Maneka descended from heaven with a
purpose, the purpose being to distract the hermit
Vishwamitra from his meditation. He was meditating
will so much zeal and concentration that Indra, the god
of heavens felt threatened. Thus he sent the most
beautiful dancer of paradise down to earth to entangle
the saint in the web of her beauty, so that he forget
all about religion, spirituality and god.
After a hard try, she seems to have accomplished the
mission. Although still dressed as a hermit, his
kamandal and the rosary lay astray as he holds the
delicate hand of Maneka, who has assumed a mortal
form. She has here with all her seductive appeal, an
exotic vision of beauty. Her curvaceous body is
covered by a diaphanous lover garment and a similar
scarf covers her upper body. She wears a tiara and
other pieces of jewellery which shall probably occupy
the place next to her anklets lying in the foreground.
She has closed her eyes as a smile plays on her lips
- a smile of victory. Contrary to the delicate beauty
of Maneka is the sturdy, muscular body of sage
Vishwamitra. He has long hair, most of it twisted in
a knot at the top of his head. His beard and moustache
cover most of his face. He holds her hand delicately
as if he is handling a fragile piece and looks at it
with awe. Rudraksha beads form his accessories.
The background seems as volatile as the central theme.
The dark, cloudy sky, the tumultuous flow of the
river, the swaying of trees in the blowing wind is all
reflective of the innermost thoughts of the
protagonists of this painting.
This description by Kiranjyot
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