Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ashthami 2011


A new blue filigreed chubby-baby sized blue Krishna clad in yellow robes, flute in hand was the special feature of Janmashthami this year. And the tall brass Diyas; both from Guruvayur, where my parents visited as part of their yearly Tamil Nad temple tour. They had carried it on their lap all through the return journey.

The golden Krishna that we previously had, had faded, and eventually fallen into pieces from its niche when my mother’s elbow had touched it when she was passing it. I had suggested discarding it long ago. But they had clung to it, unwilling to let go.

Like all old things break, making way for the new, this one had made way for the new Krishna. The joy of the new Krishna, its colour, its flawless expression, the filigree, and its sheer size made all forget the old one and the pain of losing it.
But along with that, the importance of ‘letting go’ was forgotten too. Tenacity was here to stay. Only an old love would be replaced by a new one.

The marble Krishna, a foot tall, a most cherished legacy, which used to adorn the centre of the Mantapa, now stood by the side of the new Krishna.
But size does not matter. We all understand that it is the magnum opus of all art in our home. And will be as long as…

As I had walked through the market in 4th Block, a bunch of peacock feathers had caught my fancy and I had bought 20 of them for three hundred rupees. I had been looking for a cow and calf – plastic or fibre or whatever. It would look so lovely with the Krishna. I had found a small one but its eyes were not kind. Then, I had found a really good sculpture but it was huge – half my size and there was no way I could have carried it to Mysore.
That’s when my eyes had fallen on the peacock feathers and I had bought them. Most of my beautiful possessions were found when I had been focusedly searching for something else. I am sure that is true is the case of most people.
Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.

Decorating the Mantapa was also peaceful and without incident. Usually there would be two opinions about what flowers to use, where and how to arrange them, where the heavy bunch of plantains would be hanged and where the coconuts, whether to use electric lights inside…
Sometime along, without realizing it, without discussing it, both I and my father had decided to let go. What mattered was our being happy and together on that day.
Living as we are in comfortable times, there is no scope for those big heroic sacrifices. But the small sacrifices make a big difference. They are the most difficult to make and their importance too, dawns upon us after so much precious time has been wasted. But better late than never.

Imprinting Krishna’s baby feet on the floor is a fascinating thing. You make a fist of one hand, dip the little finger side of the fist in a dilute paste of rice floor and press it on the floor. And then dip the tip of your forefinger in the floor and touch them five times above the feet creating the toes starting with the big toe first, so when you reach the little toe, you have used most of the floor and just a dot remains. And then after 1 hour of careful guarding, the things dry and you see Krishna’s feet entering the door and walking up to the Mantapa.

Some more alteration to the house had given us a bigger hall. I don’t see any scope for more alteration but with my father… you never know…

Making Rangoli peacocks on the floor with the stencil that also came from Guruvayur was fascinating too.

Regular as I am with my Suryanamaskaras, I ate without a care, all the sweets and snacks – Chakkuli, Thenkolal, Murukku, coconut burfee, seven cups and all…

Bro Murali was missing, saving up all his leave for his wedding. But the anticipation of the wedding and the joys it would bring, filled the lacuna caused by his absence.

Yet another Ashthami came. And went.



















5 comments:

Ranj said...

Beautiful pictures...especially the one that has the baby step imprints...How did u get that?

sam123 said...

looks great and nice writeup...
i loved krishna .. he looks so adorable as always... the most handsome man of all gods :-)

Ravi 拉维 said...

Hmm interesting topic... the foot prints of Krishna are so cute to look at..
Good to see you after soo long...

Anonymous said...

Real gem among lots of decoration
"Living as we are in comfortable times, there is no scope for those big heroic sacrifices. But the small sacrifices make a big difference. They are the most difficult to make and their importance too, dawns upon us after so much precious time has been wasted"
Nice thought.

kiren gantti said...

Seeing your pictures made me hum 'bhaavayami..'