Wednesday, July 20, 2011


 Siva and SaptaMatrika in fierce battle with Andhakasura and Gajasura :Wall-relief  above the main entrance to Inner sanctum

Front view of  SriMukhalingam temple. There are several temples 
around the main temple in the compound

The main temple of SriMukhalingam is built around the theme of warrior and fierce image of Siva. SaptaMatrika are in his side, Andhakasura and Gajasura on the other. Siva is depicted in the fierce image of  Bhairava, with his fangs  exposed - not only when he is engaged in fights, but also when he is dancing after vanquishing  Andhakasura and Gajasura. Siva  is ithyphallic, very masculine - the whole temple , as I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, exudes masculinity and valour !

Front view of  SriMukhalingam Temple.
View of Wall-relief obstructed due to the 'Amloka' of the Mandapa in front.

Taking photograph of the wall-relief  I am writing on was extremely difficult.It would be apparent from the photograph above. The wall-relief is practically at the centre of the  wall on which the door to the inner sanctum of the temple is located, just above of the roof of the Mandapa at the entrance - with naked eyes, one can hardly see the details of the central portion, leave out those of the four parts of the panel at top, bottom, LH and RH sides. Apart from the distance, the other problem is that this wall-relief, though at the centre of the front wall, can be photographed from the right side of the entrance. I found no way of viewing it from the left side of the entrance. Shall try to capture more details if I re-visit this temple in future.

 Sub-divisions of the wall-relief.

Actually, after I downloaded the shots in my computer   and catalogued the lot, I realised  the importance of this wall-relief. From none of the shots I could take, the characters of the bottom arc was clear.

On closer inspection. I could see that the wall-relief is divided into  five sections ( see above). The central part  depicts the core scene - the most important part of the event - Siva and SaptaMatrika engaged in fierce battle with Andhakasura. The top arc has Gajasura trampling Siva's soldiers. The LH and RH arc have a story of a healer woman - well, I know nothing about the details to-day.The lower part, as I have already mentioned, is hardly visible. I have selected these portions one after the other, 'insert'ed them in separate powerpoint pages, wrote out notes and converted .ppt document to .jpg format. Please read through the notes on the lower margin .

 Central Portion - 
 The most important part of this Wall-relief

Siva standing  @ the centre, holding a big mace in his right hand  and a pot of Andhakasura's blood in his left . He wears a big moustache. His matted hair falls on his shoulder . All these and  a huge erect phallus (symbolises his Yogic control over ejaculation  - called 'Urdhareta/UrdhaLinga) create the 'image' of a very masculine  naked warrior in the thick of a  battle. SaptaMatrika are around him , fighting Andhakasura and his soldiers. Andhakasura is regenerating ( read about the story of this battle in )  while one of the seven Matrikas drink the blood of Andhakasura from the pot in Siva's hand.

Peripheral - LH
Peripheral - RH

I could not fathom the 'story' of the healer  woman, as depicted in the Peripherals - LH and RH.But, that there is a 'story' is clear. Whatever little I have understood about it, I have cited in the respective photo inserts.If any reader  has a clue about the background , please do share it with me.
Noticeable in this temple as well as the smaller temples in SriMukhalingam village are the various stories of religious persons, Devdasis and devotees of those days on the gates and external walls.This healer woman must be quite important to appear in close proximity of Siva and SaptaMatrika.

In the concluding paragraph, I shall  return to the subject of  Siva's battle with Andhakasura and Gajasura.   Andhakasura was born in the surroundings of  Siva and Parvati, was brought up  as a foster son of Hiranyalsha , was a very successful warrior and his end came when he cherished Parvati.He had the power of re-generation - so he fought a long battle with Siva. He survived as emaciated 'Bhringee' after he got pardon from Siva and ,very likely, from Parvati too. Gajasura was killed and dancing Nataraja is seen holding elephant's hide in numerous wall reliefs ( ).

Sunday, July 17, 2011



I read about the  drama  enacted by 'Kasba Arghya'  group in Sunday 'Pratidin' published on 21/6/11. I searched for the group in the internet and found  them in the Facebook. I also found Anirban Ghosh, Ranit Modak and Seema Ghosh - the principal actors - in the Facebook. I enquired and learnt from them about their next show - which was @ Madhusudan Mancha on 24/6/11. It was quite a  wet evening - but we did not want to miss the chance.

 Anirban Ghosh as Indrajit.

The effort was worth-making.We were  rewarded with a performance that touched our heart.  An intelligent yet simple stage setting, excellent  lighting, music and choreography.  Ranit  and Seema performed in various roles - Ranit and Anirban simultaneously enacted the scene of 'Nikumbhila Yagna',  which was very well-conceived and  well-enacted. Over-all impact of direction of Maneesh Mitra and presentation by his team leave a deep impact on the viewer.

