The facial make of the divine circle of fire in the classical performing art form of KATHAKALI in Kerala in India is highly fascinating one. This is an incarnation of the weapon of Lord Mahavishnu in the mythology of India.This represents the true spirits of vision and amazing power of virtue that overpower the lust and the vice. This is the version of the facial make of the character in a play of the legend in praise of the Lord.(What is seen in the image here is the painting I did in oil on canvas last year,depicting the face of the character as depicted in the format of the classical performance on the stage of KATHAKALI).
Before the Ages , during a winter,a loving pair had eloped from the city of castles and searched for a place of rescue so as to fulfill their pursuit of love enduring…till the end of the world!….they finally reached a plateau which had been deserted by a war of some sectarians, a few decades back…
There they erected a home of logs and bamboos that had been left by the last inhabitants of the plateau.
By the time the winter grew denser and they thought of spending the time by embracing each other for long…and got into a prolonged embrace for hours to survive the cold of the season….;the fire of togetherness began to ignite profoundly within them and the icebergs around them started melting soon..!!The dense icebergs so melted down started flowing out of the spot…like a turbulent stream of rivers emerging out of a mountain of high altitude….;Obviously it was a river that had sprang up from the heat of their amounting passions…
Now that the river had turned the plateau into a green land of shades and there formed a blue lake around them!!!
The loving pair who were lost in the cold blue lake began their talk in the subdued tone of love by the time of forgetfulness like this,
The love told: “I’m all that of a hill surrounded by a lake”
The lover replied: “Yes,I’m all that of the rocks that maintains this blue lake around you, conjuring up the undercurrents of your powerful dreams that blooms out into real out of this plateau of rescue…”
Then the love told him: “All that flows out of me are the kisses you spread over my cliffs and the strokes you fill upon my valleys …every day and night…!! ”
And the story went on till the end of the winter.
Now I hope , my ‘Lake Around The Hills‘ is about to reverberate their subdued sound of Love in dense winter.
The classical style of dance renders everything in classicism.There is a story of a tribal magician who had practiced charms in the courts of ancient India during the Period of Vedas; he belonged to the southern mountains and lived along with his wife and son.The story originates as an extreme version of the Indian Classic Mahabharatha and has its own performing version in the classical style in Kathakali,the dance drama.This play is quite well-knit for the stage and charming to the audience especially due to its dramatic stage appearance.As it is told,the main characters are the tribal man and his wife.They are called ‘Malayan’and ‘Malayatthy’ respectively;’Malaya stands for the man of the hills and Malayatthy for the woman.I have watched the play many times on the stage and made attempts to paint them in poster colors during my boyhood while getting in touch with the early lessons in painting on paper.
The theme had never a fading effect in my theater experience and later on my teenage I was again caught up with the same and expressed it in a more realistic color scheme…but the forms remained almost the same.Then my attempt was to capture the moods of the couple in more natural way in expression maintaining the classic postures of dancing and drama.Although ,I have tried to ornament them with costumes having enough tribal splendor!
The theme was still with me even after a wide gap of years in my youth and multiple experiences both in life and career.At this time ,I had kept away from the places of performances and concentrated only on my job in administration management.Once I thought of painting a subject, the theme resurrected in my sensibility and I decided to paint the couple in a new attire and style of format.Thus, I painted my latest ‘Performers in Duet’ in oil color on canvas…!
The streams went full in the childhood days in monsoon and the rocks on either side were often remained active with fish jumping out while on rains quite overwhelming and spontaneous. overflows from the hills added strength to the shallow currents in the stream then!But when the rains are over and the flowing outs lose their pull, the surface level of the water remains almost still and the bottom levels look clear and everything beneath appear transparent from the top.Then the creatures inside the water would be quite visible and we were keeping around the water bodies for hours to look into the fish-dwellings in the ponds situated not far away from the main streams…sometimes my father would be curious to net some kind of colorful fish and bring home to show us them inside some flat vessels among some pebbles and water plants he had collected from those ponds.My father had passed away eight years ago! When I happened to see an underwater theme park last year, I remembered the tiny and cute aquarium made by my father with the household vessels during my childhood days out of the small but wonderful ‘Pisces’ from the nearby ponds!!!
Years back I got many more convincing feedbacks on the life in water bodies, from my early experiences and I have summed up whatever I had explored on the theme in my painting called.’The Pisces Configuration’ which I had finished last year.
- An interface between man and woman has been highlighted since the age of civilizations everywhere in the world.In the Holy Bible,it is told as they had found themselves in the Garden of Eden , begun dwelling over there for the generations to come upon the earth thereafter . From the
stories emerged elsewhere in the history of distinctive parts of the world, it is found that the passion in love and lust towards each other has been inspiring generations in cultivating any sort of life anywhere….!
- Generally, a space of garden provides a place for a man and woman to interact with each other quite well..and their first and foremost plane of meeting would also be laid in the concept of garden by itself!
- Followed by the facts found in the past, people develop plans of life styles and social circles around the theme of gardens so as to prove that the basic instinct behind every system of attachment has not been changed yet! the world of animals also reiterates the same fact!
- While conceiving the theme on man-woman relationship for a painting in oil on canvas last year, I have rethought about the ancient gardens and the sensuousness that bloomed around there over the ages …not afresh but from the past sketches in the same mold, I tried to set up a backdrop of garden where two human faces meet against with intense passion towards each other;they personify two characters as counterparts infringed by the labels of flames in the shades of day and night.
- In this work , the figures look as if they were constituting the elements in a garden by emerging themselves not only as two human figures but in the forms of light and darkness that kindles an attitude of passion and pathos in the air of mutual understanding igniting the love and lust within themselves.
The yellows denote a color of bloom generally that catches up with light,heat and fragrance to the heart of viewers. It is thought more or less as the color of blossoms that sprang up in the early midsummer so as to have a healing touch to the eyes against the hottest sun with a proclamation that the fertility of the earth is quite surviving all the challenges of the seasons!
In the spring season festivities celebrated in Kerala,the southern part of India, flower spread outs laid out in circular forms pose a symbolic representation of the seasons that occur profoundly in nature wherein each and every season is represented by the petals of flowers varying in colors and radiance and the prominent layers in yellow underlining the vividness of the entire form.All these efforts are to commemorate the dynamism of nature that brings fertility back into the earth on completion of each circle of the seasons. This bondage between the earth and the seasons that rejuvenate the essential spirits of all natural inhibits of this world is in a sense of life, is somewhat ‘nondetachable’ and motherly. So when I conceived one of my latest works in oil, I named it “The Nondetachable Bondage” wherein the visibility of attachment in terms of affection and affinity are unveiled in the shades of yellows with softest contrasts and the mild and blooming forms of motherliness!