Deepam, the festival of light

Karthikai Deepam, festival of lights is one of the oldest festivals celebrated by Tamil people. Deepam is observed in every home and every temple, and falls in the month of Kārttikai (mid-November to mid-December) as per Tamil Calender. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami (full moon). This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. Many legends and lyrical poetry have grown round this star. The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs. Houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day. One of the earliest references to the festival is found in the Ahananuru, a book of poems, which dates back to the Sangam Age (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.). The Ahananuru clearly states that Karthigai is celebrated on the full moon day (pournami) of the month of Karthigai, as per South Indian calendar. It was one of the most important festivals (peruvizha) of the ancient Tamils, including now the areas of modern Kerala too. Avaiyyar, the renowned poetess of those times, refers to the festival in her songs. Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around. The fire (deepam) is called Mahadeepam.

This ancient Dravidian practice has been documented extensively in verse and visuals. The gods and goddesses, the rituals and chariots, the crowd and girivalam, every aspect of this festival has already been documented. Team 365 has another important vision, to preserve the visuals of the changing culture and lifestyle. Many may have noticed the ever changing scenario every deepam, the absence of the Mattu chanda (cow market), the advent of machine made drinks / coffees, ever growing new buildings and shops…. the visually exciting days and nights of Tiruvannamalai Deepam festival has a different dimension to be portrayed. Photography in essence is a play between light and shade (absence of light). This deep connection, the changing people, scenario and the colors of Deepam is what team 365 decided to capture. The team would be per-dominantly using iphone photography with instagram applications. Few photographs from the instagram Deepam series:

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives

roject 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

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‘The colors of Deepam’ by leading Project 365 photographer Dinesh Khanna

Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai hills is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around the hill. The fire (dheepam) is called Mahadeepam. As part of Project 365, Photographer Dinesh Khanna will be creating visuals of Tiruvannamalai Deepam Festival. A five member team, comprising of Project 365 photographers Arnav Rastogi, Bhagyashri Patki, Biju Ibrahim, Leo James and Shiv Kiran will be working with Dinesh Khanna and document the Deepam Festival.

Photographer Dinesh Khanna
Photographer Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna is one of the leading photographers of Project 365. He is based in Delhi. There are infinite ways of seeing. But when you see the world through Dinesh Khanna’s eyes, you are overcome with an innate sense of awe, besides many other emotions. The reason perhaps is the fact that he shoots from the heart. And it’s his incredible way of juxtaposing what he sees and what he feels that creates images that stay with you forever.

Even though his father was a professional photographer, Dinesh took his time to meander through his advertising career and eventually gave in to his true calling. His dad often urged him to use the camera, travel more often and take pictures of whatever he found interesting. He even grew up learning to make his own prints in the darkroom they had at home. But the rebel in him chose not to follow the conventional ‘son-takes-over-from-father’ routine simply because he felt it was against his principles to adhere to what the caste system followed, something he strongly did not believe in.

However, photography was not just in his blood, it was the one great love and passion of life he could no longer ignore. At first, Dinesh took up a lot of commercial work, which displayed his immense talent and creativity. Gradually, he began traveling more, exploring more, photographing everything that ‘engaged’ him and in the process, enjoying every moment of what he was doing. From Street photography, to portraits to interiors of homes and hotels, travel pictures, photo stories, editorial and food photography, Dinesh’s work spans a varied mix, with many a common aspect… a love for life, a love for colours and a love for people being a few.

His photographs radiate a powerful and positive resonance which is why we want to stop and stare. Not just to admire the sheer beauty of the image, but also to appreciate seeing things the way he sees them. It’s what you call ‘insight’ in advertising terms. For example his iphoto series on ‘kissakhursika’, is a series on chairs. A simple everyday object that we may not even give a second glance to. But the way Dinesh has interpreted this very khursi, as he takes us on a visual journey portraying the significance of the chairs common people sit on (be it watchmen or barbers or children) and the ironic symbolism of a ‘khursi’ in the political context is so basic yet so bold and captivating.

Dinesh’s ‘Incredible India’ series that was created to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Taj Mahal earned him much fame. So did his solo exhibitions and pictorial books ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Living Faith’ which were born from his many travels and beautifully captured images from various melas, markets and sacred sites in small towns and rural areas.

