Unveiling the Hindu Rituals

Written by Shumaila Islam | Visual Artist, Educator, Writer, Curator

On the artistic experiences of Shobna Rathore | Visual Artist

Shobna interrogates and analyzes Hindu Rituals and their meanings. She uses palm lines as a visual language to explore the system of rituals like Diwali, Holi, Wivah (marriage), Rangoli, and their functions. Her queries are speculating the perspectives of religious culture, identity, and Hindu rituals. She takes these palm lines as a verdict of fate and relates it with the system of rituals that are shaped by belief. According to her belief, these lines have concealed many fates for her routine life happenings like marriage and other rituals. She shares such ritualistic ceremonies and their meanings with other communities. She says, “the Hindu communities perform those rituals which are related to marriage zealously and they perform it without knowing the significance of these rituals. I want to explore the reason”.

These rituals include Bidae (sending to in-law’s home) leaving hand impression on wall parent’s home as her presence, Ghar Pervaish (welcoming ceremony) of a bride, bringing bride into Doli and many others rituals. She revealed the reason for displaying the imagery of Goddess Lakshami into Doli as a bride that they perceive it as a source of bringing luck into their life. They hope the bride they have chosen to marry may bring wealth and prosperity to the bridegroom’s life. They revere her like a Goddess Lakshami.

Her imagery includes Hindu Gods, Goddesses, and simplified forms. She prepares her stencils for creating imagery and later applies her handprints; the composition and organization of elements show in-depth concerns revolving the hidden decisions of her life. Red, green, orange, black, and white are her emotional language. Handprints, figures, palm prints, and footprints display the association of her feelings with religion.

Right: FOR THE MEANING, mono print, Shobna Rathore, All copyrights are retained by the artist, 2020