After finishing our publishing sessions in New Delhi, Sadhaka Satyanatha and I are off to the airport for the return flight to Bengaluru. It's hard to get used to the new airports in India. We are accustomed to a dark, third-world experience, but here and in Bengaluru things have changed. Airports are now full of art and sculpture, the the two elephants who chased us into the security lines. Moments later we are enthralled by a life-size sculpture depicting Surya Namaskar, twelve bronzes in the poses, on a spiriling platform
Inside, we are suddenly standing on two acres of new carpet in a massive space that could hold 10,000 passengers (and would have in days gone by). But this morning we are the only ones walking here. Such a feeling of abundant spaciousness. I get out my iPhone to capture the unlikely moment, but the drama is thwarted when a couple of fellow travelers turn the corner. We take the shot anyway.
In Bengaluru, we are joined by our Kerala artist, Suresh Muttukulam, who has taken a train from his home to be with us. I have brought him a Kauai Rudraksha Mala, our new favorite thing to share, and place itaround his neck. Suresh is working on the nine paintings that will ultimately be installed on the ceiling of the Swayambhu Mandapam. In the slideshow we share one of the completed works (they are four feet square!). Suresh is working late into the night, trying to finish in time for Bodhinatha's February event in Kerala. He also wants to finish because he has recently receive word of a commission for an 80-foot long and 10-fooot high mural for the new Mumbai Airport. It's so big, he will need assistants with the work.
Suresh has brought a gift too. It's a small bronze Ganesha holding a Sivalingam. What's special about this one is that Suresh has hand-painted it. It's delightful. He informs us that he is almost finished with the eighth wokl He speaks enthusiastically about an inspiration he has to do a Prodosha Siva, then pulls out a notepad and quickly suggests how it might look.
Jiva and Thurai join us for dinner, and soon Senthil and wife Nisha come. Wonderful day. Tomorrow we are off early to Vellore, a four hour ride that will take us to the Golden Temple of Shakt Amma. Aum Nama Sivaya
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