My interest in mythology is very recent. Back then, I thought mythology was as boring as math. I am still very selective about what I read. I really like to understand the essence of the narrative and everything that my mind can remember and digest. Anyways…
What’s interesting about mythology is not only the visuals, colors, ancient painting style but, most importantly its narrative. I feel narrative serves a profound purpose…not only in ancient but also in today’s modern culture. I realized, every time I read mythology (am for sure not an expert), I discovered some answers, or shall I say it felt familiar. For sure, these stories may have been written hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, but it is good to remember they reveal universal truth. On the surface, they are simple yet complicated epic tales of gods and goddesses achieving all sorts of impossible tasks. A person who doesn’t look beyond the surface will think these tales are pointless, useless, etc… but a deeper look at the stories will change the perception.
For example, when I read about the Hindu goddess Akhilandeshwari (above image) for the first time (I quickly made a note to read more about her) WAIT…Let me first tell you a little bit about her. She is a south Asian goddess who is known as ‘She Who Is Never Not Broken’. In other words, the broken Goddess. When I read that, I was like …How can a goddess be broken? Why would someone worship her or share her stories? And why am I hearing about her from foreign authors? Why there are no festivals dedicated to this goddess or maybe there are, maybe I ignored it? Why have I never heard her name anywhere before? Does she have many followers? The curiosity drove me back and to my surprise, I couldn’t stop. Honestly, there is not much online. I found a few websites with brief information, much of it the same from one site to another. But enough to write a blog.
So…I read she is dark-skinned (unlike other Hindu goddesses) but a lot of pictures online don’t show that.
She carries a trident representing her union with Shiva and her intense powers.
She is not very popular (I have never ever heard anyone worshipping or any festival related to it).
She is untamable
She is free.
She is fierce and broken (not in a negative sense. Research… To know more)
She is one of the main forms of the Hindu goddess, Parvati ( Parvati is a popular Hindu goddess who is worshiped as one with many forms and names)
Also, there is a temple in Tamilnadu, India called Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple.
and Vow! She rides a crocodile (Hindu Gods and Goddesses have sacred vahanas or vehicles they ride on). So I dig more…
And the google research says (I didn’t make up this story just combined a little(essence) of what I read):
“This is a Goddess who cannot be fully contained. No one can remove the destruction and the mysterious qualities or the fierceness and brokenness that she contains. AKILANDESHVARI is pronounced as ‘Akilan – Anda –Esvari’ meaning ‘Universe – Ruler – Goddess’. But the word ‘Akhilanda’ essentially means “never not broken.” This is a double negative… In other words, she is the ‘the always broken Goddess. Her vahana, the crocodile is symbolic of the fear that resides in us. The Goddess refuses to succumb to fear, which would eat her up and plunge her into the dark depths of the water. Instead, she stands atop that fear, harnessing it boldly as a tool and gaining strength from it. Akhilandeshvari gains strength and beauty by constantly breaking apart and coming together again. Also, the way the crocodile attacks her prey is also insightful to the Goddess’ nature. Instead of using her sharp teeth to gulp, she grabs them and spins them in her jaws, disorienting them, thrashing them off-balance, until they give up. “ In other words.. to disorient our egos so that we can drop our attachments and come into our authentic nature.
Why am I drawn to her?
She reminds me that we are part of the cosmic play and there is nothing wrong with brokenness. She helps me acknowledge my own emotional fragments. If we would not feel disoriented (or disorient our egos), shattered at different phases in our life. How would we learn to grow spiritually? If we are complete and everything is perfect then there is no chance of growth. She represents the power to recreate ourselves, face our fears and weave new patterns to evolve. In other words, within the brokenness, there is possibility and growth.
Following is the corner table inspired by Akhilandeshwari goddess. Over a period of time as an artist, I created some self-imposed creative boundaries for myself. Stupid thoughts like don’t do it, it’s not gallery type, limited resources, emotional personal blocks, fears, etc. stopped me from taking steps. As a student, you only aim for galleries and collectors… I know you have not heard or read about me in media, am not famous. But so far, whatever I have created…is unique (www.harsheetthukral.com).
But, somewhere I knew there are parts of my personality that needed a different kind of creative expression. So one fine day ignoring all my insecurities (I did a lot of work on my emotional self), I started painting available tables at home.
For now, check out the mayz (table) below. Sadly, my phone completely broke down and I lost all in-process images. It was perfect timing, for me to either give up (I spent one day trying to recover the data but couldn’t) or still go ahead and post.
Step 1- Dismantle or pull apart the table- mine was a simple IKEA table that I could do myself.
Step 2- Prime the table- I did it with gesso spray (3 coats) https://amzn.to/3JEfYKm. You can buy wood primers in the market and brush them too.
Step 3- Transfer your drawing (I rubbed 8B/6B pencil AT the back of the drawing and then transferred it by re-drawing on the picture on the table surface)
Step 4- Start with the first coat and then start layering it with paint.
Step 6- After you are done – apply varnish (matt or gloss) with a brush or use a varnish spray can https://amzn.to/3sWr2Mm.
Step 7- Fix it back and click pictures ( click before you apply varnish to avoid glare).
Lastly, am writing blogs just not to share my work, experiences, thoughts…but also to pursue my newfound passion that is writing (my biggest fear).
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P.S. this table is SOLD.