Sunday, April 3, 2016



                                       KASHMIRI TONGA 1959

                                            (By Ratan Parimoo....)


Dr. RATAN  PARIMOO ( Born 1936).

“ For me , Painting kashmir more specifically its culture and life has always been satisfying. It fills the Heart with a different charm and satisfaction "

Dr Ratan Parimoo (Born 1936 ) is a leading Artist and more specifically an Art Historian of the country . He belongs to the illustrious Baroda Group of Artists and served as Professor of Art History and Aesthetics at M S University of Baroda . A 1974 Rockfeller Foundation Scholarship holder for his work on Buddhist Art, Dr Parimoo is a wonderful Painter , Scholar Extraordinary and an Acknowledged Art Historian World over . 
                                                ( Vegetable vendor By Ratan Parimoo )

Having  written Hundreds of articles for National and International journals and delivered similar number of lectures on Art and History of Art, Dr. Parimoo has published more than 20 scholarly Books on Art and History of Art . Some Books written by him can be listed as under..

1. Paintings of the three Tagores, Abanindranath, Gaganendranath, Rabindranath - Chronology and Comparative Study (Ph. D. Thesis) M.S. University of Baroda 1973
2. Studies in Modern Indian Art
3. Life of Buddha in Indian Sculpture
4. Sculptures of Sheshashayi Vishnu
5. The Pictorial World of Gaganendranath Tagore
6. Studies in Indian Sculptures
7. Studies on the Art of Raja Ravi Varma
8 Vaishnavism in Indian Art and Culture
9. Ellora Caves - Sculptures and Architecture
10. The Arts of Ajanta - New Perspectives
11. Creative Arts in Modern India
12. The Legacy of Raja Ravi Varma -
13. Historical Development of Contemporary Indian Art 1800 – 1947.

 Born at Habba kadal in srinagar city in 1936, In 1951, he came to Baroda at a young age of 15 to study painting under Prof. N S Bendre. In 1960, he travelled to England on the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship, to study art history.Prof Parimoo was one of the youngest painters to respond to the 'abstract style' of the first modernist movements of the country after Independence. He has been a life-long teacher of art history and aesthetics .

Dr Ratan Parimoo's work is on display at  many Art Galleries world over. In India , His work is also  on display at :

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Punjab University, Chandigarh
Air India, Mumbai
Shyamal Builders, Vadodara
Gujarat State Lalit Kala Akademi, Ahmedabad
Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi
Madhavan Nair Foundation, Cochin
Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai
Welcome Group of Hotel, Vadodara
                                                       ( Monkeys by Ratan Parimoo )
                                          (  Donkeys returning Home   By Ratan Parimoo)
A popular book on Art written by Dr Parimoo bears BADAM-WADI or BADAM-WAARI as it's title.Badaam Vaari is the name of the famous Almond Garden near Hari Parbat in Srinagâr city.This garden is a part of kashmiri culture and life .The spring festival (with full blooming almond trees ) attracts kashmiris of all shades to this garden.
                               ( Dr Parimoo with his wife  Artist Naina Dalal  )

His wife ,Naina Dalal  is also a well known Artist of the country.Trained by Prof NS Bendre and K G Subramaniam , Naina's work is on display in Art Galleries of Berlin, New York and London apart from Lalit Kala Academy  New Delhi.
  ( 'Maa Mujhe Jeene  Do' or Mother allow me to Live ...A Painting by  Naina Dalal wife of Dr Ratan Parimoo )

Dr.Gauri Parimoo Krishnan , Daughter of Dr Ratan Parimoo , is a well known Art Historian and Curator. Gauri Parimoo Krishnan has authored more than 6 books on Art and Art history out of which two books cover works of   Ratan Parimoo and Neena Dalal  ,her father and mother respectively. She has been honoured by Govt of Singapore for her role as curator of The Asian Civilizations Museum.  About influence of her parents  ,Dr Gauri Parimoo Krishnan adds :

“ My parents believe in creativity and they have never shied away from following their artistic calling and not be dictated by external forces. They are gentle but resolute, I guess I have followed in their footsteps somehow! “

Prof Parimoo lives at Baroda..Last year while being felicitated by J&K Academy of Art Culture and languages, he spoke :

“ No man forgets his roots . My paintings like Maej kashir, kashmiri Dancers, Habba Kadal, Fish selling women, Dal Lake, Kashmiri family and Tongas reflect my inner emotions and Nostalgia .”

