”I never thought in my life that my favorite God and shloka will be painted on my wall so beautifully. I invited you because a close friend referred you. Never expected you to paint such beautiful piece of art….though I have read your blogs.”
That was the reaction of Malini Adiga of Kundapur when we finished the painting on her wall.
Kundapur is a small town in Karnataka located in between Karwar and Mangalore. With sea on one side and backwaters on the other side, travelling to Kundapur on a Bullet can be a mesmerizing experience.
Malini is a PhD from JNU and someone from JNU told her about us and our travel-paint idea.
Malini recalls, ” When I had a chat with you people, I thought you will come stay and make some sketches of my area. I didnt understand anything then about painting on wall and our involvement.”
We reached Kundapur and chatted with Malini and her 13 year old younger son Amrith. Her elder son studies engineering in Manipal University.
While chatting, Malini also told us about a very talented artist in her own family. Malini’s Nani Sarojini Rao (maternal grandmother) was an extremely talented doll maker.
Malini has a collection of dolls made by her Nani. Her Nani decorated the calendars with beads and colorful pieces of clothes. She went to learn Tanjavur style of painting when she was eighty year old.
According to Meenakshi, Sarojini Rao’s dolls were extremely beautiful and very delicately designed. Meenakshi wanted to meet her but we came to know that she died last year at the age of 98.
Krishna-Ajuna and Kurukshetra
Then we asked about what they would like on their wall.
Malini said, ” There are many Krishna pictures in my house and Krishna dolls as well. Can you paint one on the wall? I liked the Buddha painting you did in Pune.”
Meenakshi has earlier done a Krishna-Radha painting on paper but with a twist. Meenakshi’s Krishna-Radha is in fish-form.
I saw the twinkle in Meenakshi’s eye but I suggested, ”Can we do something other than Radha-Krishna. …why not Krishna in the battlefield?’’
Meenakshi reads my mind more than anyone and as usual she drew the sketch on paper.
The work started. Krishna-Arjuna in the fish-forms. Meenakshi prefers to use mixed shades of colors than raw shades. Krishna was painted in bluish and Arjuna was painted in a greenish shade (both the shades are difficult to explain because several colors were mixed to attain the shades).
Needless to say, Malini and Amrith tried their hands on painting. Malini’s husband Manjunath is a doctor, busy one, who leaves in morning and comes back in night.
He saw the painting in progress and said- “Meenakshi has a very steady hand. She will be a big painter in future.”
Only a sophisticatedly skilled person can observe the steadiness of hand and he is a doctor who performs surgery of ear, nose and throat nearly every day.
The Krishna and Arjuna fishes were complete but there was a place in the frame where we thought of writing something. Because it was the idea of VIRAAT ROOP we thought of writing a shloka from GITA and we asked Malini about it.
Malini a big fan of Gita (till that point we didn’t know that) said –“Can I choose the shloka?”
“Why not”, we replied together.
Then she picked up her most favorite shloka from the Gita-
मन्मना भव मद् भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरू,
मामेवैष्यसि युक्तवैवम आत्मानं मत्परायण: .
It means – Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, offer your sacrifice to Me, and prostrate yourself before Me. Concentrating your mind thus on Me and regarding Me your Supreme goal, YOU WILL COME TO ME.
Once the painting was complete we could see the glint of pride and emotion in the eyes of Malini and Manjunath. They blessed us with their emotions and we learnt a new lesson through that shloka.
We have fixed our mind on Art and now we are coming closer to it… everyday.