Chandra Bhaga silver moon in you is reflected

Chandra Bhaga silver moon in you is reflected
Chandravati temple sculpture

golden sun-rays kiss softly life and the Bells of Joy sing a hymn--Jhalawar-Patan

I do not know what to say now but I will come to you when the muse holds me in her inspiring arms!!

Search This Blog


Popular Posts

Saturday, March 19, 2011

India n Rajasthan--Beyond ordinary art, culture n philosophy

India after Independence had to fight on many fronts. Besides fighting demeaning poverty imposed by the British and Portuguese Colonists India had to fight to recover and purify its fine arts. Indian music, classical and folk dances, local folk theatre, songs and performances remained largely free from colonial influence. But same could not be said about visual fine arts--sculptures, paintings and drawings. The 'teaching' of Western European rules in creation of art in British created colleges implanted and bastardized Indian art practices into alien beliefs and concepts of aesthetics. The sad part is that British totally destroyed the philosophy and beliefs even in appreciating art. They judged Indian art as good if it fitted the Western rules of aesthetics; thus all local variations of art practiced by Indians were tagged as primitive and inferior to the canon.
The sad story is that this Eurocentrism still decides in terms of aesthetics and 'value'  the worth of art anywhere in the world including India. My travels across India and specially in Rajasthan could help me to study and compare Indian art with the Western art. Using Indian aesthetics and philosophy I carried out detailed analysis the result of which I present in my book Mona Lisa does not smile anymore. 
I have only this to say do not see Indian art with European glasses. The history and culture of our land is different from that of West and understanding of our art has to be with Indian glasses, only then you will appreciate its finer point. The fragrance of fire cooked tikde ( thick chapati made in Rajasthan) can not be compared with factory made bread.

My land and my people have kept our arts and culture alive, but we should not give up under globalization what was created by our forefathers over thousands of years. Go to Ahad Museum 2 km from  Udaipur and you will understand what our forefathers created 5000 years BP.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Durga in Rajasthan--Jhalra-Patan

Only in India that we have God in the form of woman. The Durga is a Goddess who leads in giving life, learning, destroying dark forces, and giving a boon of prosperity. From Rajasthan we used to have uncomfortable news about girl children and women. I hope what i saw recently may be true in a general way for Rajasthan. As I travelled across the state I saw girls of different ages going to school in hordes. I found better roads and parents putting their children on the bus and requesting the conductor to put the children down near their schools. The girl children also looked healthier. Though I know more needs to be done for nutrition of mothers, women, and children. The mid-day meals that I randomly was a witness to had at least very basic nutrion for the children.
Let the State, the opinion makers and people come together to take care of the real Durga and see to it that no child or woman is undernourished only then the blessings of Goddess can be reaped.
The Durga above is so beautiful and has a smile of blessing that is much sweeter than on the more famous painting of Mona Lisa. Look at her soft smile as if your own mother blesses you while she fights a difficult life to protect you. This Durga is from the Sun Temple of Jhalra-Patan town that touches me so deep. Indian art is one of the most Humanistic of religious arts anywhere in the world. This is the reason I felt to put this beautiful Ast-Bhuja (eight-armed) Durga in my book on Indian art and culture--Mona Lisa does not smile anymore. May our
Durgas as mothers and daughters become strong and healthy in health!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jhalrapatan, Jhalawar Rajasthan

My new book on Indian art Mona Lisa does not smile anymore owes a lot to Rajasthan in general and Jhalwar in particular. As I travelled time and again to Rajasthan trying to learn the great history of art of India, I garnered fresh insights in the minds of Indian artists from this part of my beautiful country. The areas of Bundi, Jhalwar, Kolvi, Menal, Bijolia, Kota have a common cultural heritage. The people of these areas even today are saturated in their cultural traditions. Almost in all the wonderfully exquisite temples that I visited in this area even today reflect same kind of simplicity of faith that created these temples a 1000 years or so earlier. This is true of all the Rajasthan. I met in these pristine old temples the simple, poor folk of my country incomparable in the warm welcoming smiles and they gave affection strangers rarely get anywhere.
In this Blog post I express my deepest gratitude and thankfulness to these great Indian. What is heartening is that the spiritual and social light of these folks was understood very well by the artists, sculptors, painters of India from centuries past. On the wall of all temples are gods and goddesses but are also simple village folk who are carrying on their daily activities or are rejoicing in the music and dance. Such a cameo of the life of ordinary people I did not find anywhere in the world including Europe, where the focus is mostly on religious narrative.
Some European historians suggest that Indians being laid back and fatalist I have refuted in my Mona Indians from time past never questioned or denigrated other cultures and faiths though they kept to their own in harshest of circumstances. The faith of Indians is a fine example of freedom in religion. There is no organised centralised religious control. There is no dominant religious authority that controls and guides the laity. The God is personalised and a village farmer or an artisan making pottery is as free to find his communion with higher powers as a rich industrialist living in a 2 billion dollar mansion.
I owe this insight to the common people of India who never hold themselves back from sharing their simple joys in religion and with other humans.