Parmeshwar Raju brings alive the many tales from Ramayana

Drummers banging away to wake up Kumbhakarna, Lakshmana drawing the line to keep Sita inside, Rama shooting the arrow into Ravana's navel on the advice of Vibhishana; these and many other emblematic images form the story panels of Poosapati Parmeshwar Raju now on display at the Taj Krishna.

Raju's work harks back to the time of cave art where a few lines would suffice to tell the story. The tales from Ramayana are well known but Raju brings them alive with witty brevity as the line thins then thickens and then thins. The women are identified with a knotted hair. The ink and pen sketches on paper using a variety of nibs look simple enough but the effort shows in the multiple lines.

“Very easy for them to see it, identify it and enjoy it,” says Raju about the 30 untitled panels that are on display. A few ladies walk into the room, admire the work as they discover the stories in the untitled canvases and then they want to know what sort of pen would reproduce the lines. Raju shows them some broad nibs and they get a gist of his style.

It is not just stories that exemplify Raju's work, they convey the connotation of elements in our mythology. There is an image of Rama's feet with a bow across it. “Earlier I did a similar work but showed Vishnu's feet where the symbol of shankh was used, it if was a chakra it would be Vishnu's feet but the meaning would be different. Shank would be for the goodness of human beings while chakra is for the protection of humans,” says Raju. “The panels I found difficult to execute were the ones where I had to show Kaikeyi's maid as a hunchback as well as someone who is very old then I had to create Hanuman who makes a mountain out of his tail to confront Ravan,” says Raju, whose show is on till May 20.

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