3 days ago
Generation of artisans
Artisans near Bhaidegha Temple on Friday were busy carving stone and woods for the ongoing reconstruction process of Patan Durbar Square. Amongst them was a father-son pair carving stones. Surya Bahadur Ranjitkar is a 40 -year- old artisan who has been carving stone since he was 15 years old. Born in Bhaktapur, Surya learned the skill from his father, Aash Bahadur. Aash is 70-year old stone carver who still works along his son Surya.
“When I see my two sons aged 10 and 12 holding hammer and tools to carve stones. It reminds me of my childhood. Looking at them, it made me think about my initial days of stone carving,” said Surya. He has always worked around the places surrounded by grand monuments and structure. He worked at Hanuman Dhoka for 6 years and it has been 10 years in Patan and he still is continuing the work. Prior to that, he carved stone slates and paved structures in Banepa, Panauti, Manakamana and many more.
It’s a skill that has been passed from one generation to other where Surya’s grandfather too was an artisan. Remembering the old working days, Aash shared, “Along with my friends I worked during the reconstruction of Nyatapol Temple and its premises, then Golden Gate of Patan Durbar Square Museum and many more. We paved slates. On those days, we used to get Rs 5 as our payment for per month. But the value of money is different these days.”
Surya who works in Bhaktapur during the morning and in Patan during the day added, “Now the worth of that 5 Rupees has increased by many folds. Today, money’s worth has decreased a lot, as compared to my father’s time.”
Surya has worked during the construction of Bramhanal at Pashupatinath Temple, Nuwakot Durbar Square , Patan Durbar Square, Kalbhairab, to name a few. He reflected that after working with KVPT’s (Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust) he learnt making more designs on stone. “As a craftsman, my hands and clothes get dirty during work. People may say different things about it. But this is what I always wanted to do. Work is precious and I love my work, the skills which I have inherited,” said Surya Bahadur. He believes that his work will last for generations. This made him happy.