Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ganga Aarti - Homage to the Ganges

Original Oil on Canvas
Photo ref Yusuke Kawasaki 

One of my most beautiful memories is the "Ganga Aarti" in Varanasi - a homage paid to the river Ganges after sundown. In a flamboyant ceremony priests walk down the river bank holding large oil lamps and offering prayers. For a few minutes, the chants drown the sound of the mighty river. Bundled in a shawl I would sit on the stone steps with a cup of chai watching the ceremonial procession go by. Gazing at the leaping flames through the haze of incense smoke and evening fog, I was always overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the ceremony. I would love to go back to the 'Ghats' of the city to capture its soul in my art. Here is my very first attempt to relive memories from my childhood.