This painting is inspired by the tale of Jatayu, the King of Vultures. Jatayu has a brother Sampati and they have a history very similar to that of Icarus and Daedelus. Jatayu and Sampati are both demi Gods in the form of birds and on a whim, they decide to fly to the Sun God’s abode.
However, as they fly closer, the heat from the Sun becomes increasingly painful. Realising the danger of the situation, Sampati decides to protect his brother and encloses him in his wings. This is where the story deviated from Icarus and Daedelus. Sampati’s wings burn beyond redemption and he spends the rest of his life earthbound. Jatayu, on the other hand gets away with minor injuries, for he has not yet fulfilled his destiny.
And then one day he hears Sita’s calls to rescue her from Ravana and rushes to her rescue. A battle ensues between Ravana and Jatayu, when Ravana cuts Jatayu’s wings off. Lord Rama and Lakshmana come cross the dying bird, who informs them of Sita’s capture and whereabouts (Lanka) and thereby fulfills his destiny. Due to Jatayu’s truthfulness and loyalty to Lord Rama, he is given moksha.
My painting portrays the moment of Jatayu’s demise (when Ravana cuts his wings off) and the moksha he gains as a result of staying true to his ideals; that moment when the darkness that cloaks him gives way to moksha, the state to which every being aspires.