“Abhisarika Kusum”

“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.