Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This evening, I  was  glancing through my photo album in  after a long time.  Till 2010, I was a regular visitor there. I used to upload photos regularly. Afterwards, I became irregular .

To-day,when I discovered  a photo  of a dilapidated building I took in my late grandfather's village Shimulia way back in January,2007 is the 'most-viewed' photo of my photostream in, I was pleasantly surprised. looking back ....

I purchased a HP digital camera in 2002 when I visited USA in connection with a meeting on Green Belt training. That was a much simpler camera compared to what we use loades with present day's technology. ir used to work fine with Eveready's red pencil batteries. Low resolution photos it took - however, my brush with digital photography was through  that camera of HP.  I captured many moments of personal and professional moments with aid of that simple camera.Later, the camera's battery cover's hinge developed a problem , causing loose connection at critical moments.

When my elder son brought a Canon A520 in December,2006 from the USA for me, I was relieved. It was just at the time of my retirement from professional life  - soon after signing off from DCIPS in Calcutta, I went to Shimulia - to pay my obeisance to Charchika Kali and to have a few days of holidays in a  rural setting.

Little did I know that I shall have problem with supply of batteries. My Eveready 'red' batteries gave up during the very 1st day of my arrival. It was at 12.26 pm when last of the batteries died and .....
this was my last shot :
Viewed 4261 times in
as on 12/03/2013.

No supply was available in that village . I  however managed to take lots of photos with a borrowed contraption for charging batteries from one of my cousin's neighbour. The shots of an old ruin of a palace was quite liked  my friends - but, that is another story.

Thursday, June 6, 2013



Those who are worshipers of  Siva the super-ascetic may please stay away from this blog.

Idea of  writing this blog occurred to me when I could get a decent copy of  'Purusha/Prakriti' painting by  Bikash Bhattacharya during an internet search for my desktop background.  This painting - interpreted and discussed by many - is an unforgettable work of BB. Immediately , my thought turned to Sanatan Dinda's 'Durga' of Barisha Club, Puja-2012.

Famous painting by late Bikash Bhattacharya on the theme of 
'Purusha' and 'Prakriti',
marked for its social connotation.
Source - internet.
Lots of words , explaining background/origin of a concept and its evolution  through centuries and various mediums of expression,  are required to tackle the subject of this title. But, I have no big 'funda' on this subject. Therefore, whatever I write here is my very humble personal exposure to the big philosophy of 'Purusha and Prakriti' practiced by various religious groups across the sub-continent and neighbouring countries.

Variation of this concept  has been noted by philosophers studying religions and their practices  in various continents through ages.RamPrasad Sen has used this concept in many of his songs offering obeisance to Kali.  Dan Brown invoked this  concept in his famous book 'Da Vinci Code'.  I wonder if well-known Bengali writer late Probodh Kumar Sanyal used  the concept - somewhat superficially - in a few of his novels.  More visible are the creations of sculptors and painters - a selection from my collection will be presented here.

'Sankhya' is the  book to get at the root of this dualist concept. 'Purusha' is Consciousness , unchanging. "Prakrkiti' is the primordial force and ' material cause of the world'. It is through  intimate interaction of 'Purusha' and Prakriti' , life is created/sustained.The Dualism  can be identified in Yin and Yang of the Chinese, in Avalokiteswara and Tara in Vajrayana or Tantrik Buddhism and ....... in Siva and Shakti of Hindu Saivites.

Siva ( ithyphallic)  & Parvati @ 
Parashurameswara temple ,Bhuvaneswara.

Siva linga on square Gauripatta - 
anionic interpretation of Siva and Shakti.
from a small temple @ SriMukhalingam, A.P.
Iconic and anionic interpretations  of Siva and Shakti abound in Hindu temples.  Siva is super-ascetic - he is  the 'consciousness' of   'Purusha' too. In context with another Blog I wrote years ago, I found this interpretation of Siva's imagery is difficult for some modern day Saivites to accept. Nevertheless, interpretations of philosopher's and artist's  of the duo can be subject of a very interesting study. Let us examine a few more here :

Above is a Tantrik interpretation of  'Purusha' and Shakti. Here we find 'Kali' as  Shakti on top of passive 'Purusha'  - as if 'passed out' after a session of opium -  in one of the terra cotta temples of Baronagar.

