My mind has birthed some monsters, and I am here to share them with you. Go figure (see below):
Parnika was one of my first creations, though I have only named her in hindsight – today. Parnika means small leaf; it is an alternative name for the Goddess Parvathi. She is a small leaf, the beginning and rediscovery of a little part of me that faded with age. My drawings are not religious in nature, I have merely inherited and grown up in a Hindu culture and applied it to my creative works. Where I say Goddess, you can take it to mean a Supreme Spirit, or ultimate possibility of some form. At the time I drew Parnika, I had not drawn a single ‘monster’ for around thirteen years. It was only at the special request of my therapist, who, as soon as he learnt of my predilection to draw imaginary creatures in a textbook and pretend to be Charles Darwin as a child, urged me to once again put pen to paper with such outrageous intent. I began with a few green curves and squiggles and stripes. They quickly grew cobalt blue curves, little patterned diamonds in a sequence nested within them. Two wavy tidal waves of the pen produced a womanly figure, though, intrigued by gender fluidity as I am, I felt compelled to add Parnika a moustache and man feet. I did not dare at this point stray from human-like anatomy so I made sure to add genitalia, limbs, sense organs, and such like. Ultimately, I got a little overexcited and couldn’t stop adding details – the opposing page sanctimoniously, thus, instructs me to ‘Let go when the time comes.’
Next, we have Abhay the Angler Blob. Angler fish are often portrayed as rather demonish and sinister creatures, but I took serious inspiration from them for this drawing. Sometimes to see ourselves in the light we must confront scary things. If Abhay was alive, it would be terribly difficult to look him in the face – not only are his eyes large, globular and hypnotising, but should you want to access the hope that he will guide you to, you must walk through his formidable jaws. Each eye of each teeth will take account of you as you do so. Of course, he has a nicer underbelly (completely refuting the typical connotation of the word ‘underbelly’): a string of joyful faces grace his neck. Be assured they have not been decapitated from formerly happy humans; rather, they are a representation of the happy moments that Abhay has collected from travellers who go through his mouth, towards the terrifying process of growth. Abhay means fearless in Sanskrit. Abhay helps you take a deep and hard look at yourself.
Who you really ought to be concerned about is Kaali. Kaali is the Supreme Spirit in the form of misdirection, confusion, all the nasty bits of the psyche – yet she is also a part of the ‘Supreme Spirit,’ a goddess in her own right. Please do not read anything into the gender pronouns here – it really is an arbitrary assignment I’ve made based on my imagination. Be wary of Kali. She can swallow you whole inside her crooked fangs, burn you alive with her searing gaze. Amorphous as she is, she is hard to catch – she simply arrives, engulfs, swallows, and tightens around the throat of her victims like a python.
Thank you for looking through this brief glimpse into my imaginative world! Please, please, please send any honest feedback my way. I hope my self-styled Mind Monsters Inc. brought some thought and insight into your day, however bizarre. This is Shreya, signing off and sending virtual love and care…