The legendary painter Mumbiram who ‘lured’ dark ethnic beauties to his atelier is vividly and touchingly reconciled in these books with the righteous theophile, the Sanskrit scholar, the staunch proponent of economic justice and cultural prosperity.
There are innumerable books about Indian Experiences written by Englishmen, Americans and now also Australians. All these writers have written about what the “West” likes to hear about India, what the “West” finds amusing about India. Then there are Indian expatriates writing about India. Unfortunately every one of these writers had lost touch with the glory of a classical India even before they (or their ancestors) left India. They at best depict India as a hopeless society with delusions of grandeur.
In Mumbiram’s arrangement of things we hear what the “West” needs to hear about itself and about India. Mumbiram’s poems speak in idiom that is honed on the best that American Universities can produce. Yet in Mumbiram’s writing we hear the voice of one who has imbibed the best that a classical India stands for. Here is a wide-awake man who talks about ecstatic delusions. Here we have the voice of a sovereign artist who is an acutely evolved theophile.
India needs a renaissance like the Lion needs Androcles. The World needs an India that continues to inspire us to its classical ideals of Love, Beauty, Knowledge, Peace and Courage of Non-violence. Mumbiram’s avant-garde presentations of the universal classical ideal rekindle our trust and hope.