Notable here is the similarity and difference from the 17th century interpretation of  Shakti vis-a-vis 'Purusha'.  Devi is on top of 'Purusha' in both the depictions. But,Sanatan has portrayed 'Purusha' not as inert or passive. He has gone deeper into  Tantra  in planning this imagery where there several layers. I have stopped at the stated interpretation of this unconventional imagery - more on this at appropriate juncture.

Present day interpretation of  Siva and Shakti. 
Devi has transformed the 'evil self ' of Mahishasura . What we find here is consciousness of 'Purusha' supporting Shakti !  
Sanatan Dinda's creation @ Barisha Club, Calcutta. Puja - 2012.

 One very interesting point of this 'work' of Sanatan is the cluster where faces of lion,'Mahisha' and Siva co-exist. In Sankhya, it is 'Prakriti' which has manifestation of 'Sattwa', 'Rajah' and 'Tamo gunas' . Here,  the artist has created a reverse imagery - the 'Purusha' manifests the three 'Gunas' !

Three Indian painters have become famous for their interpretation of  Tantra  and interplay of 'Purusha and Prakriti' .  The oldest among them is late Nirode Majumdar who also  contributed to a book on RamPrasad Sen's songs on Kali ('Song for Kali:A Cycle of Images and Songs'- published by Seagull). SH Raza and Ghulam Rasool Santosh have created  niche for their work based on Tantra among connoisseurs. A painting of GR Santosh titled 'Siva-Shakti' is copied here from the internet :

'Siva-Shakti' by Ghulam Rasool Santosh.
Source - Internet.

During last ten years, Sanatan Dinda has used Tantra-inspired motif of 'Yantra'  several times. I follow his current work in Durga's pavilions as he brings out complex interpretation of 'Purusha and Prakriti' there. Revelers of Calcutta Pujas may miss out  some of his imageries and/or their inner meaning - more on this subject in a separate blog.

Nandalal Basu painted 'Annapurna' where Siva is shown as an emaciated 'Nataraja'. Here the 'Purusha' is suffering - not the 'consciousness' unaffected by external factors. Debatable subject - let us have a look :

 AnnaPurna by Nandalal Basu.

 Is this a portrayal of Avalokiteswara and Tara ?
Buddhist Monastery, Bylakuppe, Karnataka.

The last photo of this blog is from Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Bylakuppe, Karnataka.Their interpretation of Vajrayana Buddhism has a lot of imageries of a  'Purusha' - with specific traits and power - and his consort in deep embrace.More erudite person can compare the inner meaning/s of the imageries,  passive-vs-active 'Purusha' and explain the complexity.  Present blog's scope ends with recording the visuals from my computer's HDD.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Title page of my Dissertation

Now that the course on 'Appreciation of Indian Art' at RMIC,Golpark is over, dissertations of Ruby and mine has been submitted , a photo-feature on Dancers of Chennkesava Temple, Belur and Surya Temple, Konark for 'AISHEE' is written and pushed out to Banani's comp., my hands are free and  I can spend some time on this Blog.

Title Page of Ruby's Dissertation

Well, last blog was written on 22/02/13 which means  I am back to this section after about 14 weeks. During this period, my hips and legs were at war-path with me. Long sitting posture = more acute pain. A good part of  dissertation writing/editing was done on my laptop with me in a reclining posture on a divan.
 One of the photo-combo from my article for 'AISHEE'

Dissertation writing and editing was an exposure to MS Publisher software, which is quite indequate for preparing two 7000-words-30to40-photos ensembles. Anyway, managed the task, with 'n' nos of revisions of the two dissertations .Last month, I discovered a set-up for digital printing @ Hazra Road crossing. Colour was not very good for  photos of Belur/Halebid. Just about OK for the purpose we went to them.But, very co-operative people they were. And... I did not have to run to Surya Sen Street what I thought at one stage unavoidable.

Time to start work on photos taken during 2012 Puja . The note on Sanatan Dinda  and Shib Shankar Das is lying on my desk unattended ! Soon, the Powerpoint presentations will start taking shape.

'YANTRA' @ Barisha Club, creation - Sanatan Dinda. Puja- 2012