“Red haired amateur palmist girl reading Krishna’s fortune near Govardhan”, by Mumbiram, Gouache Watercolor, Seattle 1976

 

 

“Red haired amateur palmist girl reading Krishna’s fortune near Govardhan”, by Mumbiram, Gouache Watercolor, Seattle 1976

The good-hearted girl wants to read Krishna’s fortune. It is clearly a ruse and an excuse to hold Beloved Krishna’s hand. Krishna is clearly amused. In Mumbiram’s imagination Krishna devotees came from all colours and creeds. They did not have to be gopis (cowherd girls of Vrindavan) or even Indian village girls. They were mostly exotic ‘Pulindya’ women of the forest near Govardhan Mountain in Krishna‘s land. Their relationship with Krishna was often marked by overfamiliarity and audacity. In esoteric Krishna theology this is considered ‘raganuga bhakti’ or spontaneous loving devotional service. Mumbiram sees his position in Goloka as that of a go-between who brought the Pulindya people to associate with Krishna.

“Alice Cooper washing Mumbiram’s Hair”, by Mumbiram, Ink-and-brush, Seattle 1975

“Alice Cooper washing Mumbiram’s Hair”, by Mumbiram, Ink-and-brush, Seattle 1975

In 1975, Seattle’s Capitol Hill was a mixed neighborhood of young and poor. Mumbiram was a welcome guest in many homes. Some of the fondest memories of America that Mumbiram cherishes are connected with people that had enjoyed simple loving friendship with him in Seattle. Aline Beck, Judith Lundberg, Gina Johnson, Alice Cooper, Vatsara Das, Candace Kleeb, Rikki Sara (Mukund) are some names that meant a lot to the young artist. They all came from different ethnic and social backgrounds. Alice Cooper was an Afro-American woman passionate about athletics. This ink-and-brush work is typical of Mumbiram’s style in that period. Unfortunately much of these works were destroyed by an overzealous devotee in the Portland Oregon Krishna Temple a year later.

 

 

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