                      (  kashmiri Fish selling woman shows a  kashmiri Pandit woman Buying Fish  )

Remembering his  Mother ,  Prof. Rattan Parimoo   writes :

“ As a Kid , I have heard my Mother , The Grandmother , Kakien or my  Father’s Mother  , reciting  “Indrakshi Namsa Deevi “ every morning . I also remember as a child during the late 40s the highly emotional Chants let out by elderly  kashmiri women  at Chakreshawer Temple Hari Parbat “ Maejji Maejji “ and uttering ardent prayers concerning troubles plaguing  their families at that point of time. I was Named as Saeba. My mother was born as Kamla however she was named as Soomavati in her in law’s house. Remembering mother is impossible without bringing in the Character of the elder Mother ( Kakien  or My father’s mother ) with whom she remained entangled through her married life. Kakien would often taunt Maej ( My Mother ) for her parents’ s  family , what little they gave as dowry and what training she was given as a young girl to face the responsibilities after her  marriage and assuming the role of a daughter in law. The heaps of Humiliation flung at her , of which I am a witness , still haunt me . But she hardly complained ,  nor did  it show on her Beautiful face.
It was In Baroda that My wife Naina  (  Naina  Dalal ,A well Known Artist ) and I discovered that Maej ( Mother ) Had developed Acute diabetes . Her legs had become rickety and deformed and it was difficult for her to walk. She would also get into what Doctors called diabetic coma. On many occasions , I observed that she was talking to herself in an incoherent manner .  In the Monologues , she would often repeat the taunts hurled on her by Kakien  , something like :

“ That day you shouted at me for my Dull Headedness . … You accused me of being slow . You abused my parents , Brothers  and so forth .”

 Those days , the 1970s , acute diabetes could be managed by Insulin Injections . Thus we arranged a Nurse to come in the Morning and in the evening to administer Insulin Injections It was our second opportunity to live with my parents at Baroda , But under circumstances when both of them were sick.And once again father and mother expressed their keenness  to return to Srinagar and stay with my Bother Bhaijan . It was in 1978 that I received the  news about Maej’s death.I reached srinagar to join the mourning as well as the post Cremation rites . The lady relatives gathered in our house were heard commenting that “ Maej” had met with a fortunate death .  She died before her husband and had thus escaped the humiliating status of widowhood . I could not help thinking ; perhaps a Lucky death for a  woman  who otherwise was unlucky for whole of her life .She must not have been more than 60 years old .

.  My current obsession nervously makes me aware of my guilt feelings towards my mother  ( Maej ). She died so long ago and the thought pinches me so much that I hardly did anything for her as a grown up son with a good career to boast."

(“Remembering Maej – The Mother”  by   Ratan Parimoo……. Miraas  vol. IX ,No.III and IV…July December 2016 Issue )

I end this brief post with Quatrain    of Faiz Ahmed Faiz ..

 “Hum khasta tanon se mohtasibo,
kiya maal manaal ka poochhte ho
Jo umr se hum ne bhar paya
sab samne laye detay hain,
Daaman me hay musht-e-khake-jigar,
saaghar me hay khoon-e-hasrat-e-mai
Lo hum ne daaman jharr diya,
 lo jaam ultaye detay hain.)

( “We are the Enfeebled ,
What is there to ask about our assets O Censors ,
All that life has proffered us ,
We are holding up for scrutiny :
In the hem of handful of Heart’s dust ,
In the goblet  the Blood of yearning’s wine.
Look , Here we empty our hem ,
And here we upturn the wine glass .”)

( Translation from Urdu By Shiv K Kumar )

( Autar Mota )

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