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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Palanquin Bearers - I decided to name my painting after the poem that inspired me to paint it. There are few such poems that made such a strong impression on me, specially since I must have been in 6th or 7th grade when I did this in school. 

Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song;
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream,
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string. 

The palanquin Bearers are carrying a bride to her wedding and since the ultimate aim of the parents in ancient India was to get their daughters married and happily situated as soon as was possible, carrying a bride in a Palanquin on her wedding day was considered the ultimate privilege. Also, in ancient India it wasn't uncommon to find women married off at as young an age as 14 or 15. I've tried to portray this through a much younger, almost girlish bride.

Also, it is typical for a bride to dip her hands in ... and make an impression on the walls of the house she is going to enter. This is symbolic of the fertility that she brings in and the mark that she is about to make on the household. I've recreated the fresco of a well lived-in house in India where rains are often and hence common to see moss, mud tracks and smoke tracks on walls. 

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