About Madhubani Paintings by Mukta Rani
Shakti worship, Ramayana, hospitality and strong woman sum up the culture of Mithila (Darbhanga, Madhubani district of Bihar and Janakpur of Nepal and nearby areas of present days) and all of it is represented through Mithila Painting, which is more popularly known as Madhubani Painting. It was a Maithil woman and the only one, Ubhaya Bharti, wife of Mandan Mishra, great Veda Scholar and writer of Mimamsha and Advaita, defeated Adi Shankaracharya in the knowledge of Veda to avenge her husband’s defeat. Goddess Kali being the presiding deity, culture of Mithila has a distinct scent of feminine energy.
Ramayana may be religious book for some, folklore for some and myth for some, but it is part of a Maithil’s (Domicile of Mithila) daily life. They live it in every aspect of their life, marriage being the most prominent one. Every marriage is made reminiscent of marriage of Lord Rama, Prince of Ayodhya and Princess of Mithila, Goddess Sita and this concept dominates the Mithila Painting.
Mukta Rani, youngest of four children of Late Mahashankar Lal and Mrs. Veena Lal and only daughter, was born in Rajnagar block of Madhubani district. Rajnagar is also famous for being capital of erstwhile Darbhanga kingdom. She was always the apple of her father’s eye, whose purest contentment of heart was to hold her in his arms and tell her stories and folklore of Mithila. While her mother introduced her to Shakti worship and strength of feminine energy, father built the connect between modern education and culture of Mithila. He also made sure that she masters beautiful gift her culture has to give and that is painting, while getting the modern education. Grandmother and cousin sisters provided an ample scope of continuous practice since childhood and participation in local level competitions gave a definite shine to her skill. She not only holds degree of M.Sc (Zoology) from Bihar University, Muzaffarpur with first class, but has also qualified different financial modules of National Stock Exchange with good grade as matter of choice.
What got this started?
Having travelled breadth and length of the country along with her husband and children, she has got fair exposure of different cultures spread across and has observed and absorbed their nuances. Along with other aspects of her Maithil culture, she paints them with the uniqueness of her skill, i.e, Shakti worship, Chhath etc. Mithila painting is her skill and its fusion with other cultures is her specialty.