2012-13 “Journey with the River kaveri”.

Journey with the River Cauvery

This is a narrative Video of the journey taken by Cauvery to reach Bay of Bengal, me as her fellow traveler. Through the journey, I am exploring my relationship with the river and using my body to navigate the waters and the banks until it reaches the Bay of Bengal literally going with the flow. Whatever I found, and felt interesting I recorded. The images travel through traditional spaces of worship, areas of contamination, rituals of bathing, washing and other human activity connected with the river. This poetic and spontaneous journey through the landscape has references to my earlier site- specific installations and interventions in landscapes using organic materials.
I am passionate about this river because I belong to Kodagu, the place where the river originates. Perhaps my distance from it,  because I live far away in Bangalore, causes me to miss it all the more and even idolize it in my memory. In India most of the rivers are named after women and worshipped. In Kodagu River Cauvery is being worshiped by the natives as ‘Kuladevatha’- Family Diety.’
River Kannika is on the other side of Brahmagiri hills from where the Cauvery originates. Once Kannika’s waters mingle  with Cauvery she loses her identity. The river continues just as Cauvery, no further acknowledgement of the confluence.
I originally wondered why Cauvery does not flow as river Kannika instead. The main source of Cauvery has been transformed as a manmade??  Rectangular tank called “Kundike”. The water gushed from here visibly, then vanishes into the mountain and surfaces at the bottom, in Bhagamandala.
Kakkabe is a beautiful place, it must have got that name because of the river Kakkabbe which originates there and joins the Cauvery, losing its name and identity thereafter. This is where I was struck by the realization, the River was becoming bigger and bigger because of the tributaries adding to her might. Kannika+ Sujjothe+  Kakkabbe+  Harangi {Hattihole} + Hemavathi+ Laxmantheertha +Lokapavani+ Kabine+  Shimsha+ Arkavathi (in Karnataka)+ Lokapavani+ Bhavani+ Noyyal and Amaravathy (in Tamilnadu) join River Cauvery with their tributaries losing their individuality in the process.  The River calmly continues the journey as Cauvery, getting all the name and fame like a celebrity.
It was a misty day when I was in Coorg the first day of the journey;  an early morning in November in the cool haze in her presence gave me an experience close to ecstasy and wonder. Conversely, it was a very warm culminating day on the Poompuhar coast in November….. Just felt happy being there, every moment of the way. The idea behind this whole journey, was not the most important thing; it was the process that mattered. Sometimes you set out or plan to do something and end up with a different view, experience, and the whole concept changes. Such is the power of Cauvery, I realized.

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Cauvery+Tributaries”, Acrylic on canvas, 16 panels-12/16inches each.

 

“Journey with the River Cauvery – Video stills.

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