Why do you bow before you start work?
Harsh Kumar is warm and humble, with an unmissable twinkle in his eye. “This is a form of Namaste,” he explains. “This particular position shows direction towards God. I’m asking for protection, to be watched over,” he smiles, somewhat shy. “So that I don’t make a mistake.”
He moves the carved rosewood block up and down the fresh white dhurrie, dipping it in a special clay mixture, a recipe that has been in existence for hundreds of years. “In our village, the people have been block printing since the 16th-century.” He tells us. “People come here especially for our textiles.”
The second table in the workshop is for Harsh Kumar’s wife who prints alongside him. “Sometimes we talk, sometimes we work quietly. But I like to have her here beside me,” he says. “The company is nice, even when she’s teasing me.”
Harsh Kumar, block printer, 42