Buddha and Tara : MAG in Pune

IMG_0184The moment we entered in their house we sensed the serenity and vastness of that of Himalayas. There was a couple standing with parental smiles on their face to welcome us.
Tara (Mohanan) aunty and (KP) Mohanan uncle: the celebrated linguist couple welcomed us in their home with open heart. We instantly fell in love with them and were mesmerized by their simplicity and generosity.
Over the next four days these two educators shared their knowledge with us with unmatched humor and jokes.
Tara aunty knew exactly what she wanted on their wall but instead of forcing her choice she allowed Meenakshi all possible liberties while painting the subject. In addition they suggested and explained various other probabilities in the process of painting.

The Buddha with his eight symbols which Meenakshi painted was not a painting. It was a learning experience for both of us. It was one of the most meticulous works Meenakshi has ever done on a wall.
For four days we kept talking to the learned couple about everything under the sun and they helped me in untying many knots of my life.
One of them was the fear of mathematics. For the first time after Class VIIth I realized that I love mathematics. Uncle said that my math-phobia is not a rare case. 90 percent of students begin to hate mathematics because of bad teachers.
On the other hand Tara aunty shared her knowledge of colours, music and the art of photography.
One night uncle came to us with his set of special Chinese ink brushes and explained many finer nuances of painting. We began to feel that a few days are too little even to estimate the span of their knowledge let alone to have the essence of their learning.
The painting of Buddha in Pune is and will remain a spiritual journey for us. Some say that goddess Tara is the female incarnation of Buddha and others tell that she is his tear (compassion). I feel Mohanan uncle and Tara aunty were Buddha and Tara in human incarnation.


Buddha and Tara who made us laugh with their wit, educated us with their gyan and made us feel valuable with their company.With their blessings we started our journey from Pune.
Enjoy the painting…the blog and keep writing to us. We can come to your house if you also want to share your precious time and knowledge with us and get your wall painted.

( K.P.Mohanan is a scholar who did his PhD in Linguistics for Masshachusettes Institute of Technology and then taught in Stanford University, NUS singapore and at the moment working in the area of Science Education in IISER Pune.
Tara Mohanan is a scholar who did her PhD in linguistics from Stanford University and then taught in National University of Singapore. Now she is working in the area of teaching science through jigsaw puzzles)

0 thoughts on “Buddha and Tara : MAG in Pune

    • Dear Rahul,
      thanks for the invitation. Small and big doesn’t matter. we have painted in one room flats as well. The only thing is that you want to involve yourself in the process. if you can cook good foood it means you are an artist..Please send me your place and phone number to coordinate. we are in Goa now and travelling to Mangalore. bangalore hosur and chennai

  • ये गणित वाली दिक्कत तो मुझे आज भी है इसी चक्कर में एड एंड पीआर में एडमिशन नहीं हो पाया था। बुद्धा और उनके सिम्बल वहां बनाने हैं ये पहले से तय था या मौके पर जाकर, प्लान में इम्प्रूव किया गया?

    • प्रिय विकास,
      कुछ भी प्लान नहीं था. बस इतना प्लान था कि पेंटिंग करनी है. जिनके यहां गए उन्हें मीनाक्षी ने अपनी पेंटिंग्स दिखाई..उसके आधार पर उन्होंने एक कुछ सुझाव दिए..हमने बैठ कर बातचीत की और फिर मीनाक्षी ने कुछ डिजाइन वहीं कागज़ पर बना कर दिखाए जिसमें से एक उन्हें पसंद आया. पुणे में असल में मोहनन दंपत्ति को बहुत स्पष्ट था कि वो क्या चाहते हैं. वो थंगका पेंटिंग को काम्पलिमेंट करता हुआ कोई आर्टवर्क चाहते थे शायद इसलिए मीनाक्षी ने बुद्ध को पेंट करने का फैसला किया जो उन्हें पसंद आया.

  • Sorry for being late reply. I read the blog especially the recent post about the Buddha with eight symbols painting. Both of you met the right person as they are motivational and inspirational, calm and charming persons. Definitely a good start from here and interesting way to create something meaningful for people who get into it.

    Not only the clarity of all the eight symbols of Buddha but the ‘chakra’ or ‘dharmachakara’ on the feet is also important. Yes it is the symbol of journey and it clearly shows the circumstance in which a painter created her painting. Selection of colors is also perfect, it gives us calming and soothing effect. Yellow color in the center and in the background of Buddha helps us to concentrate, to keep focused. And as I see the photograph in the blog in which both of you are standing with K.P.Mohanan ji in front of the painted wall, both of you are wearing yellow colored t-shirt and Mohanan ji is in white dress. I think what she created on the wall, both of you are in the still photograph. For me, an artist and his or her work are not separate from each other.

    The artistic journey will move ahead!

  • i was a student of theirs when they taught in singapore. it brings a smile to my face when i see them being so at peace and sharing their passion for learning wherever they go. 🙂

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