Yearning for the Beloved
Many idealized versions of the moods of nayikas are painted in Indian miniatures, following descriptions in the Gita Govinda and other similar literature. Unlike most, this painting is a more true-to-life depiction of a nayika eagerly waiting for her lover. Dressed in a dotted choli of flat blue colour, a plain red ghagra, and a blue odhani with zari decoration, she stands elegantly leaning against a champaka tree, gazing anxiously into the distance, wondering why he has not yet
arrived. She is a tall woman with a heavy chin, chubby face, small eyes, and long legs.
Long bare tree trunks on a green curved ground set against a complete void, produce a dramatic effect, along with the blue monsoon sky full of lightning. The scene, undisturbed by any other extraneous elements, intensely focuses on the
eagerness and anxiety of the expectant heroine.
Keshavadasa in his Rasikapriya (7.8) describes the thoughts of the Utka Nayika:
Is he delayed at home, or is he ill in body?
Or has he proved false to me?
Or does he fear this dark rain-swept night?
Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection
Indian Miniature Paintings
Opaque watercolour on paper
late 18th century
Akri, the Punjab
30 x 19.2 cm (with border), 23.1 x 12.7 cm (without border).