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Thursday, Aug 05, 2004

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Strokes of life


THE SPEAKING Tree is also known as the Waq Waq Tree in Islamic tradition. It is a Mughal work dating back to 1650. Legend has it that when Alexander the Great reached the forests of India, the inhabitants led him to an oracular (speaking) tree, which answered questions in the language of the person who addressed it. The tree bore fruits that looked like beautiful women and had a trunk that seemed to be made up of snakes with animal heads sprouting from the boughs.

The tree is said to have warned Alexander that it was futile to invade India and asked him to turn back.

The tree is the theme of a Kalamkari exhibition by Gurappa Chetty and his son Niranjan Chetty from Sri Kalahasti which will be inaugurated at Prana, D6, Sixth Street, Anna Nagar East, on August 6, 7 p.m.

The artists will bring to life the Speaking Tree using the natural colours of Kalamkari. There will also be several other traditional works, including scenes from the Ramayana, Panchatantra and contemporary rural Indian life.

Gurappa Chetty has been practising the art for 57 years and has received several awards. His works have been exhibited in major cities in India, Australia, China and Canada. His son Niranjan, besides continuing the tradition, works with new themes.

The exhibition is on till August 13, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. For details call 52170077.

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