to put into action. Ekta, on the other hand, doesn’t hang around. She’s also renovating the basement of her parents’ house, turning it into a big gallery and creating beautiful areas in the surrounding garden. Here, visitors can while away time and taste some treats from the kitchen. The plan is to have the gallery completed by the end of the month as well as the studio up and running.

It’s an exciting project because thanks to all her energy, she owns one of the first studio furnaces in India and tries to introduce studio glass here in this country which still has areas of great poverty.