Mumbiram in America

Mumbiram arrived in America in the autumn of 1967. Mumbiram went to America when he was just about to turn 21. He had graduated at the top of his class and obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Those who are familiar with American history would know that it was a momentous period in the history of America. It was a period of turmoil and introspection. Some saw it as the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius”. At that, Mumbiram had arrived at the University of California in Berkeley which was to become the epicenter of student protest against the war that mighty America was waging against the small socialist nation of Vietnam in far away South East Asia.
While America was going through its own soul-searching Mumbiram’s mind was taking into stride the entirely new circumstances that were bringing for him new opportunities to explore. Mumbiram did obtain his MS in Mathematical Systems in 1968 and a PhD in 1973 for a dissertation in Mathematical Economics. But more than that he had come to the important conclusion that it was the aesthetic choice that ruled the destinies of individuals and societies. Mumbiram spent six more years in America as an itinerant philosopher and artist.

Among other places the two years he spent on Capitol Hill in Seattle, his idyllic years on a farm in Potomac Maryland and his two years in Cambridge-Boston in Massachusetts are the most significant periods. This was the period when path-breaking ideas of Rasa Theory of Aesthetic Criticism, Rasa Renaissance, the Universal Paradigm of Divine Love and the Prema Vivarta mood were conceived. He had developed a hands-on approach to painting. Charcoal and Ink & Brush were his forte. Much of his work of these years remains with unknown individuals who had hosted the young exotic artist. His original poetic work “Prema Vivarta or Deluges of Ecstasy” was composed during this period. Herein the “Prema Vivarta” is revealed as the art of reconciling the mundane and the transcendental on the path of self-realisation.
Mumbiram returned to India in October 1979, nearly exactly after 12 years, a ‘tapa’ in the Indian spiritual context.

Six years after his return Mumbiram wrote extensive articles in the Sunday supplements of popular dailies of his native Pune. The articles “In Search of Art that transcends culture” and “Practice of Personalist Art” give an excellent account of the evolution that young Mumbiram went through in America. These are available in the page of “Newspaper Articles” on this site.

On hindsight some see Mumbiram fulfilling Walt Whitman’s prophetic words in his iconic work “Passage to India”. Whitman writes, “After the seas are all crossed, after the great captains and engineers have accomplished their work, after the noble inventors, the scientist, the chemist, the geologist, the ethnologist, finally shall come the poet worthy of that name. It is then that the hearts of the wanderers shall be sated and all affection shall be fully responded to. The whole world and its parts will be completely justified. There will be a unity of nature and man.”

Mumbiram’s arriving in Berkeley California in September 1967 can be seen as ‘Providential’. It happened at exactly the right time and place, but without being planned.

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