“Chitalyanchi Soon” (Daughter-in-law of the Chitale Family), by Mumbiram, Watercolor, 1982

”Chitalyanchi Soon” deals with the situation when a son comes home with a bride of an alien culture into an Indian family. Mumbiram himself came with a German-American girl from Berkeley in 1973. It was a disaster. Both hastily went back to Berkeley. After he returned to India at the end of 1979 the saga continued. Mumbiram came with a Maratha girl from Pune (1980), then a girl from an untouchable family converted to Christianity (1984), then a Japanese Krishna-devotee girl (1987), then a Greek art-lover he met in German Bakery (1987). All of them were outright rejected by Mumbiram’s mother. In contrast the alien daughter-in-law in this painting seems to be received more congenially.

This painting made in 1982 saw the light of the day in the article “In Search of Art that transcends Culture” in the Marathi Daily “Sakal” in 1985. The article received popular acclaim. Some readers framed the cut-out of this painting and hung it in their home.

This is from the “Personalist” period of Mumbiram’s art. The choice of faces appearing in this painting show Mumbiram’s intimate understanding of the class and caste structure of contemporary India. The title of the painting leaves a lot unsaid, yet says it all.