Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

07.04.2022

Devika Rani Roerich’s Birthday in the International Roerich Memorial Trust

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Birthday of Devika Rani, “the first lady” of the Indian sound film, the wife of an outstanding Russia artist Svetoslav Roerich was celebrated on March 30, 2022 in the Roerichs’ Estate.

For the first time Devika Rani came to Kullu valley in 1945, and since that time the Roerich family, their house and estate became her home forever. After the departure of the Roerich family from Kullu Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani used to come to the Estate every year for more than forty years taking care about the heritage of their parents and making endeavours for creating here the cultural centre in the memory of Nicholas Roerich. In 1993 after her husband’s departure Devika Rani with the support of Indian government completed the process of establishing the International Roerich Memorial Trust initiated by Svetoslav Roerich.

The celebration in the Roerich Estate started with shanti-puja in the memory of the beautiful daughter of India conducted by the priest from Krishna Temple Dev Acharya Panditji. Then by tradition the flowers were placed on the Devika’s memorial stone near Nicholas Roerich Samadhi.

The opening of the art exhibition of two Indian artists, Prabhinder Lall from Chandigarh and Hardeep Siera from New Delhi, was dedicated to the Devika’s birthday. The ribbon was solemnly cut by Dev Acharya Panditji and Mrs Meera Acharya, a leading social worker of Kullu Valley.

The artist Prabhinder Lall is an old friend of the IRMT. He is widely known as an organizer of the international exhibitions and creative art camps all over India supporting young artists. His painting style is an abstract urban landscape. He pays the main attention to straight angles and sharp lines of the modern architecture, to their combination with soft contours of clouds, grass, trees. Many of his paintings are flooded with the sun that creates the festive, joyful mood. Prabhinder Lall’s paintings convey the atmosphere and spirit of the present-day time.

Hardeep Siera’s paintings are dedicated to the nature, exactly, the birds. The objects of her pictures presented at the exhibition are those small birds that are always people’s companions and live near their houses. But human beings in their striving for comfort forget about their junior friends and destroy their life. According to the scientists’ researches, mobile network affects the birds’ reproductive function and leads to their extinction. The progress is important, as the artist says, but to remain human for the people is no less important.

The Indian curator of the IRMT Ramesh Chandra and the Russian curator Larisa Surgina, who works in the Trust on deputation from the ICR, congratulated all the guests with Devika Rani’s birthday. Other participants and guests of the event also spoke welcoming words.

Devika Rani is truly one of the best daughters of great India. Cultured, well-educated, talented and fearless, she embodies the struggle of the Indian women for education, for freedom of creativity and self-expression. At the same time her image enchants with gentleness, beauty, inner light and charm. Probably, Devika Rani conquered Svetoslav Roerich’s heart by this combination of the woman’s qualities. Their family life has become the example of love, creative cooperation and high spiritual aspirations. Their union has become the symbol of Russian-Indian friendship.

The festive day ended with a wonderful gift – video-program compiled with musical clips from the movies where Devika Rani was starring. There were songs performed by her from the movies loved by everyone: «Achhut Kanya» (1936), «Izza» (1937), «Nirmala» (1938), «Durga» (1939) and many others.



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