Living on the Pottery Island of Eroor

We spent one month in Eroor, working at a small-scale production pottery and living in the basement room of the company’s owner. Eroor is an inland island in the east of Ernakulam district. It has become a small pottery village and the revival of terra-cotta clay work can be accredited to our teacher Jayan who started Terra Crafts and taught many of the potters in Eroor.

Life in Eroor was rustic village life – we ate, spoke and lived with the locals. We woke at 5 am (most mornings) to meditate, after which we would take an energetic morning walk that would conclude with tea at the local chai shop together with Jayan. We became familiar with most of the men who hung around its main junction: the auto guys, the fish seller, the lotto ticket man and the women running the convenient stores: conversation was everything.  We even befriended a company of hens whom we regularly fed peanuts and one high jumper dog who we washed with flea shampoo. And we mostly wore our clay stained clothes except for…the weeklong Eroor temple festival. This was visually extraordinary, a gold glittering magnificence, for which we dressed in our “nicest” clothes. During this week the village was alive with endless noise and activity. Eroor temple in itself is a wonderful space, made lovelier by its green gardens and flowers. Though, regardless of occasion or sentiment we by no means support animals kept in captivity. It was nonetheless, a humbling experience to walk besides three majestic tusked elephants for one evening and drown in the drumming and music that even the gods could not ignore. It was splendour to the highest degree.

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