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Tulsi Poojana

Tulsi Poojana
The tulsi (holy basil) occupies pride of place in the Indian home and hearth. Usually positioned under the open sky, nourished by sun and rain, it is an integral part of the daily poojana (ritual worship) of Indian homes. The painting that you see on this page depicts a lady stepping out onto the terrace of her home one early morning. Having emerged fresh from her bath, she picks up the poojana kalasha and thalee in her gentle hands and steps out into the sun towards the tulsi to make an offering.

She is clad in a fresh saree of ivory-coloured silk, so new the creases are still intact. Zoom in on the endpiece that she has drawn down the front, lifelike folds painted with bold monotone brushstrokes. A thick brocade of gold defines the border, which is embroidered with a single thread of green. Ample gold ornaments on her person, studded with rubies and emeralds; these are indicative of her status as probably the eldest daughter-in-law. Such is the glow on her face that, in her ivory saree and gold jewellery, she is the very image of Devi Sarasvati.

Thick green vine frames the door behind her. In the background, one could see the quarters of the ground floor of her home. A quiet courtyard opens out before it, in keeping with the pre-independence architecture of the homes of the upper classes in India. Into the distance, a gorgeous palette of soft greens and yellows defines the Ganges as She reflects the glamorous rays of the early morning sun.

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Item Code: OS06
Oil Painting on Canvas
36 inches X 48 inches

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