Engaging with Batik at Noor Arfa, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

By Mridula Dwivedi November 22, 2012 2 Comments , ,

Call me challenged when it comes to crafts and arts. The only skill I have shown ever in a creative endeavor is with my camera and thank god for small mercies! So I had quite mixed feelings when I got to know that we were visiting the Noor Arfa Batik Complex at Kuala Terengganu.

Noor Arfa Batik Complex, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Noor Arfa Batik Complex, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

The building itself is so impressive! Once inside we were given a tour of the complex where we saw skilled people displaying their crafts with a master’s touch. There was a lady who was painting and a gentleman who was working with glass. It was fascinating to watch their skillful demonstration.

Batik Painting at Noor Arfa, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Batik Painting at Noor Arfa, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Soon it was out turn to try out these crafts. Two people from my group tried the painting and I was given two piece of strings to make a decorative pattern (not relate to Batik I guess). I was very happy when I was not asked to paint. I had drawing as a subject till class 8th and don’t even get me started on what a torture it was. My teachers would not fail me because I was good at all the core subjects, I was good at sports but when it came to drawing something as simple as an apple it would look more like a mango when I was through with it! My teachers took pity on me and would give me the passing marks. So I was happy I was spared the experience again.

My level of Skills at Crafts!
My level of Skills at Crafts!

Coming back to these strings that were supposed to make a pattern, I thought they made perfect cat whiskers! But our hosts disagreed and wanted me to try it out. Try as I may I would not get the pattern according to which they had to be folded. Very soon others were getting a hang and I relied on the kind souls who got it to weave it out for me!

I of course bought Batik. I have given it to get a kurta stitched and the tailor is giving me a slip for a month now. She keeps saying come this day, come that day. So as soon as I finish this post I am going to call her and shout at her!

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Travel Tales from India

I started 'Travel Tales from India' in 2005. It has become an anchor for my travel writing. My blog was once linked at BBC and The Guardian. All my stories published at Gonomad can be viewed from my writer profile page. In December 2010 I featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video. You can write to me at mridulablog at gmail dot com For advertising queries please check out my advertising page.

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