Diyas sparkle

Fountainhead of knowledge. En`light'enment. Attainment. Nirvana. Synonyms, which go with the Bodhi tree, the very symbol of knowledge. Knowledge that is the beacon light in anyone's life.

Fireworks light up the sky. The eyes light up too. There is the warm glow of `diyas.' And happiness everywhere. It's Deepavali. And the lights symbolise happiness and prosperity.

Two great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, and one luminous symbol, light. Two facets of life - knowledge and happiness - and one common metaphor, light. And this very `light', warm and aglow, meets the Bodhi tree in "LuminEssence'', terracota works of the Mysore-based sculptor, Anand Babu M. Ambarkhane, capturing the essence of Hinduism and Buddhism on display at Daira Centre for Arts and Culture, Road No. 5, Banjara Hills.

``Bodhi tree is the metaphor for knowledge. And light which forms the crux of the Deepavali festivities symbolises knowledge,'' he explains. Inspiration enough for him to get down to work.

And the commonly used `diyas' find a new expression for the final year student of MFA, Sculpture, from Chamarajendra Drushyakala Academy, Mysore, as he makes a Bodhi tree with ample room for several `diyas' to be lit up. While terracota is the most dreaded medium for many an artiste given its fragile nature, Anand is at home with this earthy medium. "It is integral to our culture and I am extremely comfortable with it,'' says Anand who hails from Gulbarga in Karnataka.

``Anand's terracota works are not just artistic expressions, but have immense functional value. More so, with terracota forming the backdrop of Indian homes, be it in the form of bricks, tiles and other forms, and the festivities. Compared to the ordinary, yet extraordinarily beautiful `diyas', these artistic `diyas' are collector's items,'' says the Daira Curator, Atiya Amjad.

The exhibition is on till November 4, but teracota is forever. And luminescent as ever!

By Madhav K.V.S.

Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

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