The scene depicted here presents the city in a rather unique light, since it is entirely devoid of the worshippers and visitors that form an intrinsic part of the ghats. The portrayal is reminiscent of the cubist style as the temples and various other edifices are constructed from geometric shapes, thus veering the representation away from a naturalistic depiction. The sheen of the night sky reflecting on the water of the Ganges, along with the temples and houses situated at the ghat, cocoon the setting into a layer of mystical charm, letting one component flow into the other, sidestepping boundaries. \n\nThe sight of the constructions, converging at the precipice of the people-less ghat, might lend a sense of implausibility to the scene, considering the ever-brimming populous nature of the city. However, perhaps, in this very implausibility lies the artist’s effort to pierce through the veil of darkness, sans distractions, to let the eternal light in. It also urges the viewer in the direction of considering the value of a meditative peace that is an inextricable part of the city, that can, for the uninitiated be muffled by the din and cacophony of the day.
In the Bright of the Night by S. D. Shrotriya
Born in Moradabad in 1939, S.D. Shotriya was a former reader and Head of Department of Drawing and Painting at S.D. (P.G.) College in Muzaffarnagar. He finished his education, Masters and Doctorate in the same disciplines that he later headed. The artist began his creative journey in 1958. His artistic practice sought inspiration from the mountain ranges of North India and the holy city of Benaras. He uses movements and shapes to express emotions in his works, and a palette of cool and soft colours. He was also a writer, poet and an art critic. He has been a recipient of numerous accolades such as the Upendra Maharathi Award by the Bihar Govt. in 1988 and 89 and Veteran Artist Honour and Award by All Indian Fine Arts and Crafts Society in 2008, among many more. He has authored several books such as Manvakriti Sanyojan; Chirtan-Vidhan evam samgri; Chitra kala ke Muladhar, and Kala Vichar, to name a few. His work has been acclaimed at several solo exhibitions such as in Triveni Kala Sangam and AIFACS, New Delhi and Lalit Kala Academy, amongst others.