Mangli – Portrait of a Lady -2

Mangli (whose name means `the auspicious one’) is a beautiful lady, with a regal bearing … always cheerful, smiling…  She would come to do my laundry and I always wanted to paint her. But she never had the time to sit for me. Finally, I could manage to convince her to give me her black and white passport size photograph, around which I built this painting.

I am very fond of this painting because I think have managed to capture the essence of her personality.

On festivals Mangli would come to work decked up in her heavy silver jewellery and her brightest red `bandhni chunari'(tie and dye veil) . Her hands were rough from washing clothes – I used my artistic licence here!

I placed Mangli in the royal surroundings she was meant to be in!

The painting is framed with a red tie and dye around it. The glass prevents a closer look – but some details can be seen here.

Total size of the painting – 11.5″ X 8.25 ”

Medium – Water Colours on handmade paper

Year – 1997

For my son – translating the poem into English:)


Early on a winter morning,

Young rays of the sun

March into my house

To have a lot of fun!

Without e’er an invite,

Through the bare window

They clamber down my bed

And scamper over my floor.

In a game of make-believe,

They pretend to be my furniture.

Suddenly they stop in their tracks

And preen in front of the mirror.

They creep under my sofa.

And in their faces bright,

I spy a collection of dust,

Hiding from my sight!

Giggling, they run to find

Every dirty nook in my room,

Getting in my way, as I

Go looking for my broom.

They visit my dining table glass

To draw  patterns of  my chair.

Before you can even blink

They are dancing everywhere!

Now, this really is the limit!

Using  my chair as a ramp

Some climb  on to the ceiling

Disguised as a lamp.

 They chuckle, having fooled me

Let them snigger all they will.

They’re welcome to my house

For it is winter, still!

But,  when summer comes,

Let no one have any doubt.

With thick curtains and blinds

I will shut them out!

 (And then it goes all philosophical – but forget that!)

Dhoop Chhaon – and some tukbandi

Dhoop Chhaon 


Subah subah sooraj ki kirane

Tamaasha bahut dikhaati hain

Beparda khirrki paakar  bekhauff

Mere aangan  mein aati hain.

Fursh par itthlaati kaheen 

Mez kaheen kursi ka roop banaati hain

Kabhi almaari ke sheeshe mein apni

Chhabi dekh itraati hain.



Khaane ki mez ke kaanch par

Kya kya design banaati hain

Aur sofe ke neeche ghuskar

Safaai yaad dilaati hain!


Ab to ye ati hui!

Chhat par chaddh

Kaisa swaang rachaaya hai

Shaayad light jal rahi hai, mujhe

Aisa bhram dilaaya hai. 

Kuchh din ki manmaani ye,

Karlo tumko jo karna hai

Abhi to sardi ke din hain

Tumse hum ko kya darna hai!

Achha lagta ye kel tumhaara 

Har adaa tumhaari bhaati hai

Kuchh din ki ye hath-kheli,

Jaldi hi garmi aati hai.

Dhoop-chhaon ki tum hi karta,

Tumne shaayad bhulaaya hai,

Aaj apnaaya, kal bisraaya

Is jagki yeh hi maaya hai.

Hum bhi, parde mote daalkar,

Tumse bachnaa chaahenge

Narm ho tab tak achhi lagti

Varna aankh churayenge…

(This poem has been published in the Devanagari script too. An English translation can be read here.)

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