Abhisarika Kusum is carrying a peacock feather and a paint brush tucked into her blouse along with some nectar placed in a clay pot.

“Abhisarika Kusum goes to meet her artist friend in the night of the full moon” in mixed medii and gold leaf by Mumbiram


Classical Rasa Theory of critical appreciation of art and literature recognizes eight moods of a woman in love. Such as when she eagerly hopes to meet him, when she goes to meet him secretly or has him visit her secretly, when she invites him then decorates her house and herself and waits for him, when he cheats on her, when he doesn’t come when promised, when she quarrels with him then repents in solitude, when he is gone on a journey, when he is obedient and agreeable.

The excited Radha has Kaajal in her eyes, bunches of dark green Tamal leaves behind the ears and blue Lotuses in the hair. When Radha steps out at night under the infinite expanse of the sky darkness itself is embracing every limb of her body. The darkness is like the testing-stone on which gold is tested. Those lines of light that her body traces on the darkness as she goes to meet Krishna, inspite of so many testing obstacles, are proof of the purity of her love which is true and sublime like pure gold.

“Meanwhile the full moon rises over the horizon of Vrindavan illuminating every corner with its cool rays. But look closely, the moon is covered with unseemly spots. When lovers are going to meet their Beloved, the moon betrays their journey to the secret meeting place. It must be for this misdemeanor that the moon’s face is covered with spots.” (Gita Govinda)

Abhisarika in Mumbiram's Studio
Abhisarika in Mumbiram's Studio

Abhisarika goes to meet her lover secretly at night. She wears only jewellery that makes no sound. She dares all dangers that might be lurking in the darkness. The hardships and obstacles she overcomes on the way only prove the purity of her love.

Kusum is wearing a dark red bindi on the forehead that goes well with her dark red lips. The yellow turmeric spot between the eyebrows together with the gold nose-stud and the simple gold ear-studs enhance the exotic proportions of her beautiful face. An armlet, a single bracelet and a single ring punctuate the graceful progress of her entire arm.

 The doe-eyed lady is dressed to incite her lover´s passions. Kusum looks excited at the prospect of meeting her lover on this full-moon night. She is carrying a peacock feather and a paint brush tucked into her blouse along with some treats placed in a clay pot.
They clearly have a long night of artistic ecstasies ahead.

Dream Home in Vrindavan

“Gokula at Mumbiram’s home on the bank of the Yamuna in Vrindavan” by Mumbiram, Oil on canvas, 1988, Japan

In this painting we are at Mumbiram´s favourite spot on the bank of the Yamuna. It is a happy scene in a home at the same spot where Mumbiram´s brahmin friend had made a temple. In the distance you see the Yamuna winding its way through the white sands of Vrindavan. A pair of peacocks has landed by the lotus pond in the middle ground. A solitary palm suggests the tropical mood. In the villages of India every home has a cow and a calf as symbols of peace, love and purity. Carved wooden pillars support the ornate canopy of the veranda. Red ochre is used to paint the Tulasi plant stands by the lotus pond as well as the walls of the canopies of the veranda. The red ochre earth is commonly used as paint in India. It is also added to the plastered floors. This is how a tastefully decorated interior and exterior of a traditional Indian home could look. A blank canvas is leaning against a pillar of the veranda. Here Gokula and Mumbiram live in a traditional Indian home. Gokula and Mumbiram have a little boy named after Balaram the elder brother of Krishna. Balaram was the best wrestler of his time. Little Bala loves the stories of Krishna and Balaram, as also sumo wrestling of Japan. Their neighbour is an Indian woman named Sunanda who has a daughter named Swati.

The warm feeling of sharing and rapport is most wonderfully depicted in this painting. It is an idealized world no doubt. It is a tribute to love between people that goes beyond cultural differences and causes a renaissance through the coming together of great ideals.

The five live as one family. Gokula designs beautiful clothes and Sunanda stiches them from fabrics that Mumbiram brings for them. These fabrics are rich in textures and colours. Mumbiram uses brilliant gold leaf in the gold brocade polka-dot blouse of Gokula. The same material is used for Swati’s pants. Bala is dressed like a wrestler. His clothes are from Sunanda’s fabrics. That is love in simple sharing ways. Gokula is learning how to wear a saree. The “poster” on the wall shows Sumo Wrestling, that great traditional art of Japan. The warm feeling of sharing and rapport is most wonderfully depicted in this painting. It is an idealized world no doubt. It is a tribute to love between people that goes beyond cultural differences and causes a renaissance through the coming together of great ideals.

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