Why the earth is angry
All about the cover art
Pooja was 4 when the Tsunami hit Chennai. By that time although her speech milestones weren’t on par with other children of her age. She was a prolific painter. Her paintings were full of colour. How she blended colours and made colours talk to each other was and is still a mystery to me.
In some of her paintings, you could see her innocence. Then in one magic stroke she produced something else that was stunning. Deep. Made one think. So when the Tsunami hit she was curious. Wanted to know what happened.
Her grandparents were wonderful story tellers. They spoke of Bhoomi Devi – which is how they referred to the Earth. They said that manushyan (a Malyalam word derived from Sanskrit manushya) or man had angered Bhoomi Devi and that she (Bhoomi Devi) retorted angrily and destroyed everything that Man had proudly claimed as his creation.
Buildings, resorts, boats, anything that had Man’s signature to it was destroyed. By one giant wave. When the wave swept back it took everything with it. Including the tiny egoistic man. Pooja would listen to this in a spell bound manner. Mouth half open, eyes far away.
Then in 2007 when she began to tell the story herself, she wanted to paint it. That’s how the original of this painting came about. If you notice carefully, theres a tiny bird at the bottom of the painting. Almost as if it’s bearing witness to the devastation. Capturing it like some photograph for posterity to come. At the same time stunned into a silence, asking Man… What did you do to unleash this devastation?
The Angry Earth’s pictorial depiction first “came” to Pooja from which I have created this book cover.
— Jyothi Menon
This metaphysical story that combines macrocosmic influences with microcosmic realities, old books of wisdom with modern knowledge, takes us through a journey of discovery – of ourselves and the world around us. At its heart, it poses the question – do we know ourselves enough to care about the world that takes care of us?
Founder, The Born Group (Now Part of Tech Mahindra)
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