Real India Project – Navarasas

I have a dream – to capture the real side of India – covering the entire gamut of culture, values, myths, modernization, households, statues, paintings, slums, bungalows, beaches, mountains, places of worship, riots, meetings, children, street games, elders, middle class families, urban life… Well, the list is as endless as the diversities that make India so beautiful and proud.

To kick start, i captured these pictures. These are the road side paintings that one can find on the Saidapet bus stop. These pictures depict “Navarasas” of Bharatnatyam.  In Indian culture, Navarasas are a set of 9 different expressions in life that a human face can carry. It is indeed those 9 facial reactions that the artist has replicated.

The picture below depicts “Veeram” – a tamil word for “Bravery”. Bravery is deeply rooted in Indian culture, why not when there were kings like Veer Sivaji, Akbar, the Chozhas and several such dynasties.

© Poornima

The second picture stands for “Bayam” which is the tamil word for “Fear”. Everyone has fear,  the way you overcome it makes you strong!

© Poornima

The third picture stands for “Anbu” – “Love”. There was no history without the pages of Love and Affection.

© Poornima

The fourth picture depicts “Veruppu” – “Hatred towards something or someone”.

© Poornima

The fifth pictures depicts “Santham” – ” Peace” with oneself and the world.

© Poornima

The sixth picture depicts “Kobam” – “Anger”. An angered heart shows on the eyes!

© Poornima

The seventh picture depicts “Karunai” – “Sympathy”.  Though empathy is considered a step above these days, sympathy is a heart drenched way of expressing compassion for a fellow human being’s woes.

© Poornima

The eight picture depicts “Nagaichuvai” – “Humour”.  Laughter, they say, is the best medicine!

© Poornima

The next picture depicts “Arpudham” – “Wonder”. It is about the sense of wonder that one feels deep down the heart.

© Poornima

The painting artist who drew these on the roadside could have been paid meagre wages, but his work stands truly world-class.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Lakshmi says:

    Awesome pics. I saw them while travelling past saidapet. part of singara chennai project. Good work, both paintings and ur pics.

    Bharathanatiyam has fascinated me everysince i was a little girl. Now my little girl wants to learn Bharathaniti as she fondly calls it , hoping to give her a chance to try her hands on it. Fingers crossed.

  2. Saum says:

    Nice pics poo. I really got petrified of the asthetic sense of that person who resides on the roadside but adorning the finest nuances in his pics. You really did a great job to come up with a motto to ventilise such hidden prodigies in our society through your blogs. I was not aware of all of these navarasas. It helped me to increase my knowledge I think so.If you had not written the meaning of the poses then also I could have guessed from the pictures because its so bold and lively. Please also share the name of that anonymous person who did it. It will be a great pleasure for us to help that person.

    1. Poornima says:

      Saum, I don’t know who the painter was. But I find a few people carrying print outs of such pictures and painting them on the wall. Its part of the ‘Singara(beautiful) Chennai’ project.

  3. ariyathe says:

    These are so gorgeous! I am a Bharatnatyam dancer and I was actually in search of model pictures to paint when I come across these. Yea, it is sad that this painter probably doesn’t get any aesthetic appreciation for his work.

    1. Poornima says:

      I have met hardly any bharatnatyam dancer than the one that i captured via the painting.
      It is really happy to be acknowledged by a dancer! Thanks.

  4. fotomurthy says:

    hi !

    grateful thanks for posting it here | the source file for the said painting has been my photography | i am not saying this to advertise my vanity | but the fact of the matter is | i was on my way to photograph a wedding at mahabalipuram in dec 2010 | and i saw this too | i was so-so pleasantly surprised that my navarasa picture : which i had posted in my deviantart account in nov 2006 has been used | i felt so happy and so elevated | i am happier again to have found it in your blog randomly 🙂

    cheers !

    navarasa picture source :

    1. Poornima says:

      Hi Murthy,

      I am really glad to know that its your painting. I’d appreciated the one who painted this so many times and lot of people also applauded you.

      No words, its a big small world!!!

    2. Poornima says:

      The pictures on the navrasas that i had posted here on my blog were taken by me. I had driven to saidapet to specifically capture them.

      1. fotomurthy says:

        Hi, I acknowledge that you have taken the picture of the dancer on the wall. But, I was meaning that i originally took the dancer’s picture in my studio – which has been used as a reference to paint on the wall.

      2. Poornima says:

        Ah ok i get it now.. Thats nice.. It must’ve been a privilege to shoot the dancer in reality..

      3. fotomurthy says:

        More than a privilege it is a blessing to be associated with classical arts. You can check out some of my old works here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s