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The Monsoon Festival 16

जल देवी (Water Goddess): Series 2

After having explored the trinity of river goddesses, we now look at a few examples of the generic image of the Water Goddess. Unlike the river goddess, the water goddess represents the element of water per se, and is independent of affinities with any specific named water body as such. She could be imaged in a river, or a pond, or any other water body. She typically holds a kalash (water vessel); and normally, is not associated with a vahana (animal-vehicle). Generally, such generic images of the Water Goddess are quite rare to come by, unlike the Ganga - Jamuna...

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जल देवी (Water Goddess): The Trinity

Some years ago, while rummaging through hundreds of miniature paintings in an antique store, we came across an image which immediately caught our attention. It must have been the protagonist, a water-goddess, in her glorious flaring skirt, that drew us to this work. The जल देवी immediately came home, and gradually we fell in love with her. Until that point in our collecting history, we did not have any images of water goddesses in our stash. The water goddess’s homecoming started a new chapter in our collection : we started researching the iconography of this theme; of which so little is known,...

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श्रीनाथजी दर्शन (Viewing Shrinathji)

After कृष्ण-छाप (Krishna’s Imprint), where we explored various facets of Krishna’s life; we now launch another enquiry into his life and deeds, as seen in one of the most abiding visual idioms connected with his personage: the Nathdwara school. After exploring the mass appeal of prints, that made him popular amongst a wide laity; we delve into श्रीनाथजी दर्शन (Viewing Shrinathji): some unique and intimate darshans from the Nathdwara school.  Diametrically opposed to the popular appeal and availability of prints, we encounter the secret spectacle of Nathdwara. Photography is prohibited till date in Shrinathji’s temple, and the lack of photographic...

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कृष्ण-छाप (Krishna’s Imprint)

Monsoon Man Krishna / सावनाधिराज कृष्ण Krishna’s life embodies an inseparable connection with the elements From love, to ecology to discovering the inner song... Krishna is an intrinsic part of the Monsoon experience, by many virtues: his very birth on a dark Bhaadon night, full of torrential rain sets the tone for his continuing romance with the elements. Repeatedly through his life, whether it be the story of Kaliya Mardan, Govardhan Leela and many others; he foregrounds a love for the earth, the elements; and an abiding connection with ecology, ideas that the Monsoon season in India embodies. Furthermore, if Monsoon...

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Ma-re-Pa: The Malhaars (Playlist)

To celebrate Monsoon 2021, we leave you with a playlist of Monsoon melodies - raag Malhar ke Prakar from the Hindustani tradition. Follow us on Spotify and watch out for more monsoon inspired playlists this season!      The festival logo this year is a visual representation of the musical phrase “Ma-re-pa” that is the characteristic signature of the Malhaar group of ragas. Hence, our opening playlist, celebrates the grandeur of the Malhaar.  The Malhar family of Ragas traces its genesis back to the pentatonic Shuddha Malhar, which is not very popular in performance today, but is considered the paternal raga of...

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