“Kusum brings her Mother Sakhrabai to visit the Artist”, by Mumbiram, Charcoal, 1984, Pune

“Kusum brings her Mother Sakhrabai to visit the Artist”, by Mumbiram, Charcoal, 1984, Pune

Sakhrabai had migrated from rural Mungi-Paithan to Pune as a teenager with her father and family and settled in what would become an urban slum. They were from the Matang (Mang) untouchable caste that salvaged bones and skins from animal carcasses. Kusum was her eldest daughter. Kusum went into the city with other girls in the neighborhood to collect paper and plastic refuse as well as metal scrap from construction sites. It was an adventure fraught with danger for teenage girls. Kusum was the leader of her group. A tall dark, strongly built, attractive teenager. She had a variety of suitors. That included a young Englishman that was once a disciple of Osho-Rajneesh, a Muslim boy from a neighboring slum besides a fellow rag-picker who dressed as a girl. Kusum’s father had already got a boy from his relatives to marry her. Kusum had driven that boy away. Kusum had kept all this from Mubiram the artist who also liked her. Kusum and her gang became regular visitors to Mumbiram’s atelier at the downtown vegetable market place. He was hospitable, gracious and generous. Kusum kept it like that. He was the kind of man to take mama to meet. Nothing hanky panky. Here Kusum is seen sharing Mumbiram’s art with her mother. Kusum has been Mumbiram’s favorite muse and inspired many a classic of Rasa Renaissance Art. This charcoal rendering has been included in an anthology of Mumbiram’s other charcoal renderings depicting loving couples sharing their book reading experience. This anthology is titled ‘Book Readers, Love on the Gutenberg Galaxy’. The charcoal rendering is in private collection in Australia.

”Not by bread alone – Kusum making chapattis”, by Mumbiram, Charcoal, Pune 1990

”Not by bread alone – Kusum making chapattis”, by Mumbiram, Charcoal, Pune 1990

This extraordinary charcoal rendering by Mumbiram is one of the prime examples of Rasa Renaissance Art. The artist and his muses have a real life friendship that is reflected in the art. Kusum is making chapattis -Indian flat bread. Her mate is keeping her company by reading to her from a book -most likely his own composition. The expression on Kusum’s face shows she is listening, even amused. The Hibiscuses, the Moon, the revered Tulasi plant and the peacock are ‘alambana’ objects that create the atmosphere conducive to the emotions (rasa) being expressed. Making the chapattis is one of the humdrum chores in every Indian woman’s daily routine. The magical touch of a rasik artist has given it the spin to make it a juicy memorable loving experience. The consummate skill of the artist is so mature that it has taken a back seat and let the drama of the situation take center-stage. This charcoal rendering has been included in an anthology of Mumbiram’s other charcoal renderings depicting loving couples sharing their book reading experience. This anthology is titled ‘Book Readers, Love on the Gutenberg Galaxy’.

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