Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Madhubani During Diwali


Today is the second day after Diwali and the small Madhubani painting I made on Diwali night is still in our aangan (front-yard).  The cleaning lady haven't scrubbed it off yet and hopefully it will stay there until the next Diwali. 

I have painted this small painting on the marble floor using acrylic/fabric paint, the same I use for painting on paper and on cloth and if not scrubbed bu force, it tends to stay for as long as a year. I know it because my mother-in-law makes Laxmi's feet every year and it stays until the next year.

Diwali Madhubani

Although I am not aware of what Diwali means to the people in Bihar, what Madhubani drawing would they make and what symbols would they use, I made a painting about what Diwali means to me and how I see it.

My daughter's Diwali drawing which I "spoiled" by coloring
In this painting I have made a sun (body of light), two trees from the sides (only stems are visible), two ladies holding candle and diya (Indian clay candle). My father-in-law first said it reminded him of the saying: "Suraj ko diya dikhana" ("Show diyas to the sun" which would mean the same as "The beggar gives money to the rich" or "The egg teaches the hen" as far as I understand.)

My daughter's diya made of paper.
In my philosophy sun or moon represent a deity.  It doesn't really matter if it's sun or moon, however they both are the bodies of cosmos and they both are "heavenly". They both provide some light. The moon gives us the nice cool light at night and the sun is what brings the whole nature to life.  The sun is hot and active, the moon is cold and passive. The sun is warmth motherly giver and the moon is like an old enlightened Buddha, helping to contemplate "inner peace" and look within.

This painting simply reflects a fragment from the Diwali celebrations, thinking about the light's victory over the darkness, all forms of light, the auspicious things, offering and gifting, meeting with friends and relatives, being at home, eating sweat things, decorating and enjoying the art, tradition and beauty together with the cosmic bodies. Just like we can feel that special spirit during Christmas when all streets are decorated and every home smells of a Christmas tree. In the similar way we can feel that unearthly presence during Diwali, when, even those who live in red brick huts, erect few candles and light them.  Diwali is the Indian Christmas and it's one of the most amazing festivals in the world.

Doing Evening Pooja (prayer) At Home


The usual way to decorate house during Diwali is not Madhubani painting though. It is rangoli. Rangoli is a way of decorating using rangoli powder. Various ornaments and designes can be made using this powder and it's usually done on the floor, near the entrance, near the door or stairs. The back of the house is rarely decorated.

The Flower that My Mother-in-Law made out of marigold garland and its leaves, the green leaves are made of rangoli powder. 
Diyas and rangoli flowers made of multicolored powder on the table inside the drawing room.

Many painted flowers (using a paper shape) made using acrylic paint.
My mother-in-law's mango shaped Diwali decorations - a typical design found in Indian folk art.
Mango shaped red decorations from glitter paper and mirrors
Yellow color mango shaped Diwali decorations made using glitter paper, stars and mirrors

Simple rangoli made of powder.
This is a combination of different mediums. The green is a rangoli sticker with some clay diyas scattered around. On the sides there are read rangoli flowers and some mango shaped designs that my Mother-In-Law made herself using the glitter paper and mirrors.


Mayank said...

Your art is great but more then this your views about Sun and Moon are great and I pasted the paragraph in my favorite quotation with your name at the end.


CrazyLassi said...

Thank you! It feels nice you quoted it :)

Vasudha Somayaji said...

Nicely depiction...

Ankit Jha said...

Dear Egle,

Very nice write up. I was id my childhood days when our grannie used to paint these wonderful paintings. But alas! Now, no grannie. And no Madhubani paintings either. This really perturbed my feelings almost 2 years ago. And I started www.emithilahaat.com to promote and preserve this art form. Thanks for sharing this wonderful write up.


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