Inside the turtle, symbolic of the universe, is the short-eared subcontinental elephant. Inside the elephant is the cow, symbolic, in the interpretation of artist Sabir Nazar, of the motherland. Inside the motherland, and within the further circumscription of a Laxman rekha, sits Sita, on the verge of abduction by the devious Rawan. The turtle swims in a dark sea, and Sita is separated from the brightly-lit head of an imperial hall by a moat and a universe. Those who rule this court are far from her daily concerns, her happiness, her troubles. The political disconnect, the distance in understanding, manifests itself in stretches of water, in the stark difference between the dark sea and the bright air. The metropole is far away. Its powerful appear comfortable and happy, lording over a world they do not know.
This is part of a regular series of Himal’s editorial commentary on artwork by Sabir Nazar. Watercolour, 18″ x 24″