The Delicacy of Kangra Paintings

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Indian Miniature Art is treasured all over the world because of its beauty and inherent delicacy. Of all the north Indian styles, Kangra school of Painting has a great deal of detail and depth by which it is executed. Above are some pictures of a documentation at a time when I did not have a suitable camera to record this beautiful art, but nevertheless you can appreciate the painstaking ways the artists use. A few bristles of a special brush to create exquisite paintings. Sometimes the work is so minute that a high powered lens is used. Presently this art is in languishing stage with only a handful of artists surviving to take ahead this historic legacy.

Zooming in to Delicate : Dissecting an Intangible


What makes something delicate, soft, fine or fragile? While the immediate reaction would be the material, maybe there are more things that make something delicate. A spider’s web may look delicate, but its one of the strongest materials in the world. A leaf maybe delicate, but only so if it is proportion to another thing which is not as fragile, not as delicate.del1

Then, imagine an ant. An ant crawling up an expanse of the leaf, may not find it delicate, but a large area to be covered. Thus delicacy, itself is a subjective trait, to be measured by size, proportion, material, maybe the colour.



God of the Birds

This is Garuda. The king of the Bird community according to Hindu Mythology. We found this remarkable sculpture in the 11th C AD ruins of Vichundrem in Goa. He is the mount of Lord Vishnu and seems to be paying obeisance to him after being granted immortality. The Vishnu statue as Shri Narayandev is at the other end of the ruins.

A little bit of Green

Some people collect music, I like to collect pretty stones.

We often associate green with Emeralds, but there are a surprising number of natural stones which are green in colour. Chrysolite(top four pictures) is one such gemstone from the “Olivine” family, from which we also get Peridot (as in the beads above). While Peridot is smaller and greener, Chrysolite is more vivid and yellower. Fashions have relegated the Olivine family to “semi precious” stones, but they are one of my favorites. Tsavorites, the drops, are also green in colour. Only an experienced gemologist can distinguish and rate gemstones based on their many colors and characteristics. The  piece of Jewellery displayed above is a double loop pendant with a modern interpretation of Gold foil setting (Kundan) and Green Enamel (Minakari), both which are traditional Indian jewellery techniques, popular in the 13th-15th C AD (Mughal period). Finally At the end, is a motif from the Mehendi (temporary tattoo) art which is basically a henna made by crushing green Mehendi leaves and is used to dye the hands for festive occasions.

(All pictures and stones from my private collection)

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Renew


Eco. Green. Go green. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

These seem to be the mantra of the era. And we find examples in some unlikely place. A chance visit to my net admin’s office, amongst the mess of wires and servers, revealed how his team had created a makeshift pen & tool stand from used floppy disks. He had also added a picture of his favorite cricket star on a panel.

The HR’s desk was also eventful. A couple of mouse had been decorated to appear just so. Guess it perked up her desk a bit.

Things people do!