With Ram Temple in Sight, Ayodhya's Most Famous Tailors Stitch 'Auspicious' Saffron Clothes for Ram Lalla
Lucknow: Day after the Supreme Court in a historical 5-0 unanimous verdict ruled that the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya will be handed over to a trust for the construction of a Ram Mandir, two jubilant brothers in the temple town are busy stitching a pair of saffron-coloured clothes for deity Ram Lalla.
The wind-up, narrow lanes of the town at the heart of the decades-old political and communal conflict, are humming with life. In the Badi Kutiya locality, the humdrum of an old-style treadle sewing machine that fills up the small eight-by-six-feet shop can be heard. This is the abode of tailor Babu Lal, who stitches the dresses of Ram Lalla and other deities that reside in the temples of Ayodhya.
Though Babu Lal is no more, his sons, Bhagwat Prasad Pahadi and Shankar Lal Srivastava, are carrying forward his legacy of which they couldn't be prouder today. “We welcome the decision of the Apex Court and now we are happy that finally a grand temple of Lord Ram will be built. We will be taking the auspicious orange coloured clothes for Ram Lalla today, says Shankar.
Both Shankar and elder brother Bhagwat consider this “the blessing of Lord Ram” as they earn a living by stitching clothes exclusively for the deities and holy men in the small room which is decorated with pictures and posters of gods and goddesses.
“It is a matter of pride for us after this historical verdict, Lord Ram will be wearing these clothes stitched made by us. We are hopeful that soon we will also get a spot in the temple and just like our father we will get a chance to stitch the clothes for Thakur Ji (Lord Ram) while sitting at the temple only,” Shankar adds.
As per rituals, Lord Ram dons different coloured clothes on different days of the week. On Monday the colour is white, on Tuesday the colour is Red, on Wednesday the colour is Green, on Thursday the colour is Orange, on Friday the colour is Cream, on Saturday the colour is Blue and on Sunday the colour of the clothes for Ram Lalla is pink.
However, this resting colour code will be broken for Sunday’s celebrations. “The clothes will be orange instead of pink as it is an auspicious occasion for all of us. We have clothes in the shades of green ready for Ram Lalla that will be worn by him on Wednesday,” the tailor says.
The fourth in their generation in the tailoring business, the brothers remember how their father Babu Lal used to take the sewing machine to the Ramjanmabhoomi premises to stitch the clothes of Ram Lalla. Interestingly, the exact measurements of Ram Lalla are purportedly only known to this family, which has been decking up the deity for decades now.
The precise tenants of this title-ship remain unknown , but according to locals, sometime back, a name ‘Babu Khan’ had emerged as the official tailor for Ram Lalla. How did the brothers feel about that? “We are only bothered about our work, and we know that we are the ones doing the actual job,” says Bhagwat.