Posts Tagged ‘india’

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A heritage site, the Bhoga Nandishwara temple is a Shiva temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills. The original temple dates back to the 9th century. There are numerous granite nandi (bull) idols here, sacred to Shiva as it was his choice of transport. Since it was first built, the temple complex has seen renovations made by ruling dynasties.

The temple complex follows a Dravidian style of architecture. So you’ll see sandstone pillars, temples, relief carvings, mantapas (outdoor halls, a kind of gazebo, where dances, music, and festivities were hosted), and dhwaja stambas (high pillars that are believed to protect temples from lightning apart from carrying a religious significance).

A highlight is the large kalyani (pool). The water is a startling green against the grey-beige symmetry of steps descending into it. Some say it is rain water that collects here; others that it is fed by an underground river, and could be the origin of the Dakshina Pinakini river.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

India_Leaning In_Anuradha Prasad

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

India_The Creator and the Created_Anuradha

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

anu_bangalore-street

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

1 zennfish potter

A door opens into a shadowy space, a potter’s workroom. Strands of sunlight that manage to permeate the space reveal a man at the potter’s wheel. Light bulbs attempt to brighten the small space, an artificiality that is not lost, that seems to further alienate the daylight flooding the streets outside. Against one wall is a high shelf holding figurines; the painted one holds a cigar in his mouth. Next to them is an altar with lamps lit.

2 zennfish potter

Shelves and trays around the room are filled with pots and other creations. Like these tiny Ganesha idols, only one of whose eyes have been shaped on the clay.

3 zennfish potter

Clad in a t-shirt and shorts, the man sits before a potter’s wheel. His hands remain at work while he watches television. Next to him is a pail of muddy water. An assistant bustles around; he disappears into a smaller adjoining room, bringing more clay, carrying the tiny pots outside on pallets where they can dry out in the sun.

4 zennfish potter

The potter says he has been doing this work for forty years now. That is all he is willing to share before turning his attention back to the television. His practiced hands are covered with dripping wet clay as they hold the spinning wheel.

5 zennfish potter

Almost magically, a tiny pot is formed. It is hard to pinpoint how it is created and when it is completed but the potter’s hands seems to know it all too well.

6 zennfish potter

The tiny clay pots are set aside; still wet but no longer formless, no longer liquid clay. An assistant whisks the pallet off once it is full. Neither exchanges a word. Outside, the last of the wet clay dry as they are sealed with a kiss from the sun.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

Pic 1 Zennfish

Smack in the middle of Pottery Town: pots, towering and miniature idols, kilns, and in no particular order to the process, people at work.

Pic 2 Zennfish

A man spread mud on tarpaulin and laid it out in the sun, before proceeding to knead the mud mixed with water.

Pic 3 Zennfish

Finished Ganesha idols in all shapes, colours and designs wrapped in plastic covers lined the streets. They were waiting to be loaded in trucks and distributed across markets where people who celebrate this festival buy them, worship them, and finally immerse them in lakes and tanks.

Pic 4 Zennfish

A dilapidated building was actually the kiln that is used to fire clay.

Pic 5 Zennfish

Down a narrow lane, a man and a woman were at work. Laid out around them was an army of tiny busts of Goddess Gowri, some painted, others waiting their turn.

Pic 6 Zennfish

On the main street, a man sat outside spraying paint on a Ganesha idol. He held each idol on a work stool. Once an idol was uniformly sprayed with pale coral with no trace of the naples cream base, a woman would quickly remove it and replace it with a plain idol.

Pic 7 Zennfish

Next to them, an old lady sat painting Lord Krishna and his companion Radha. Mother Mary holding Infant Jesus stood by their side.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

The title is borrowed from a short story in Isabel Allende’s The Stories of Eva Luna.

 

My father and I would walk up the monolith. At the top, looking out at the other side – an expanse of trees that emanated a frail, lonely, abandoned air – he would tell me about the tiger who lived there. As my eyes searched for the tiger both apprehension and anticipation would grip me. That was thirty years ago.

I stand here once again, alone. I look for the rock sliding into a tree copse. Ah, but memory is fickle. The scene exists only in the child who believed in the tiger lurking among trees. And she is still in there waiting for the sinewy cat to show itself.

***

LB 1

The Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is an ornamental garden. The monolith that has been classified as a Peninsular Gneiss is 3000 years old. It is 7am, the sun is still choosing the day’s colour for the sky, and the place is already crawling with people and a few dogs.

LB 2

Atop this rock, sits one of the watch towers erected by Kempegowda I to mark the limits of Bangalore. The city outgrew these limits a long time ago.

LB 3

A child runs down the hillock barefoot just as we did as children. It is easier with your shoes off, and the rock feels both firm and cool against the feet.

LB 4

There are morning walkers who are catching up on gossip post-walk. Groups of tourists are guided by tour operators.

LB 5

Some are trying to meditate. Like this man who sat away from the crowd. A plumeria tree with buttery blooms stood a little distance from him.

LB 6

Vidhana Soudha, which could once be seen from a certain point, is no longer visible. Instead there are hazy, nondescript buildings rising up in the distance.

LB 7

Solitude does not wrap you here. How then will the tiger appear? It is time to go.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2015

© Anuradha Prasad Pondicherry, Nov 26 2012

© Anuradha Prasad
Pondicherry, Nov 26 2012

Now I see her face,
the old woman, abandoned,
the moon her only companion.
– Basho