Astonished by the behavior of the tiny creature the young girl, displeased with its extraordinary behavior, enquiringly looks into the bird’s eyes, and with as deep concern the bird, into her, perhaps disapproving her plan to go out and meet someone it does not find worthy of her. Neither the girl’s lips nor the bird’s beak appear to move, nor a word is heard and anything understood, the dialogue between the two seems to be ceaseless and non-stop. Ancient world classics, Sanskrit and Persian in special, have abundant tales of parrots and mynahs, such as Shukasaptasati of Sanskrit or Tutinama of Persian, communicating as divine messengers to human beings, usually the younger ones in love, what they should do and what not.
It is often believed that a part of the nature birds sometimes see what human beings fail to do. It is also believed that parrots and mynahs have extraordinary wisdom and capability to advise human beings in many matters. As pets they often discourse with their patrons and support or disapprove many of their decisions. It seems that in its deep disapproval of her intent to go and meet her lover the mynah has broken open its cage and has landed on its mistress’s hand and is now engaged in a sharp dialogue expressing its displeasure over her plan. The bird’s anatomy, the backwards tilted head, back pressed and subdued and upwards raised tail – the usual anatomy of a bird when engaged in fight with other, reveals how heatedly it is arguing its point of view. Apart, as if pushed by the bird the young lady has leant against a pillar on its other side seeking its support to hold her figure in position.
The artist has used the bird’s figure variously. It attributes to his painting, which was otherwise a simple portrait, thematic breadth and the flavour of medieval classics. A novel conceptualization, in contrast to a bold human figure its tiny form and its unusual courage that it displays in occupying a part of human body adds to the canvas an element of quaintness. Besides, this union of two worlds : man and nature, adds to the painting philosophical dimensions revealing the principle of cosmic unity. As in many of his paintings Anup Gomay, the artist of this canvas, has used a white column for affording his figure a base-line, a deep blackish-maroon background to project her better, and the style of her blouse to expose the gold and the glory of her body colour. The young lady has been conceived with rare beauty of face and figure, a perfect iconography and as perfect anatomy : someone perfectly modeled and vigorously created.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.