His works also include stunning portraits of “Artists, Musicians, and Writers” “Mothers & Daughters” and a series on common man at work called “Earning Dignity” which all capture expressions and emotions in a stark yet subtle manner. His photos have also been published in monthly columns like ‘Double Take’ and ‘Urban Trivia’ for First City magazine, which display India’s ironic ‘Tryst with Urbanity’ and also ‘Cellphone Diaries’ for Better Photography.

Dinesh is also the co-founder and managing trustee of the Nazar Foundation in Delhi, a non profit trust that promotes the art of photography through various workshops, interactions and exhibitions. Doing this is his way of sharing his passion with budding and even experienced photographers. This organization also sponsors the biennial ‘Delhi Photo Festival’ which is an incredible platform for photographers to showcase their works.

Dinesh Khanna has displayed his work at several solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally at The Habitat Center, India International Center, Palette Gallery, Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi, Oxford Gallery, Kolkata, NCPA, Mumbai, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, The Asia Society, San Francisco, Mondavi Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, Whitechapel Gallery, London and at FotomuseumSwitzerland.
A few of his photographs were also recently featured in an exhibition of paintings titled Soul of Asia Art – an exhibition curated by Sushma Bahl as part of the 44th International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2013.

Based in New Delhi, Dinesh is currently working on his next pictorial book ‘Benaras: Everyday in Eternity’ apart from various other assignments. Whether he is taking pictures of martinis, majestic hotel suites, of a teenager on a terrace or bangles in a bazaar, his work exudes emotions that every viewer can relate to at a very simple level. And we look forward to more.

Dinesh will be reaching Tiruvannamalai on 30th November 2014. During his stay, he will also be presenting his works with our rural audience (the dates will be announced at a later stage). Thank you Dinesh Khanna, for being part of project 365 and visiting this ancient town.

WELCOME.

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi Nadar / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

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Mukhamukham – Bangalore

Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photograph on the screen ‘Life in cycles’ by Biju Ibrahim / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

The next stop for traveling Mukhamukham, was the much favored garden city, Bangalore. THALAM, a partner of PROJECT 365 was organising the event at their space at Domlur on 15th November 2014. By that time, the project 365 team had different experience having met with diversified audience. The audience weekly presentations at Kalai Illam, were a mix of local rural audience, informed artists as well a few international visitors who were passing by this ancient town. Children from neighboring villages enthusiastically ask for and participate in the event. MUKHAMUKHAM – Tiruvannamalai by Vamsi books had a gathering of about hundred local audience, many of whom had seen photographic art presentation for the first time. Also, seeing photographs of their town, and oftentimes their own photographs was received enthusiastically. This is an important dimension of Project 365 and one of the project photographers Senthil Kumaran Rajendran mentioned during his presentation, “Photographs will be taken. Printed and then exhibited in urban galleries / art spaces or shown to the potential collectors, and sold or stored for selling…. photographs of rural India, often become exaggerated exotic presentation, created specifically to cater the needs of urban International buyers and audience…. Photographers never get an opportunity to show our photographs with our own people… the land in which the photographs were taken… the one who is photographed never knows what the photographer does with the photographs… But in project 365, photographs of a town are collectively taken, shared with the residents of the town, and more than that, the prints will eventually be exhibited and preserved by the public…That is the profoundness of this project that encouraged me to join this initiative. I am proud to be part of this vision.”

Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographer Selvaprakash Lakshmanan / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Pee Vee, Project 365 Photographer and co-founder of Thalam / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Shibu Arakkal, Photographer Biju Ibrahim also seen / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

