This feature is a special story of an inspired life. Uncommon artiste Jayasmita Dutta packs in quite a number of roles in her life and manages to find the time and passion to pursue her love for illustration.
Jayasmita is a wife, mother, a business excellence professional, fitness enthusiast and manages to follow her dreams as well. Her life blends creativity with practicality and that is why we believe, she has found her answers to the ‘art’ of true living.
The Uncommon Box caught up with Jayasmita and asked her about her journey so far, while she shared her fantastic series on Navadurga. Interestingly, the Navadurga series was made on each day of Navratri and it seemed challenging for her particularly after dandiya/garba sessions each evening and the last few days of Durga Puja. Also, she admits, the Inktober prompts for 2017 also helped her think of what can be drawn and finally finish the series.
It is rather befitting that a woman playing so many roles is being highlighted for her series on the Ideal woman Durga.
Day 1 Of Navratri – Dedicated To Shailaputri Devi
Literally meaning the daughter of mountains.
She is the daughter of King of the Himalayas Hemavana. She is also fondly known as Parvati, Hemavati or Sati Bhavani.
My journey as an artist started as a kid. I loved doodling and reproducing drawings on paper and canvas. I used to draw my friends, things around me and with all these, I filled the walls of my room back then with my drawings all around (lest the ceiling). I have very supportive parents who never pressurized me to get good marks or not follow my dreams. They encouraged me and empowered me with decision making, especially my mom.
I started taking art seriously at two phases of my life – just after my 12th Standard when started to paint on canvas until my graduation start (I got busy after that) and after I got a job where art was my relaxation and still is.
Day 2 Of Navaratri – Dedicated To BRAHMHACHARINI
Brahmacharini means one who practices devout austerity. She enlightens us in the magnificent embodiment of the Mother Goddess Durga took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati, as his daughter, Sati, who was born to marry Shiva. This unmarried form of the Mother Goddess is worshipped as Brahmacharini. She has divine grace and great powers. She is blissful and she endows happiness, peace, prosperity, and grace upon all devotees who worship her. She is the way to emancipation
She walks bare feet, carrying a japa mala in Her right hand and a kamandalu in her left hand.
It was her father who motivated Jayasmita to take to her artistry seriously.
My father is a brilliant artist but never could pursue it. I have never seen him use the eraser in his pencil drawings and his strokes are just perfect. He is self-taught and has brilliant unconventional perceptions. His drawings motivated me to start drawing seriously. I felt the need to draw seriously more because he couldn’t continue his passion due to his family and work commitments being the only earning member of the family.
And till today, she finds her motivation in Art. For her Art is the best destress tool. It has no bounds, stretches your limits and brings pure joy. This keeps me drawing… I moved from oil paintings to zentangle art after my daughter’s birth. It’s quicker, less messy and brings instant satisfaction!
Day 3 Of Navaratri – Dedicated To Devi Chandraghanta
She is the married form of the Mother Goddess. After getting married to Shiva Goddess Mahagauri started adorning her forehead with a half-moon(Chandra) shaped like a bell(Ghanta) due to which, she became known by her this name. .
Goddess Chandraghanta is charming with a golden bright complexion and mounts the lion. She is depicted with ten hands. She carries Trishul, Gada, sword, and kamandalu in her four left hands and keeps the fifth left hand in Varadamudra. She carries a lotus flower, arrow, Dhanush and Japa Mala in Her four right hands and keeps the fifth right hand in Abhaya Mudra.
Special powers: This form of the Mother Goddess is ready for war with all her weapons, to protect the peace and welfare of Her devotees.It is believed that the sound of the moon-bell on her forehead drives all types of spirits away from devotees. She is believed to reward people with her grace, bravery, and courage. By her grace, all the sins, distresses, physical sufferings, mental tribulations and ghostly hurdles of the devotees are eradicated.
As for her sources of inspiration, Jayasmita finds it everywhere.
She reminisces, ‘After my daughter was born, I started “Chronicles of Choudhurys” to document her cute interactions with life via line drawings and texts. My husband loved Buddha and so do I and therefore I made a lot of Canvas paintings of the Lord. He always encourages me and has been the greatest critic of all! My dad’s drawings from youth which he hid from my grandfather are a huge source of inspiration. Those are tattered now, but still, somehow, I could scan the drawings and save it in some form.
Inspiration is in nature, in people, in fellow artists. Bakula, an artist who creates dreams is a great source of inspiration. Glancing at her art makes me an Alice in Wonderland, exploring the cuteness and beauty. My Durga series is inspired by artist Roova’s digital series of Navadurga.
Day 4 Of Navaratri- Dedicated To Devi KUSHMANDA
After taking the form of Siddhidatri, the Mother Goddess started living within the Sun thereby liberating the Sun’s energy to the universe. Since then, this form of the Goddess has been known as Kushmanda, namely for her power and capability to live inside the Sun. So she is considered as the creator of the universe. The universe, before her, was a void full of darkness. Then as she arrived with her rays of light spreading in all directions, as luminous as the sun!
