Mother of Universe

work by Lojithan Ram

‘Momentum of Smell” (group exhibition)
Initiated by Mullegama Art center under the curation of Austrian Artist Anna Hoffman
Supported by The Sovereign Art Foundation , Robertson Cafe and Inmark Visual Solutions
Honorable mentions Thiwanka Kodikaara, Jananander Laksiri, Palapothupitiya , Rebekkah Pieris

Migration has been the constant epicenter of my being. Throughout my personal journey, due to financial circumstances, I have experienced constant disjunctions of not belonging, gradually abstracting my presence as a nomadic being. My father’s a self-made entrepreneur, a small-scale manufacturer of recycled paper bags, generating substantial income. As the breed winner, he caused our household to be engulfed in turmoil. We constantly move as a family on the move , frequently changing our territorial habitats. 

Each memory, inheritance, and narrative assimilated created a presence of nostalgia within my identity. Mapping a collage embodiment upon the organic presence of migration and fragmented identities fused onto the cocoon surfaces of paper bags. Subsequently, by drawing parallels between oral narratives, memories, and mythology, they transcend into a tangible presence. branching further away from an autobiographical focal point into territory  perceiving these circumstances as a universal occurrence. As a being that exists on shattered ground and is frequently subjected to oscillation between the temporalities of its fragile territories, my work frequently draws parallels to mythology and Hindu literary texts such as “Bhagavath Geetha,” “Garuda Purana,” and “Vaikunda Ammanai.”

Tulsi, or Basil (Ocimum), is considered  a symbol of purity. Mythologically, it is the dwelling which connects or lures Lord Vishnu into the vicinity where Tulsi resides.  Also, Tulsi is recognized as a symbolic identity as “Mother of the universe”, another name for the goddess “Ammanai”. Tulsi is symbolically infested as a form of blessing at every auspicious event. She creates an amalgamation of many rituals formed around praying and requesting blessings from her. 

Tulsi repels any form of negative or obstructive interference. Therefore, many tend to consume its leaves in the form of accentuating their souls or purifying and healing themselves. (Tulsi is medicinal and is one of the most crucial herbs in Ayurveda. It has been used for ages as a house-remedy for curing fever, cough, and cold, indigestion, headache, and other common disorders).

 I’ve latched my beliefs onto the presence of Tulsi, the mother of the universe. Nurture me with your blessings as I can finally find somewhere to belong or rest. The journey wore my being from the inside out. that I am unable to face its repercussions anymore. Wither not, as it creates an ambience of an unseen downfall. 

Have I become a blinded “bhakt”, a follower of your mystified being? from one generation to another generation, constantly yearning for your essence.

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