The audience for MUKHAMUKHAM – Thrissur were art students, who had remained silent for the presentation to be completed and soon after which, long discussions were held one on one. Armed with this diversified exposure, the team was looking up for the upcoming event with the urban audience. Pee Vee, co-founder Thalam and Project 365 photographer had taken complete charge of the event, which also gave the team an opportunity to explore other galleries and art spaces. The intimate space of Thalam shared by forty photo enthusiasts was indeed ideal to fully present the vision of Project 365. Noted designer and Photographer Ramu Aravindan, one of the leading photographers of the project was present. Photographers Shibu Arakkal, Selvaprakash Lakshmanan, Arnav Rastogi, Biju Ibrahim, Iqbal MK, Bhagyashri Patki, Vinay DV, Pee Vee, Jiby Charles and Shiv Kiran presented their works and their journey as a photographer. The audience stayed back long after the event was over and engaged in lively conversation with the photographers. The team received enough energy to move on with the next MUKHAMUKHAM event to be held at Andhra Pradesh, thus covering the four modern states of tri-sangam period Tamilakam. Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad said, “A photographer is always behind the lens, and rarely do they get the opportunity to present and speak about their works, their life and journey as a photographer. Mukhamukham is a platform for the upcoming photographers to share their emotions and dreams, learn together and grow. Developing the culture of appreciating the life and works of a photographer is important aspect of this event. I am happy with the overwhelming response MUKHAMUKHAM event has been receiving. Many are approaching us to present MUKHAMUKHAM at their institution / space. We will somehow manage our time between proceeding with our shooting work in Tiruvannamalai and traveling to different parts of our country.”

Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Vinay DV / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographer Biju Ibrahim / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
The audience – Photographers Ramu Aravindan (second row left) Bhagyashri Patki, Iqbal MK, and Project 365 Manager Tulsi swarna lakshmi) / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Jiby Charles / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographer Iqbal MK / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM - Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran / Traveling MUKHAMUKHAM – Bangalore / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

Mukhamukham covered by Bangalore mirror http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/others/Coming-face-to-face-with-near-extinct-techniques/articleshow/45153216.cms

Photo enthusiasts interacting with Photographer Ramu Aravindan / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP archives
Photo enthusiasts interacting with Photographer Ramu Aravindan / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP archives
Photo enthusiasts buying Project 365 merchandise / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP archives
Photo enthusiasts buying Project 365 merchandise / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP archives
Project 365 photographers Selvaprakash Lakshmanan (left) and Jiby Charles (right) / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographers Selvaprakash Lakshmanan (left) and Jiby Charles (right) / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographers Shibu Arakkal, Arnav Rastogi, Biju Ibrahim and Shiv Kiran / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP Archives
Project 365 photographers Shibu Arakkal, Arnav Rastogi, Biju Ibrahim and Shiv Kiran / Photography (C) Pee Vee / EtP Archives

If you are interested to host MUKHAMUKHAM at your institution /  art spaces / organisation, do contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi, Manager Project 365

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

Project 365 partners
Project 365 partners

MUKHAMUKHAM – Thrissur

“I already like the town”, said Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran, as soon as we stepped down from the train. The other team members Arnav Rastogi and Bhagyashri Patki nodded their heads in affirmation. It was as if all the tiredness of the long journey from Tiruvannamalai to Thrissur had vanished by the mere sight of this ancient town. The following day 12th November 2014, Project 365 presentation was to be held at Government Fine arts college, Thrissur. This event is all the more important for EtP, as the next phase of the project 365 is planned to documenting Muziris, the ancient seaport and urban center that existed from around 1st century AD.

Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

Thrissur, popularly known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala has many other important facades. Synonymous with the world famous and spectacular Pooram Festival, Thrissur is the abode of several prominent cultural centres including the Kerala Kalamandalam, Sahitya Academy and Sangeetha Nataka Academy. Thrissur has an extraordinarily rich past as well as a vibrant present. From ancient times, this district with its cultural heritage and archaeological wealth has played a significant role in the political history of South India. Many rulers and dynasties beginning with the Zamorins of Kozhikode, Tipu Sultan of Mysore and Europeans including the Dutch and the British have had a hand in moulding the destiny of this region. Raja Rama Varma popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran is the architect of the present Thrissur town. Thrissur has a large number of well-known temples including the Vadakkumnathan temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and Paramekkavu temple, as well as two famous churches, the Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Vadakumnathan temple / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

We checked into YMCA where our stay had been organised by the college. The other two project 365 photographers Biju Ibrahim and Iqbal MK were to join us the next day (12th November). Project 365 Director Photographer Abul Kalam Azad had given us interesting places to visit in Thrissur and the Vadakumnathan topped the list. So we decided to go there. What was inside took our breath away. This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of Kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a Kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. The shrines and the Kuttambalam display vignettes carved in wood. The temple, along with the mural paintings, has been declared as a National Monument by India under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.  According to popular local lore, this is the first temple built by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. This place of worship is now a living museum of our ancient culture. In our culture, art is a public property, owned and protected by people. The consciousness of the artists is collective. There are no signatures that claims any ownership.

Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran

Project 365 aims at collectively creating a locally placed permanent space for photo art that portrays contemporary culture and lifestyle with its profound mystical roots. In present context, these kind of initiatives are rare and without any protocol to follow, Project 365 is evolving its own values, practices and ethics. Prof. Kavitha Balakrishnan, Fine Arts college, rightly said, “It is a collective responsibility”.

Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

On 12th November, at 2.00 pm, MUKHAMUKHAM event started. The ambiance of the fine arts college was another dimension that added much value to the MUKHAMUKHAM presentation. The presence of sculptures all around added to the rawness of the old building. Prof. Lekha, Principal of the college inaugurated the event with a welcome speech. Prof. Kavitha Balakrishnan introduced the team. Ms. Tulsi swarna lakshmi, Manager, Project 365 introduced the project with the audience. About hundred and twenty students participated in the event.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

14th November 2014

Bangalore

Travelling MUKHAMUKHAM – Face to Face with Project 365 photographers

Travelling ‘Mukhamukham’

*Coming next November 12th at Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur

Mukhamukham

On Nov 9th 2014, Mukhamukham event was organised at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai. Project 365 photographers Arnav Rastogi, Shiv Kiran, Seema Krishnakumar and Bhagyashri presented their works with the National and International audience who had gathered for the presentation. Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad was present for the event.

Mukhamukham - Tiruvannamalai / Design (C) Abul Kalam Azad / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham – Tiruvannamalai / Design (C) Abul Kalam Azad / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham at German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

On November 8th, Vamsi Books, a partner of Project 365 organised Mukhamukham at Lebanon Bungalow, Tiruvannamalai. Bawa Chellathurai, noted Tamil story writer welcomed the gathering. Ms. Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi, Trustee EtP introduced Project 365 with the audience. Project 365 photographers Ami Gupta, Bhagyashri Patki, Arnav Rastogi, Seema Krishnakumar, Shiv Kiran, Jiby Charles, J Jayaraman and Senthil Kumaran presented their early and ongoing works with the Tiruvannamalai audience. The visual feast was enjoyed by about hundred local art enthusiasts. Mrs. Shylaja Chellathurai, Publisher, Vamsi Books delivered the vote of thanks. Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad was present for the event.

Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Mukhamukham Tiruvannamalai / Phootgraphy (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives

‘Photography in everyday life’ is the motto behind this travelling Mukhamukham. In the age of glossy high definition commercial photographs, the non-graphic realistic presentation of everyday life of an ancient town engages the interest of the audience. It is almost three months since Project 365 began and many people express interest to know and meet the photographers who are dedicating their years of service this cultural initiative. EtP has been organising weekly meet the photographer events at Kalai Illam which was received very well. As a continuation of this, travelling Mukhamukham, face to face with project 365 photographers has been organised in different parts of South India.

Schedule:

8th November 2014. Vamsi Books, Tiruvannamalai

9th November 2014, German Bakery, Tiruvannamalai

12th November 2014, Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur

15th November 2014, Thalam, Bangalore

25th November 2014, Loyola college, Chennai

26th and 27th December 2014, International Theater Festival, Cochin

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

Taking photo-art to rural india

Art events in contemporary India often get diluted into art houses and galleries that are situated in urban settings. The larger rural audience is often excluded from contemporary art initiatives. Even the most modern and democratic medium like photography, which has the inherent quality to express art to public in a simple, honest, everyday manner, is being capitalized. A prolonged effort is required to re-inculcate the interest of rural public in contemporary art. Taking art to rural India and rejuvenating traditional analog medium is the vision behind EtP’s Project 365.