 Ranit and Seema.

A couple of years ago, I visited the temple cluster of Guptipara . The temple dedicated to Ramachandra has a long wall-relief on  'Nikumbhila Yagna', This wall-relief was crafted with a perspective in view , with Meghnaad in the 'front' and Lakshman aided by Bibheeshan was shown entering the scene stealthily towards the 'rear'. This panel is certainly a remarkable panel , created decades before Michael conceived and wrote 'Meghnaad Badh Kavya'.

This  wall-relief on 'Nikumbhila Yagna' inspired me a lot, I brought the copy of Michael's anthology from my library and enjoyed a his epic creation another time. That was the time when I wrote my blog
'Slaying of Meghnaad - a ballad' (

Needless to say, I had a special attraction towards this drama - 'Meghnaad Badh Kavya'. I must say that both Ruby and I enjoyed the drama a lot. I do have a few comments to make - I intend to share the link with 'Kasba Arghya' and hope that the Director and the team will accept the comments in a positive frame of mind.

First the positives. The production - lighting, sound - and music , stage setting, acting of Ranit, Seema and Anirban,  'Chow'-dance  - well the Director knows all these. He must have received many accolades  for all these and more. Shadow dance of Ranit , wallow of Ravan , 'Indrajit 1 and 'Indrajit 2' during 'Nikumbhila Yagna' in 3rd scene are the bits what we carried in our heart !The few areas where he can improve upon  are here :
  • Was Pinaki Biswas  present in the stage show of 24/06/11 ? Why there was hardly any 'Kathakali' dance movement of Ravan on that day? Ravan, tall and elegant in the make-up and costume of a Kathakali dancer  appeared on the stage and stood nearly still !
  • Pronunciation of one the two 'Kathak's - the one who was in the right-side of the audience - need improvement.He has miles to go.
  • Indrajit was a great warrior. Why he would need so much effort to put string on his own bow ? May be Ranit was asked to show off his dancing skill - but his endeavour did not match the storyline.
  • Ranit acting as Chitrangada and Seema  acting as Ravan  did not look OK to me. May be the Director showcased the actors' versatility. But, I was not impressed.
  • Involvement  of the gods, their conspiracy  in Lakhsman slaying Indrajit have  been blanked off totally ! Director's liberty - but, I could not agree with the same.
Nonetheless, I shall recommend this production strongly. Enjoy the very interesting production of 'Meghnaad Badh Kavya' directed by Maneesh Mitra.

 'Nikumbhila Yagna'  
Wall-relief  from Rama Temple, Guptipara.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011


    A lovely party wear, can be given to the bride as an addition to her wardrobe, which she would treasure. It is done with a combination of two materials. Half is done in lace and half is tissue. The two piecesare then  joined .Next, the design is done upon. The work is done in such a way that it is difficult to make out the joint itself.The design has been done in silk and sequence and stones.

    These are a close look to the design itself.

    This is a combination of lace and chiffon, the work has been done on it. You can have a closer look to the details of the design below.

    The sky blue raw silk kurta with hand crafted designs done on it.It brings out grace of a man of any age. Excellent for Indian party wear,shows our culture which we should be proud of . One can   make it a regular wear during such occasions we can call them our 'own'. Or showcase it in any other social event too.
    A peep into the design can be taken in the next close up.


    Photos of designs by 'Ruby's Boutique' on the occasion of marriage of Sujash and Moumita

    Sujash and Moumita. The Kurta of Sujash designed by 'Ruby.

    Silk cloth used as base and silk threads and jari threads have been used for the works done by hand by artisans.Design idea and colour combination has been done by me.
    Details of Sujash' kurta.

    The sherwani are done in South raw silk as base,the work is done using kashmiri stitches and a varied number of stitches,again lot of jari and silk threads have been used to bring out the motifs,a pains taking work done the the artisans.Was highly appreciated by invitees.
    The lehenga has been done in brocade cloth,the blouse is in south raw silk and the top in tissue silk.The design has been thought for months before being worked upon. There are a lot of thread sequence and stone work done on it.
    Men's dupatta has been specially bought from Bikaner to bring out the authentic look.
    Sujash, Moumita and Surath wear Sherwani  and Lehenga designed by me.

    Details of the needle work of Sujash' Sherwani.

    The above pictures offer a closer look into the designs.

    The South silk has  a shaded mauve colour sari with a second shade of blue hue showing. It is a perfect blend of colours, the work just complements the whole sari in totality. A perfect evening wear,for a reception or a party wear.One would love to own it, a princely possession I would like to believe.

    One of the masterpiece the karigar has done, could really bring out the imagination on cloth which I could design on paper. Silk-Thread, sequences have been used to give it a dimension I was looking for.