I had started coloring this mandala during my recent flight to London. I had plans to finish it in one of the parks in London but didn’t get the opportunity to do so. I did, however, manage to spend some time at St. James’s Park one evening coloring this mandala while my friend listened to songs on my iPod. This one I dedicate to the chilly evening at St. James’s Park and the London 2015 trip. It was good to come full circle and end up in the park where I was back in 2003.
Firstly, because I started coloring it on my flight to USA. I completed it on Jan 29th after returning from USA.
Secondly, because I decided to use the browns and grays once again, to end with an unexpected mandala that I like a lot.
Thirdly, because when I thought about naming it, the word shubhaarambh came to my mind. It is one of my favorite words – full of meaning! My first encounter with this word was in the Cadbury’s ad campaign titled ShubhAarambh. The font and the ad campaign was perfect, with their tag line: Cadbury ShubhAarambh. Kuch meetha ho jai. One of those tag lines that become part of everyday vocabulary. Shubhaarambh is a Sanskrit word, with its root words Shubh and Aarambh. Shubh in Hindi/Sanskrit is holy, or good, as per the customs, rituals; aarambh means a beginning. So shubharambh would mean a good or auspicious beginning. Come to think of it, our annual volunteer planning meeting (my first ever) proved to be an auspicious beginning to, hopefully, an exciting journey of learning and volunteering. Talking of Shubhaarambh, another good memory associated with this word is the song titled Shubhaarambh from the Bollywood movie Kai Po Che. I love this song (note: haven’t watched the movie or the song video).
This mandala is quite special to me. I had started it before leaving for USA. This time around, I kept my pencil color set and coloring book with me during the long journey to USA. While everybody on the plane was sleeping, I turned on my iPod, put on Michael Jackson‘s song 2000 Watts, and started coloring the remaining parts of this mandala. As the cabin lights were switched off, and because I didn’t want to bug anyone with the overhead seat light, I used my iPod’s background light to see as I colored. Finished it thousands of feet up in the air! 🙂
Norouz marks the first day of spring or Equinox, and is my favorite time of year. Waking up early in the morning for special prayers, followed by special traditional breakfast of halwa puri (yum yum) and painted boiled eggs, has no equal. But, most of all, I like the freshness of the day. The Norouz morning is the freshest and most vibrant one. There is something very special about this day. You can feel it around and within. The soul feels happy, elated, and at peace. I painted the following mandala on the Norouz day (Mar 21st). Had so much fun painting it. The colors represent the beginning of spring time and the bounties of nature. A content heart, a happy heart.