Monday, 2 December 2013

Needle by My Side - Guest Post by Financial analyst Renuka Mahajan

Since childhood, I’ve watched my mother knit, do crochet, make rugs with a hook and do needlework. She always encouraged us three sisters to follow suit and we all succumbed.

Till today I love to do my needlework - I find it therapeutic and my evenings are spent mindlessly watching TV and mindfully stitching. Where I get a large sense of fulfilment is when I create these cushions or picture frames for a loved one. The time spent, laboriously painful at times, seems worth every moment when I see that face light up in gratitude and admiration.
Coming from a business background I was never in desperate need materially, however I felt a huge void spiritually so I joined a group in Mumbai called Vedanta Life Institute headed by Sri A Parthasarthy affectionately called 'Swamiji'. This changed my life for it made me realize that there is more to life than just birth, marriage and death.
I've stitched for a charitable cause organized by the Vedanta Life Institute, selling embroidered napkins and mats on a matted blank cloth, which I made by following a pattern from a cross stitch book. Challenging and fun. Stitching for others has its own sense of fulfilment. Even creating a financial plan for my clients, which is my vocation, does not give me as much satisfaction as making embroidery for someone I love. Then I discovered these tapestry kits by ‘Dimensions’ in the UK which had all the guidelines of how to follow the marked out pattern  and included the required needles and coloured threads. The cat series and other pictures were made using these kits.

When I'm stitching my mind is empty & yet brimming with thoughts, I'm relaxed and at the same time counting the stitches to make sure I don't make any mistakes. It's just me and my handiwork, uncomplicated, unquestioning, and undemanding. I'm at peace.
This is a dying art in this fast paced world but the luxury of slowing down and introspecting while you create this work of art is unparalleled to all the physical wealth that one collects. It's everlasting till the body permits and something to look forward to at the end of a chaotic day.
When I wear the woolly cap my mother had knitted for me I feel proud and consoled about the fact that my embroidered tapestry is cushioning her back or soothing her feet as a foot rest.

 I carry my needle work with me wherever I go; it's always by my side.



  1. Renuka, I have been thinking about your post and was wondering if your sisters still do needle work. You mention that your mother encouraged all three and all of you "succumbed." Did they take it up with the same kind of passion as you did? And what about your children, do either your son or daughter sew? Has the tradition been passed on?