Tarapada Halder from West Bengal’s Dadpur village has taught sitar manufacturing to 1,000 craftsmen, many of whom have now started their own businesses.
Despite the freezing temperatures of West Bengal’s Dadpur village and lack of sunlight, a couple of men, wrapped in shawls, are intently working in different corners of the Tarapada Sitar House at 6 am.
Surrounded by materials like lao (bottle gourd), toona wood, cellulite paper and bamboo splinters, their work to make a fine sitar is accurately driven by clockwork.
The man with glasses is carving intricate patterns of golap pata (rose plant leaves) on the sitar gourd while humming to the tunes of bodhu kon alo. Sitting diagonally opposite him is a senior artisan, who is playing the same tune on a newly-made sitar. Meanwhile, another artisan is placing bamboo splinters inside the sitar’s hollow structure to keep the inner layer of the sitar gourd stable.
The scene is something out of an art film — the…