Monsoon Artwork

By Haimonti Dutta

Menacing Clouds [Watercolor on paper using the wash technique]

Part I of three paintings depicting monsoon shows the advent of rain on parched land in rural Bengal and is motivated by the following lines from the writings of Rabindranath Tagore:

গগনে গরজে মেঘ, ঘন বরষা
………
পরপারে দেখি আঁকা
তরুছায়ামসীমাখা
গ্রাম খানি মেঘে ঢাকা 
সোনার তরী | রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর

Clouds rumbling in the sky; teeming rain.

……………………….

Trees on the far bank smear shadows like ink
On a village painted in deep morning grey.
On this side a paddy-field, no one but me.

Golden Boat by Rabindranath Tagore, Translation by William Radice

We work in the fields in rain [Watercolor on paper using the wash technique]

Part II of three paintings depicting monsoon depicts the tenacity of men who work in the fields amidst pouring rain. This piece is inspired by the following lines from Tagore’s poetry:

নীল নবঘনে আষাঢ়গগনে তিল ঠাই আর নাহি রে
……
এখনি আঁধার হবে বেলাটুকু পোহালে
দুয়ারে দাঁড়ায়ে ওগো দেখো দেখি
মাঠে গেছে যারা তারা ফিরিছে কি
রাখাল বালক কি জানি কোথায় সারাদিন আজি খোয়ালে
এখনি আঁধার হবে বেলাটুকু পোহালে | 
কবিতা: আষাঢ় | ক্ষনিকা | রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর | 

[Editor’s note]: A loose translation of the above stanza from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem Ashadh is:

Darkness will descend soon as the day departs
Stand by the door to see if
those who went to the fields have returned
Who knows where the young cowherd has wandered all day
The day will end soon and darkness will descend.

Greenery of rice, banana, and jute plantations after a squall. [Watercolor on paper using the wash technique]

Part III of three paintings depicting the monsoon depicts the joy of the rain soaked earth, captured through the myriad shades of green. This piece is inspired by the following lines from a poem by Tagore

ঐ আসে ঐ অতি ভৈরব হরষে
জলসিঞ্চিত ক্ষিতিসৌরভ-রভসে
ঘনগৌরবে নবযৌবনা বরষা
শ্যামগম্ভীর সরসা | 
বর্ষামঙ্গল | রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর | 

There, there they come— monsoonal clouds—
Exhilarating, awesome, moisture-laden,
Fragrant, earth-soaked, dense, rejuvenated
Dark-hued, somber, glorious— ready to burst!

[Translation: Fakrul Alam]

Haimonti Dutta is an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her expertise is in computer science, specifically, machine learning and distributed optimization, but in her spare time (which is not often) she loves to read, write and paint. Her non-fiction writings have been published in literary websites such as, Learning and Creativity (LnC), Sanskriti Buffalo, Rhyvers.com and others. Her debut collection of poems “Ethereal Strands” was published by Blue Pencil Publishers and is available on Amazon Kindle. “Gossip” and “Parvati” two of her recent acrylic paintings depicting women have been published by the CALYX magazine. She is an editor of the online, bi-annual little magazine, “Bhavana”.

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