memories of family outings.....


Mere Shadows

Time  is ruthless.  As it races onward ,  legion are the aspects of life and living that it weeds out .  What gets preserved, thanks to  people sensitive to history and Art,  are mere shadows of  what were,once ,  robust  expositions of vivacity and relevance.

Entertainment forms have changed so much  that  genteel and intimate performance arts  like shadow puppetry no longer  find  ready custom ,  even in villages. They are, at best, objects of curiosity , beloved relics from The Golden Past. Patronised by urban folk as the occassional stage show.

Preserving such outdated arts is also difficult.  It may be possible to salvage  the  material  used, but impossible to revive the art itself , as it once was . There are almost no new enthusiasts to learn the ancient art and practise it as a vocation.
 However,one has to be thankful for  small mercies. Some material survives and some passionate collectors have saved the ancient art from total oblivion.

A collection of  authentic , old Leather Puppets of Karnataka ( which are different from the Andhra puppets), was exhibited at Chitra Kala Parishat. The puppets ,though now mute and immobile , still evoke awe .

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