She rides on a lioness and has eight hands. She holds a kamandalu, Dhanush, Bada and Kamal in Her right hands. Her left hands hold Amrit Kalash (pot of nectar), japa mala(prayer beads), Gada and Chakra – in that order.
She created the universe in the flash of her smile and is believed to bestow siddhis(supernatural powers) and niddhis(wealth) to her devotees.
Day 5 Of Navratri – Dedicated To Devi Skandamata
In this form of the Mother Goddess, she is the mother of the God of War, Lord Skanda (aka Kartikeya or Murugan), and so this name. She mounts the ferocious lion and carries infant Skanda in her lap. Lord Skanda(also known as Kartikeya or Lord Murugan) is the brother of Ganesha and is appointed by the Gods as the commander-in-chief in the fight against the demons.
She is depicted with four hands. She carries lotus flowers in Her upper two hands. She holds baby Skanda in one of Her right hands and keeps the other right hand in Abhayamudra. She sits on a lotus flower and because of that, is also known as Padmasini!
Devotees who worship this form of the Mother Goddess get the added benefit of blessings of Lord Skanda.
Jayasmita declares that ‘For me, the pen is my best companion for drawings. Therefore, I started developing myself as an artist paying attention to detail.
I am not a formally trained artist. I am self- and experience-taught artist. Therefore, I find it hard to call me an artist as well. I am an amateur who has a journey to undertake.
Day 6 Of Navratri – Dedicated To Devi Katyayani
The legend behind her name goes like this – once upon a time there was a sage named Kata, who had a son named Katya. He underwent long austerities and penance in order to receive grace of the Mother Goddess. He wished to have a daughter in the form of a goddess and his wish was granted. Katyayani (meaning daughter of Kata), was born to Kata as an avatar of Durga.
She was born to destroy asuras.
Goddess Katyayani rides on a magnificent lion and is depicted with four hands. She carries a lotus flower and sword in her left hands and keeps her right hands in Abhayamudra and Varadamudras.
But her dream is to expand her horizon. She says, After oil on acrylic paintings and now zentangle art, I want to start exploring the world of water colours. In the next 5 years, I want to start painting with my daughter. Next, I would want to learn more about the history of pastels and explore that. You may find it funny, but I really want to learn the art of making kolam on the floor.
I have a lot of aspiration and a long journey to take, but I would like to take my daughter along in that and learn from each other. Maybe I will be successful in inspiring her someday!
Isn’t that a rather heart-warming goal to aspire for in the future? It is all about the journey after all, isn’t it?
Day 7 of Navratri – Dedicated to Devi Kalaratri
This is the fiercest and the most ferocious form of the Mother Goddess, in which she manifests to destroy the demons, Sumbha and Nisumbha. .
Her complexion is dark black and has scattered long black hair. She has 3 large red eyes and sports an open red tongue and sober on her hand which violently demolishes all devils and demons.
She rides on a donkey.
She is depicted with four hands. Her right hands are in Abhayamudra and Varadamudra. She carries a sword and deadly iron hook in her left hand.
She is also glorified with the name ‘Maa Kali’. Durga manifested herself as Kalaratri to completely remove even the dirt of demons from existence. She is revered with the name “Kalaratri” because she represents herself as the death of ‘kaal’ which appeared as a dark night for demons.
Challenge yourself; Accept failure; Celebrate mistakes and Repeat the task until you succeed.
This is Jayasmita’s mantra for success in life to all aspiring writers. This is based on her personal experiences in her journey towards her dream.
Day 8 Of Navratri – Dedicated To Devi Mahagauri
According to Hindu Religion, the Goddess Shailputri at the age of sixteen was extremely beautiful and blessed with a fair complexion. Due to her extremely fair complexion, she was known as Goddess Mahagauri. She denotes peace and endurance. .
She rides the bull just like Goddess Shailputri. She has four arms, holding a Trishul in her upper right hand and depicts the Abhayamudra with the lower right hand. She carries a Damaru in lower left hand and depicts the Varadamudra in her upper left hand.
Day 9 of Navratri – dedicated to Devi Siddhidhatri
In the beginning of the universe, Lord Rudra worshipped the unmanifest form of the Mother Goddess, Adi Parashakti for creation. As Adi Parashakti, the Mother Goddess was pure energy and had no form. She thus appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left half of Shiva.
Goddess Siddhidatri sits on Kamal and rides on the lion. She is depicted with four hands. She has Gada in the one right hand, Chakra in the other right hand, lotus flower in the left hand and Shankh in the other left hand. She is always in a happy blissful enchanting pose.
She bestows all types of 26 siddhis (supernatural powers) to her devotees and hence is worshipped by humans, ghandarvas, asuras and devas alike. In fact it is believed that Lord Shiva got all the siddhis by worshipping Maa Shakti
Team The Uncommon Box wishes Jayasmita many happy hours pursuing her dreams and passion and we are sure that she will reach many milestones.
You can find her work on:
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