Madhubani Mural during Covid
Updated: Dec 29, 2020
I started painting a mural on my studio wall in June 2020. First I had to prep the walls with Primer. Although I wanted to paint a mural for a long time, I could not decide what to paint. Finally I had this idea of painting a mural based on the Madhubani painting style. I had a certain idea in my mind. I started with the border which took some time. Then I started with the elephant. I drew a basic outline with the chalk and then I started filling in the designs which just flowed through my mind. Needless to say, it was a meditative process as there were so many lines and details. Once the elephant was done, the baby elephant came in the picture. In between I started the trees and leaves and water. After the elephants were done, I added the peacock. Then the humming birds. There are lots of humming birds in our yard, so it was obvious to add them to the mural. I added some fishes to the water. Lastly, I added the butterflies who also visit us in the yard. I finished the mural in November, on my birthday which was not planned to be that way. It just happened. My family helped in providing feedback, painting, drawing and holding the ladder.
Painting this mural was not only meditative, but it also gave me time to reflect on people here and beyond. I want to dedicate this mural to the dear ones, who are no more. My father, Yeshwant Deshpande always challenged me to do my best. He is always there guiding me when I need him most. My uncle GovindKaka had lot of pride in me. He was always there in my life and made it a point to meet me when ever I visited home in India. My loving uncle Anand Kaka, who was part of my life growing up. My cousin Sharadbhau, who was a constant calm, ever smiling presence in my life. My sister-in-law Sharada Vahini, an independent and strong person. I am forever indebted to her for saving my daughter. My uncle Nacchu Mama, who was so affectionate to me and loved my art. My grandparents, Tatya and Tai, with whom I wish I could have spent more time. My aunt Asha Maushi, who was a great source of inspiration to me. My two aunts Gangu Atya and Nani Atya. Gangu Atya would say to me that I was like my grandfather Dada in nature. My aunt Ammalu Atthai, who came in my life before my daughter was born. She was loving and caring and helped our family in so many ways. Raj, with whom I shared my birthday loved my art. In his busy schedule, he made time to visit the art gallery where my artwork was displayed. And Saloni, she showered so much love and happiness in the midst of her suffering. Her love for nature and the butterflies in my mural will remind me of her.