EtP is set-up in the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai town, amidst rural settings. EtP has established Kalai Illam, a village space for art and organises several events targeted to attract the rural population. Week end ‘meet the artist’ gatherings, establishing photo-art clubs and organizing outreach photo presentations / art activities in schools and colleges; initiating poster campaigns; conducting photography and art workshops / seminars; ‘photography and beyond’ – year-long exhibition series, etc. are few of the activities under taken as part of Project 365. Due to this regular interaction, the public is getting interested in contemporary photography and art practices. Slowly and steadily, the number of people enjoying the exhibitions and participating in the week-end interactions is increasing.

19th October 2014, meet-the-artist event was organised. The special guest for the event was Sri. R. R. Srinivasan, photographer and activist. He presented his body of photographic works. R.R. Srinivasan has been actively involved in film appreciation movement in Tamil Nadu through film society movement and alternative film journals. He emerged from Kanchanai film society in Thirunelveli. Kanchanai film society has played a key role in bringing serious cinema to a non-metropolitan audience. He guest lecturers on film, literature and photography in universities and colleges. He has directed and produced several documentary movies on social issues including 28 documentary films on folk art tradition of Tamil Nadu. He has done several television interviews on artists and writers. His photographs have been exhibited n different parts of Tamil Nadu. He has published a photo book on Narikoravas, nomadic tribes of India. RR is one of the leading photographers in Project 365

'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan and American artist Wendel Field / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan and American artist Wendel Field / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

Meet the artist event has been regularly organised at Kalai Illam. On 12th October 2014, Project 365 photographer Bhagyashri Patki presented her works followed by a video documentary on Indian photographers Sunil Janah, Sohrab Hura and Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado.On 5th October 2014, Photographer Shiv Kiran presented his works followed by video documentary French Photographer Henry Cartier-Bresson who had visited Tiruvannamalai during the 1950s.

Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
The audience / Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
The audience / Meet Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki  / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives

This rural space is growing to be a place where artists, art lovers, art enthusiasts and public gather and celebrate art. Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad says, “We come from a lineage that properly knows that art is a symbol of our culture, and, therefore, has to be owned and protected by people. Join us in this effort to take art to Rural India”.

Thank you.

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

Project 365 Manager

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer: Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text (C) Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

Metaphors of a transcending dream…

“I like to photograph my dreams”

Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity, said Kahlil Gibran. But, for Shiv Kiran, one of the Project 365 photographers, dreams are the gateway to photographs. “My dreams combine verbal, visual and emotional stimuli into a non-sensical but entertaining story line. I do not understand the purpose of my dreams, but intentions to document it have always been there, be it the series ‘Son of Sea’ or ‘Red Man’…. I like to photograph my dreams. To me, photography is not just a medium of communication. It is a medium through which we can create a world, a world that we all know can never exist”.

Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran
Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran

Shiv is originally from Yellamanchali, Andhra Pradesh. The beauty of Ladakh has moved many, and a few ordinary people have been reborn as photographers there. Shiv Kiran’s journey is one such story. While he was pursuing his masters in Computers, he began with shooting on campus, at college fests and then worked with Rahul Lal and Rohit Lal as a concert photographer. But it was that one trip to Ladakh that changed everything for him. There was another turning point in his life when Shiv delved deeper into the subject, when he learnt the History of Photography, studied the masters, their lives and what photography was all about in reality. He looked at the world differently and started shooting what he truly believed in. After he assisted renowned photojournalist Prashanth Vishwanathan on assignments on wheat harvesting in Jalandar and another series called ‘Cancer Express’, (Bhatinda village) he started to enjoy documentary photography and began to work on interesting stories. He is fascinated by surrealism, and enjoys making pictures that does not necessarily have a meaning, but more a feeling. Shiv has exhibited his work at the International Photo Festival, Ahmedabad, 2011. He also did an exhibition with Arnav Rastogi in Kuzart Lane, HauzKhas Village, Delhi, in 2012. His concept of ‘Son of Sea’ – a series that he worked on, has been largely appreciated. He is also a part of Fseven Photographers, a collective of professional photographers. He is working on a project titled “Deeper in Transit” as part of Project 365, Tiruvannamalai.

“Some dreams are very difficult to talk about, as something that happens does not relate to reality at all, simply triggered through our sub-conscious way of thinking. And some are triggered through our experiences in the real world or the conscious state. Deeper in transit is one such journey, where my dreams travel through the light and darkness, whatever that means…”, he adds.

