Silently carrying forward sacred art of Kusha Aasan making

Gopal Bhattacharjee

 

Kusha Aasan is an integral part of the observance of rituals in the Hindu culture and tradition. For ages, Kusha Aasan is being considered as sacred and used in meditation, pujas and prayers. Made from a type of grass, Kush, the Aasana is believed to be capable of keeping away bad spirits, ghosts, demons etc. However, over time, with the advent of technology, making Kusha Aasans and earning a living has become rare.

 

Kusha-Aasan

Family members of 45-year old Indrajit Das are one of those families which are still engaged in making Kusha Aasans. Living by the side of Khowai River at Ward No 1 under Ghilatali Panchayat in Kalyanpur, Indrajit Das and his members are silently carrying the legacy of the art of making Kusha Aasans.

 

“It is unbelievable that in this era of modernity, demand for Kusha Aasan is very high. Traders, even sometimes common people reach my place to collect Kusha Aasans. As very few are involved in making Kusha Aasans, our family is always under pressure from mounting demand for the item”, family members of Das commented.

 

There is a large market for Kusha Aasan in Agartala and our family is regularly supplying the Aasans in several markets including Agartala. Demand for Ghilatali Kusha Aasan is not only providing Das family a chance to earn a decent livelihood, but the family members are also proud to carry forward the long-respected legacy and sanctity of Kusha Aasan making using ‘Kash’.

 

According to the family members, there is no dearth of raw materials like ‘Kash’ by which this Aasan is being made. On both sides of the Khowai River, plentiful ‘Kash’ provides Das family with enough raw materials.

 

“Naturally found Kash are used by us in making the Kusha Aasans. According to the Hindu beliefs and philosophy, Kusha Aasan allows devotees or worshipers to maintain a serene and spiritual state of mind without being distracted by the surroundings”, Indrajit Das said.

 

With demand orders for 'Das family members made Kusha Aasan' pouring in from different parts of the State, Das family is working overtime to meet the growing demand.

 

On growing demand, Indrajit Das commented, “In today’s world, the stress of daily life is increasing, several people are regularly doing meditations. Many of them prefer only Kusha Aasan instead of modern mats. It is good to witness that despite modernity, Kusha Aasans are being used extensively in ceremonies like marriages, pujas and several other rituals”.

 

Das received appreciation from different sections of the society for silently carrying forward the traditional art of making Kusha Aasans.

 

However, Indrajit Das lamented, there is no Government initiative to help the ‘Kash’ artisans like him to scale new heights and explore bigger markets. He, however, hoped that Government will come out with steps to popularize Ghilatali made Kusha Aasans in and outside of the State.

 

* Gopal Bhattacharjee may be contacted at [email protected]

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