Agraharam

New Doc 5

My mother’s friend lives in a small hamlet, some forty kilometres from the historical town of Kumbakonam. It is a quiet village tucked between acres of green fields, fertile because of the tributaries of Kaveri river that crisscross this region.

This is a painting of the agraharam, a place where a particular community of people live. The agraharam is lined with houses on both sides of the mud road. The houses have red tiles for roof. A thinnai or a closed porch at the entrance leads to a courtyard surrounded by rooms . The house opens into a large backyard with a well and a rambling garden where different types of vegetables are grown. My mother’s friend grows brinjals, cluster beans, pumpkins, bitter gourds, snake gourds, tomatoes and chillies.There are lemon, mango, coconut and drumstick trees that help to fill the larder with food supplies.

At one end of the agraharam is the temple for Lord Vishnu and at the other end is the temple for Lord Shiva. The Shiva temple has a temple tank. Even during the severest summer the tank does not run dry, it remains filled with moss covered, jade coloured water. The chidren in the village take delight in swimming in the tank, the water bursts into sparkles of green light when the boys dive in from the tall walls.

Around the agraharam in the village there are about 30 houses where people from different communities live. Beyond these houses spread the fields. Every household in the village is involved in farming activities, they either own farmland, or work for wage in farmlands that belong to others. 

I visited the village soon after the harvest of rice, the fields were ochre coloured waiting to be dug and got ready for the next crop.


hosur thereabouts

Home is where the heart is. I keep visiting Hosur whenever an opportunity arises, the town brings beautiful memories of the days that I lived there, of the times that I drove out with an artist friend to sketch and paint. 

Hosur is a dusty and crowded town bursting at its seams with industries.  What charms me is the fact that very quickly one can step out of Hosur and be on one of the many roads leading to the neighbouring towns. Each of these drives and treks offers a different landscape to explore. It is a rocky landscape along the road leading to Royakotai, lush green fields stretch till horizon along the road leading to Thenkanikotai, a typical Thomas Hardyesque landscape of  green rolling hills on the drive to  Thalli. There is a diverse platter to choose from. 

I go to Hosur on work, or I accompany my husband when he goes there on work. I walk, paint, read, or just sit on one of the sun-warmed rocks and wonder how the sky scape is so unique to this town. 

I painted a rock face that was close to the hotel where I stayed. The other painting is from along the Mathagiri road, I trekked from a village called Chempatti, on the rocks where grasses were singed by summer heat.

 

New Doc 2

 

New Doc 3

Slovenia

During the month of March Virtual Paintout took artists to the beautiful Slovenia. For the best part of the month I travelled around on my google map, seeing various places. I finally decided a location, navigated many kilometres around the spot. I have been painting  water bodies of late – lakes, muddy ponds, the Indian ocean. The lake that formed the centre of the location was my weakness. First I wanted to do a pastel painting, but settled for water colours. This is the google link to the location. See my  painting and the screen shot of the location.

Slovenia

 

Virtual Paintout  

Place of the singing waves

Tarangambadi means a place of the singing waves. It was a sleepy town till it became a Danish colony in the early seventeenth century. It then came to be called Tranquebar. All the waves cannot wash away the history of the place, the town remains suspended in time, where the past whispers stories through incessant songs from the sea. 

Taran f

taran 1 (19)

taran 2

Srisailam

Srisailam is a temple town in the Nallamalla hills, on the banks of Krishna river. The serpentine river flows like a secret, deep and still. It is a steep climb down to the river, from the town. The main ghat is crowded with devotees who travel miles to bathe in the holy river.

I sat at two locations away from the main ghat, to paint. The first one gave a glimpse of small temples across the river. And from the other location I painted a private ghat, nestled in a dense forest cover.

srisailam ff

srisailam final

words

photo (13) copy

The office boy is from a small village near Tirunelveli. He cannot read a word of English.
I am received every day by the words he leaves at my table, from the calendar that he sets for me. Today it is, “Spend not a moment on regret. Our journey is made richer by all that has come before.”