Tandabam – Dance of Destruction


DANCE OF DESTRUCTION

Nataraja – the most famous depiction of Lord Shiva is not only an epitome of ethereal beauty but also symbolizes a very important piece of the Hindu mythology. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is known as the ‘Adi dev‘ which means – the oldest of the Gods. He is known to be an ecstatic dancer. And ‘Nataraja‘, which literally means ‘the Lord of the Dance’ in Sanskrit, is the form Lord Shiva took when he performed ‘Tandaba‘ – the dance of destruction.

The dance, which is also called ‘Rudra Tandaba‘, symbolizes the never-ending cycle of creation and destruction of the universe. In this form, Shiva is seen standing on a dwarf figure named ‘Apasmara‘ or ‘Muyalaka‘. According to mythology, the dwarf demon ‘Apasmara‘, who symbolizes ignorance and illusion, attained immortality. He kept getting more and more arrogant of his powers and eventually challenged Lord Shiva. It was then when Shiva took the form of ‘Nataraja‘ and performed the dance of destruction, crushing ‘Apasmara‘ under his right foot. Since ‘Apasmara‘ could not be killed in order to preserve the balance between knowledge and ignorance in the world, Lord Shiva forever remained in his ‘Nataraja‘ pose, suppressing ‘Apasmara‘ for eternity. Therefore, the ‘Nataraja‘ avatar of Shiva is a message that ignorance can be overcome by knowledge, music, and dance.

In this pose, Shiva is represented with four arms and flying locks as he whirls around in his dancing frenzy. His locks are decked with a skull, datura blossom, and a crescent moon, which symbolizes that he is omnipresent. The sacred Ganges is flowing through his locks. His third eye represents spiritual wisdom, power, and enlightenment. Through the third eye, Shiva can see beyond the apparent and destroy all evil.

He is seen providing the music and rhythm of his dance by himself, holding a small drum – the ‘Damaroo‘ (usually resembles the shape of an hour-glass) in his upper right hand. In his upper left hand, Shiva holds the fire – ‘Agni‘ which can destroy the universe. In his lower right hand is seen a Cobra, originally belonging to ‘Apasmara‘, which appears to be slain or tamed. Hence, his lower right-hand makes the gesture of blessings – ‘Abhaya Mudra‘ which calms all fear. And his lower left hand, which sweeps across his torso in the dancing pose pointing towards his left foot, makes the gesture of ‘Gajahasta‘, symbolizing salvation and liberation. In his right foot, Shiva is crushing ‘Apasmara Purusha‘ who represents ignorance and illusion which leads humanity away from the Truth. And his left foot is an expression of exuberance of energy displayed during his dance.

The ring of fire – ‘Prabha Mandala‘ behind the Lord represents the endless circle of birth and death. The outer edge is fire and the inner edge, the waters of the oceans.

Thus, the dance of destruction is not just a dance, but a representation of the motion of the whole universe around us and how God plays all the three roles of creation, preservation, and destruction simultaneously in His grand gesture.

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A Woman


I dare not describe what women are, my vocabulary falls terribly short of worthy words! So, here are few of my most favourite quotes of all time:

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes because that’s the doorway to her heart, the place where LOVE resides.

Audrey Hepburn

I alone cannot change the world. But I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Mother Teresa

Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.

Malala Yousafzai

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.

Oprah Winfrey

Women are meant to be loved, not understood.

Oscar Wilde

Don’t let anyone tell you, you’re weak because you’re a woman.

Mary Kom

A charming woman does not follow the crowd, she is herself.

Loretta Young

A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty.

Rudyard Kipling

One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.

Simone de Beauvoir

And, the last but not the least, an anonymous quote:

Every man needs a woman when life is a mess, because just like the game of chess – the queen protects the king

Happy women’s day to all the women in the world!

Courtesy: [Wikipedia]

Enigma


17-enigma

Are you watching closely?

Rain On Me


...and wash my pains away

…and wash my pains away

She was asleep…when the cracking sound of thunder woke her up. She quickly got up, still trying to find out what it was. Then it announced its presence once again, this time with an even louder crack and an unmistakable flash of lightning that filled the room even through the narrow gap of the closed door. She had no doubt anymore. “At last!!!”, she whispered to herself…and ran out into the open terrace as quickly as she could, almost stumbling while opening the door. And there it was…still away from the house…but it was approaching rapidly from all directions. It covered the horizon like a veil of white mist…nothing could be seen on the horizon anymore. “What took you so long?”, she asked in a tone of complaint. And it replied with a blazing flash, piercing across the dark columns of clouds above…and the endless reverberation of the thunder gradually fading away.

“Oh, I know… the same excuse again”, she smiled. Her wait was over. It was almost in her reach now. She gasped, taking a breath, and ran to the edge of the terrace, almost not able to hold herself back. “I’ve been waiting so long…”, she told, “not any more”. She could feel the surrounding changing, moist engulfing the dry and dusty air, quenching the thirst of the arid land. “I’ve suffered so much…”, she could now barely utter the words, her voice almost choked in emotion. “…so much pain…”, tears rolled down her cheek. She closed her eyes.

And then the first droplet of water touched her gently on the forehead, and then another one splashed on her eyelid, and then another one on her lips…and then another…”Come…take me in your embrace”, she said, spreading her arms across. “Come to me…and wash my pains away…”, she murmured one last time…and then…it started…

P.S. This work is dedicated to my dearest of friends, Tinni. Thank you so much for supporting me, standing by me like nobody did and being my inspiration!!

Lethal Weapon


Bang on target

Bang on target

Some say that girls and guns do not mix. But judging by the interests guys put up over the Internet search, I beg to differ politely. The cool guns do look deadly in the hands of equally deadly femme fatales who are capable enough to carry them. My latest sketch is inspired by one such work which is widely available over the Net.

Guns always had their own charm to boys. The cold steel, the slick design, the weight and the precision!! Yes, Guns do have the power to change history. And among guns, snipers have always been considered to be a class apart. No tactical operation team is complete without a sniper, who would watch over other members of the team and would also provide an extra bit of confidence to the guys running door to door afoot in close range combat. There are many a stories and legends of extraordinary marksmanship by snipers delivering a kill shot over incredible distances such as over a mile during operation Desert Storm.

The gun featured in the sketch is a Barrett M82A1, which is a standard issue sniper by the US Military as a heavy SARS (Special Application Scoped Rifle). Also called the “Light Fifty” for its .50 BMG chembering, the M82A1 has a muzzle velocity of 853 m/s and an effective firing range of 1800 meters. It has a recoil operated rotating bolt action and a 10 rounds detachable box feed system. Isn’t that Impressive !!