How to make a great rangoli

  • Damini Purkayastha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Oct 14, 2009 20:05 IST

Are you artistically challenged? Do you look at your neighbour’s doorstep every Diwali and cringe at how beautiful their rangoli looks, as opposed to your oddly shaped smudge of colour? Don’t fret. Here are some quick fix methods you can try that may help you get that great looking rangoli.

* Plan your design ahead: Pick something basic — like concentric circles, or a four petal flower, or a simple swastika — these you can outline and decorate with diyas or flowers.

* Use chalk and draw an outline: If you’re not one of those who can draw with coloured powder, don’t even try. Draw your designs with a wet chalk on the floor beforehand. That way when you fill the design, with colour, or anything else, you won’t make a mess.

* If you can’t colour, don’t: If you have a pet who’s going to mess the rangoli, or are incapable of sticking to lines while filling in the colour, don’t even try. Either make a plain white rangoli (it’s more traditional) or just a simple red and white one (also called Alpana).

* Use poster colours: Do you always forget to soak the rice in time to make your rangoli? Be smart. Use poster colours, they’re easier to manage and a lot less messy. Make sure you use a thick paintbrush, it will go a lot faster.
n Use diyas and flowers as fillers: Make your basic rangoli sparkle with an outline of diyas and fill the designs with traditional genda flowers.

* Don’t forget to welcome Lakshmi: Little white feet symbolic of those of Goddess Lakshmi entering your home adds a special touch to the rangoli. Now these ‘feet’ are tricky to make. Traditionally you’re expected to make them with your fist closed a particular way, and unless you’re really good at this, what you’re left with is a smudge. The image  in the background is an easy to make image of Lakshmi's feet —  one S shaped line, followed by five dots on top, and you’re done.

* Go online: If you still need step by  step guidance, try the internet. Not only are several patterns you can emulate, there are ‘how-to’ manuals on YouTube and even websites like that give you patterns and easy-to-make-designs. So start planning your rangoli now.


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