Monday, December 22, 2014


Thought behind the Thought:

The thought came to me in an auditorium, when there was a thunderous applause after the curtain fell. The little performers on the stage had given their best to the act. They were beaming with pride as they presented their performance, decked up in their costumes and wearing their make-up. I could sense their excitement, and also the need for appreciation. Should we have clapped while they were on stage, instead of waiting for them to exit?

And is this not what happens in life too? We are all giving our best to this act of living. Some  get their applause while they are still on stage, and others receive it only after the curtain has fallen. But that does not change the fact that we are all performers and we all need the applause.

And also that, if your have given your best on stage, the applause will follow; even if it does so after the curtain falls!

As it did for the great artists who created the world famous painitngs at the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, India.The highly acclaimed art of Ajanta was hidden for centuries until it was discovered by a British army officer in 1819, and today it is a world Heritage Site, one of the most vivid displays of ancient Indian art!

  Padmapani Bodhisattva

 celestial musician


 scene from mahajataka

  ceiling decoration

  ceiling decoration

About the art:

The world famous paintings at Ajanta fall into two broad phases, t
he earliest  being datable to the second century B.C. The second phase of paintings started around 5th – 6th centuries A.D. and continued for the next two centuries. The main theme of the paintings is the depiction of various Jataka stories, different incidents associated with the life of Buddha, and the contemporary events and social life of the times. The ceiling decoration invariably consists of decorative patterns, geometrical as well as floral.

The paintings were executed after elaborate 
 initial preparation of the rock surface. The ground layer consisted of a rough layer of ferruginous earth mixed with rock-grit or sand, vegetable fibres, paddy husk, grass and other fibrous material of organic origin on the rough surface of walls and ceilings. A second coat of mud and ferruginous earth mixed with fine rock-powder or sand and fine fibrous vegetable material was applied over the ground surface. Then the surface was finally finished with a thin coat of lime wash.
Over this surface, outlines are drawn boldly, then the spaces were filled with requisite colours in different shades and tones to achieve the effect of rounded and plastic volumes. The colours and shades utilised also vary from red and yellow ochre, terra verte, to lime, kaolin, gypsum, lamp black and lapis lazuli. The chief binding material used here was glue. The paintings at Ajanta are not frescoes as they are painted with the aid of a binding agent, whereas in fresco the paintings are executed while the lime wash is still wet which, thereby acts as an intrinsic binding agent.

Source and credit for Information and images:
Archaeological Survey of India

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