Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Seven is a special prime number!
It is the number of easily discernible distinct colors of the rainbow*.
It is the number of easily discernible distinct notes of music*.
It is the number of stages of love so beautifully described by the Urdu poet Mir’s Mu’amlat-e-Ishq (The Stages of Love) – one of the greatest known love poems in Urdu literature. Offering a summary of such a great work is as shameful as using a grain of rice to describe the biryani at Tayyabs in London … but nevertheless here is a glimpse into those stages:
1. Dilkashi or Attraction
2. Uns or Attachment
3. Mohabbat or Love
4. Akidat or Trust
5. Ibadat or Worship
6. Junoon or Madness
and finally and sadly the last stage of love …
7. Maut or Death
Maybe it is no coincidence that the Satrangi Bagh Phulkari is from the same region as the poet …. Maybe the seven colors employed in creating this textile artwork signify the seven stages of love. Maybe that is the reason that one of the colors representing the final stage is present only minimally.
I will end with a link to an all-time favorite song of millions of Indians ….
It is for you and only you that I have woven dreams of seven colors…..
Sigh! The music, the lyrics, the actors, the sher, the Phulkari – so many creations by the people pf the past to make us sigh with happiness!
Oh I almost forgot … to view more images of the Satrangi Phulkari Bagh on the wovensouls gallery website please click here.
Nov 2014[*although physics shows that there are infinite manifolds in both the audio and visual spectra but for simplicity we shall ignore that precision for now and hold on to the generally accepted number 7]
By Jaina Mishra