Madhubani finds its way to a mall ceiling

Madhubani finds its way to a mall ceiling

This time, get ready to celebrate Dussehra with a beautiful folk art form. The DLF Place Saket mall has painted its ground floor ceiling with a series of Madhubani paintings depicting various chapters from Ramayan.

These have been painted by artists called in especially from Janakpur, Bihar, to give a taste of this traditional art form to Delhiites. 

Madhubani or Mithila painting is intricately linked to Ramayan. It is said to have originated when king Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at his daughter Sita’s marriage to lord Ram. Since then, they have been done by women of village Madhubani (meaning forests of honey) and other areas of Mithila.

Traditionally, they were done on freshly plastered mud walls of huts, but now are also done on cloth, hand-made paper and canvas. While earlier, they were made with the help of small pins and natural colours (like ochre and lampblack for reddish brown and black respectively), they have now been substituted by brush and synthetic colours.

Benu Sehgal, Vice President, Mall Management, DLF Utilities Limited, informs us, “Everyone celebrates Dussehra and Diwali with rangoli and crackers. We wanted to do something different, and hence invited these artists to decorate our facility with their artwork.”

“It has taken them over 40 days to finish painting the ceiling, and the finished product is a wonder to behold. We are very happy that we are being able to promote this dying art as well as spread the knowledge of a legend like Ramayan among our younger generation especially.”

Indeed, chapters from Ramayana, also known as kands, unfold across the length and breadth of the mall’s ceiling. These include scenes from the Bala kand: lord Ram’s training under sage Vishwamitra and Sita’s swayamvar; Ayodhya kand: Ram is banished from the kingdom and Sita and Lakshman accompany him; Aranya kand: Surpanakha’s visit followed by Ravan taking Sita away; Kishkinda kand: Sugriv and Hanuman join Ram in Sita’s search; Sundar kand: Hanuman discovers Sita in Ravan’s Ashok vatika; and finally Yuddha kand where Ram defeats Ravan and Ayodhya celebrates their homecoming.

Each of the kands are accompanied by notes in Awadhi language - a dialect of the Hindi-Urdu - which was used traditionally to explain these paintings. Without a doubt, the paintings are beautiful and educative, and the exhibition a must visit in this festive season.It will be open for public display from October 19 to November 14.

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