Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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08.04.2021

Devika Rani, Magic Romantic Flower

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Birthday of Devika Rani, an Indian movie star, the wife and muse of Svetoslav Roerich, became one of the most favorite holidays in International Memorial Roerich Trust. It is celebrated on 30th March when spring is deep and the Roerichs Estate welcomes more Indian visitors. At that day there they can listen to the songs by Devika Rani and see films with her participation. The atmosphere of the Estate at that day is full of charming of this beautiful daughter of India that Indian poetess Sarojini Naidu called as magic romantic flower.

The holiday 30th March started in IRMT with laying flowers in front of the small memorial stone that was put, by Devika Rani’s request, after her passing away near Samadhi place of Nicholas Roerich. Honored poojari from Krishna Temple carried a sacred ritual paying respect to memory of Devika Rani and appealed for the Gods blessing for Himalayan Estate of the great Russian family becoming close and beloved for Devika.

She first came here in 1945 with Svetoslav Roerich and all gods and people of Kullu Valley welcomed the newly married. The people were singing, dancing, showering their palanquin with flowers. Under the petals of the blossoms Devika was solemnly led into the house. The parents of Svetoslav Roerich and his elder brother George met her there. “She is a beautiful person with European education, - Helena Roerich later wrote about her, - moreover, she is Tagore’s great niece and a high inner level of culture of this family is brightly expressed in all her life. We all came to love her a lot…”

Some beautiful portraits of Devika Rani by Svetoslav Roerich were presented in Conference Hall of IRMT where the celebrating program dedicated to Devika’s birthday was organized.

Opening an exhibition of Mira Kudriashova, Russian artist became a bright event of the holiday. A Chief Guest, Mr. Pradeep Thakur, a new Head of Naggar Panchayat – local council solemnly cut the red ribbon.

Mira presented her exhibition in the Roerich Estate already the second time and the Roerichs Trust visitors like her works a lot. In her paintings Russia and India are like matching together: Russian soul of the young artist and her deep love to India. Himalayas have become the second home for her and she appreciates Indian people for their hospitality. “India is a devoted Mother for me,” Mira said. “My soul got wings here, I draw inspiration from powerful and wonderful nature of Himalayas. The Roerichs art and creativity has also been a resource of inspiration for me. It is a great honor for me to show my painting in these halls.”

Mira’s paintings are full of signs and symbols, every of them tells its own story. These marvelous stories she sees in night dreams and moves them to canvas at a daylight.

“In my sleep I was a Tibetan lama, floating in a cloud and meditating over the Himalaya summits; I was a gold fish swimming in a lake among lotuses in front of a mosque. I saw a tree of life and a heaven cow; I saw an angel making thread of destiny of star wool; I saw a towering rainbow bird connecting worlds,” the artists talked.

“It seems my paintings are like crystals that show the space, mountains, places where the paintings are made, where the energies are accumulated. The energies wake up an inner child of a viewer, looking at the world with eyes of love, truth and simplicity. And through the simplicity a fairytale comes into the world.”

Indian and Russian Curators of IRMT Ramesh Chandra and Larisa Surgina appreciated the artist for that interesting and colorful exhibition. They welcomed the guests and participants of the celebration and reminded them that Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani became a symbol of heart bond between Russian and Indian people and they have been the founders of International Roerich Memorial Trust. The Head of Panchayat Pradeep Thakur in his speech congratulated everybody with the holiday and promised any possible help of IRMT from the Panchayat. And Mrs. Meera Acharya, a leading Social Worker of Kullu Valley thanked the team of the Roerichs Trust for maintaining memory of Devika Rani – the first lady of Indian cinema.

It is worth noting that young generation first knows about Devika Rani in the museums of the Roerichs Trust but the elder generation remembers the Indian movie star with big love and respect. Many favorite movies of the 30-40s of last century deal with her name. High professionalism of Devika Rani, her beauty, charm and immediacy took hearts of the viewers and film critics either in India or abroad. Songs from the films she took part in have been sung so far.

One of such songs from the Bachan movie (1938), where the character shares her feelings with a bird was presented at our celebration program by Pushpa Devi – a vocal teacher of Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children. Anshul Kumar and Anoop Kumar, the teachers of the Academy helped her with music accompaniment.

They also performed a classic raghu dedicated to Holi – festival of colors that celebrated in India a day before. An original dance of the 1960s performed by the dance teacher Mamta Thakur also reflected cheerful mind and elicited long applause from the audience.

…“I send my thoughts about love and harmony to everyone through my heart,” Devika Rani wrote to her Russian friend Kira Molchanova. And also: “I am afraid of nobody and nothing as I am under God’s blessing not under people law. I am in unity with God.”

She thought that for the strengthening of peace on the Earth the most important part had to be friendship between India and Russia. The union of Devika Rani and Svetoslav Roerich and their life together in love and high spiritual intentions became a bright symbol of such friendship for us.



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