Friday, February 22, 2013



An overview of the inner sanctum. 
Devi's depiction unfurled from a 'scroll'.
She has no weapons but her trident as the demons have been vanquished. Trident raised upwards in right arm transfer the thrust diagonally through her left leg  touching 
one of the two demons in subjugation.

A view of the entrance to the  main pavilion. 
Black-on-white illuminated paintings of  Devi's emergence and battles adorn the pathway.

During 2012 , I had an opportunity to pursue the build-up of Sanatan's work at Jodhpur Park while the pavillion was getting ready - thanks to a  friend of mine, associated  with Press and the organisers of the Puja committee. I had two face-to-face meets with Sanatan during this phase and I appreciate his sharing with me bits of  his thought process which went into his iconography of Devi in 2012.  Sanatan creates an ambiance for the iconography within the pavilion and the path leading to it - viewer's mind and eyes get 'conditioned' . The best time to appreciate and photograph such work of 'art' is to visit Sanatan's pavilions at an hour  when only serious pandal-hoppers are there and not a jostling crowd.  For us, the convenient time was the dawn of Saptami.

Arms raised in conferring divine blessing ....... 
as well as seeking the same.

At JP pavilion, Sanatan  has  repeated a motif of extended arms and palms . Of Devi, granting solace and blessing (barabhaya). Of gods and goddesses accompanying her. In the characters of his decoration - trying to reach out , seeking the divine blessing. There is only one character in the whole show whose hands are not extended - the lower cog of a scroll on which Devi is depicted.

 In typical Sanatan's signature style, this man stares  at Devi with soulful look.  There are other 'souls' too in this frame who extend their hands upwards. All these characters are in the right-hand side of the 'scroll' in which Devi has been pictured  in state of non-equilibrium. She has her eight hands on her left side in an arc, arms extended and palms stretched in posture of granting blessings, vanquished demons - looking very human - pressed under her left feet and the lower roll of the 'scroll' - all on the left hand side of the frame we face. A great effort towards de-construction of Durga's iconography.

 Very small sized Lakshmi and Saraswati, painted on the unfurled 'scroll'.

 Triangles and small circles, signature mark of Sanatan Dinda.

 A few 'tantric' motifs , plenty of lotus - on Devi's being and among adornment of the pavilion,  and  illuminated black-on-white paintings on   Shakti's emergence - done in Hussain's style appeal to the discerning viewers. For last couple of years, I am following Sanatan's  installations with interest and I am very happy with the photos Ruby and I have on my HDD. Anyone who needs more of JP Puja's photos of 2012 may please get in touch with me.

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