"Deeper in Transit" / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives
“Deeper in Transit” / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives

This church was one such journey for Shiv. It had started from his dream. Leo James, one of the Project 365 photographer who is documenting the presence of Christianity in Tiruvannamalai shared this image. This was once a place of worship now abandoned and used by drug addicts. Inside this holy place we can find alcohol bottles and pack of cards spread all over. To Shiv, this conveys a different meaning altogether. He said, “In this place (Tiruvannamalai) of lord Shiva, who says transformation is part of life and the story of this abandoned church is surely one such transformation”.

Shiv’s quest is philosophical and attempts at creating visual anecdotes of his dream(s). “I do not have lucid dreams unfortunately and so I cannot say what next. But it progresses, sometimes the transitions make sense and sometimes it is complete non-sense. That is how dreams are supposed to be, I think. The inception of this series was with another visual, which was clicked later. I was in search of a water body near to hill. I had sleepless nights because it was there every-night and I had to find it. It was during Ganesh visarjan we found the water body. But only while I was going through the photographs I noticed I found the hill exactly similar to my dream.

"Deeper in Transit" / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives
“Deeper in Transit” / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives

The hill represents God Shiva himself and the boat is the faith we are sailing upon. We all are in search of Moksha after all and most of us do not know which is the right boat to sail on….”

(to be continued…)

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer:

Disclaimer: Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives.

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Profile of Shiv Kiran by Ami Gupta / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

Ganesh Chaturthi / Birthday of Ganesh 2014

Ganesha Chaturthi  is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the Indian mythical god Ganesh (also called as Ganapathy, Pillayar, Vinayakar etc.,), the elephant-headed, the son of Parvati and Shiva, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom. The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is observed in the moon Calender month of Bhaadrapada starting on the shukla chaturthi  (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad and photographers Arnav Rastogi, Bhagyashri Patki, Leo James and Shiv Kiran have been documenting the happenings of this important South Indian Festival ‘Ganapathi Chaturthi 2014’ in Tiruvannamalai.

DAY ONE

The festival mood was felt even before a week. On the first day, many traditional clay artisans had created temporary stalls around the town, with huge lumps of clay, Ganesha moulds and PoP (Plaster of Paris).

Ganesh Chaturthi Day 1 / Image © Leo James
Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Leo James 2014
Ganesh Chaturthi Day 1 / Image © Leo James
Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Leo James 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi Day 1 / Image © Leo James

Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Leo James 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Abul Kalam Azad
Ganesh Chaturthi / Image © Abul Kalam Azad 2014

The huge Ganapathi sculptures were carried from one place to another using different vehicles – jeep, bullock carts, motor bikes etc., Almost every street had  images of Ganesha installed and decorated in public pandals (temporary shrines).

VinayakaGanesh Chaturthi Day 1 / Image © Leo Jamesr Chathurthi Day 1 / Instagram Image © Leo James
Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Leo James 2014
Ganesh Chaturthi Day 1 / Image © Abul Kalam Azad
Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Abul Kalam Azad 2014

The market was flooded with fruits and flowers to be offered to Lord Ganesha. Special umbrellas and decoration items made the local market colorful.

Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Abul Kalam Azad
Ganesh Chaturthi / Image © Abul Kalam Azad 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014

In homes, pillayar idols are decorated with Bermuda grass known as arukampul (அருகம்புல் )and Modak, ladoo and other dishes are offered. The favorite food items of Vinayakar, including aval (rice flakes), pori (pop rice), kadalai (roasted chickpea) are distributed to the neighborhood families as part of the celebration.

Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Abul Kalam Azad
Ganesh Chaturthi / Image © Abul Kalam Azad 2014

ORIGIN

Though the actual origin of the festival is unknown, according to the legend, the festival marks the auspicious day of the birth of Lord Ganesha. The story goes as follows- Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away from Kailash due to some work. As Parvati was alone at home, she felt the necessity of some one to guard the door to her house while she took bath. When she did not get any one, she conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. She then created Ganesha out of her sandalwood paste and breathed life into the idol. She then asked him to stand on the gate and do not let any body enter until she came out. Unfortunately, Shiva returned home in the meantime. As, Ganesha did recognize him, he stopped Shiva from entering as per his mother’s advice. This badly enraged Lord Shiva, who cut off Ganesha’s head by his trident. When Parvati saw beheaded Ganesha, took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened to destruct all the three worlds. The earth, the heaven, the nether world, all was shaken and every body ran to Shiva for solution. In order to appease Lord Parvati and save the world from destruction, Lord Shiva sent out his followers to find a child whose mother is facing another direction in negligence, cut off his head and bring it quickly. The first such child that came in the eyes of the Shiva followers was an elephant, so they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati’s son and gave life into him. Parvati was the overwhelmed with happiness and embraced her son. They named her Ganesha i.e the Lord of all Ganas (followers).

