A Lifetime of Patchwork




Patch work adds colour to my rooms

Patchwork has always been my obsession but not anymore as I have learnt a great secret that instead of embellishing the plain surface, it camouflages the sour points!

I still have as my prized possession a bundle load of small cut pieces, both cotton and silk, in vibrant hues and shades that I always dig in whenever I have to add colour to a plain cloth. It was an exercise that I loved and lived for. But not any more as I have recently learnt a great truth of life that it is the human life that is the result of lifetime of patchwork.

Now for those who don’t have much idea about patchwork, let me explain a little. Whenever I find that a cloth length is devoid of appeal or colour and looks dull and drab, I cut some other piece, in a desirable shape or design, from another cloth in contrasting colour and appliqué it on the base material. It gives a great look to the dull and drab background as now a vibrant hue in an eye-arresting design, is in the foreground. I have always enjoyed this activity as it makes me feel the power of a being a creator and a person much in control to bring about changes, positive changes, in something. Power is really something that goes to head. Be it the power to bring about a change to an inanimate surrounding or object!

Life is the greatest teacher of all and teaches you lessons at every little step of the journey. I just found the analogy between the patchwork and life so similar that could not but wonder at the process of patch working our life. I applied patches when I wanted to add colour to a material and this is what we do when we have to add colour to our life. We bring about some outside agency or activity and love being in a state of euphoria that this change brings about in us. The second need to add patch to a cloth is when something has created a dent in the very being of the fabric and to cover up the damage we try to put an appliqué over it. Watch your mothers applying patches to certain cloths!

I remember my ma making a quilt of patchworks that would be stuffed with the old clothes and we as kids would watch, mesmerized, the magic of her hands when the tattered clothes would give a semblance of a quilt. It would have attractive patches on it, each reminiscing us of the favourite apparel, at one time! It was like living life backwards.

What is true of the fabric patchwork is true of life as well. Our life is a wonderful patchwork, a lifetime achievement. Sometimes we add colour to it by bringing in new patches that are new relationships to it and sometimes, in order to cover up the sour points, we try adding some colour to it so that the damaged part of the psyche is covered.

But life is not a cloth length. Have you wondered at the new patches on a very old and tattered cloth, how unbecoming it looks? The same is true of life, my dear. A new patchwork of a new relationship looks so odd and unbecoming on the old and abused life pattern. It cannot add to or cover up the bruises of the soul.

This is why I don’t like patchwork any more as it is deceptive and a cover up for something that is bruised and lackluster.

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