Ganesh Chaturthi  / Image © Abul Kalam Azad
Ganesh Chaturthi / Image © Abul Kalam Azad 2014

The festival is celebrated as a public event since the days of Shivaji 1630–1680). However, the present kind of celebrations of Ganesha Chaturthi came in fashion in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak, an Indian freedom fighter and social reformer reshaped the annual Ganesh festival from a private family celebration into a community event. The day was conceived to be the National Festival in order to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins in the society. Tilak chose this festival for this purpose because Lord Ganesh was considered to be the ‘ God of Every man’. It then served as a meeting ground for people of all community and religion on a public platform. Since then the festival has served its cause of existence. Even now people irrespective of caste and community barriers celebrate this festival with great joy.

DAY TWO

During the second day, the eyes of the Ganesh are opened and it is believed that Ganesha shower his blessing upon the world on this auspicious day. Poojas are conducted at home as well to commemorate the birth of Ganesha.

Vinayakar Chathurthi Day 1 / Instagram Image © Arnav Rastogi
Vinayakar Chathurthi Day 1 / Image © Arnav Rastogi 2014
Vinayakar Chathurthi Day 1 / Instagram Image © Leo James
Vinayakar Chathurthi / Instagram Image © Leo James 2014

LORD GANESHA – “THE MYTHICAL CHILD OF EVERYBODY”

Vinayakar Chaturthi / Instagram Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki 2014

Sculptures of Ganesh has been created all over the world and probably is one of the most common art form. Off late Ganesha comes in different shapes and forms. Children enjoy and fancy this “god of all” and their enjoyment known no bound. They often spend their time around the installed pandals and prefer sleeping outside guarding their ‘Pillai Yar’.

Vinayakar Chaturthi / Instagram Image (C) Leo James
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014

DAY THREE

The third day, the Vinayakar idols were taken in a procession to nearby lakes and water bodies. Most of the idols are taken to the Lotus pond where it immersed, whilst the gathered chant ganesha hymns.

Vinayakar Chaturthi / Instagram Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki
Vinayakar Chaturth / Instagram image (C) Bhagyshri Patki
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Shiv Kiran
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi 2014

The ancient practice in contemporary times

Originally Ganesh idols were made of clay and worshipped with different variety of herbal leaves, plants and immersed at the end of the festival in a water (lake) along with the Idol. The herbal and medicated plants, leaves and the clay would purify the lake water. Those times, people used to drink lake water, and to protect people from infections and viral diseases especially in this season, this tradition was introduced. Since the festival is celebrated as a public event since the days of Shivaji, (1630–1680), the popularity of the festival became very high and clay idols became unaffordable due to the huge demand. The use of PoP became the practice which is not at all an environment friendly approach. The original purpose is somehow thwarted.

Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Instagram Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Shiv Kiran 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Shiv Kiran 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi 2014

After the ceremony and immersion of the idols, a separate team of volunteers strive to clean the pond, collect the left over bamboos and temporary structures.

Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Leo James 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Shiv Kiran 2014
Vinayakar Chaturthi / Image (C) Shiv Kiran 2014

Kannan, a local person is coming out of the now PoP filled dirty ‘Lotus pond’ where Idols of Ganesh were immersed, no longer a source of drinking water. The joy and celebration of the ancient practice is much welcome, however, the incredible original vision of purifying and valuing our water bodies has taken its own course. In contemporary times, one is left with the responsibility to re-define these practices in the current context to create a harmonious Earth for our future generation.

Disclaimer: All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to Project 365 PUBLIC archives. Prior permission is required to reproduce and / or and / or print in any form. If you need more information contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com