Ganesha on Dashboard watercolor 7"x5" by Meera Rao
Almost every vehicle in India has an idol of the owner's favorite deity stuck on the dashboard for blessings and safe travels for the driver and passengers. They come in all different sizes, styles and colors tailored to individual tastes. I came across an article recently that there is an "Unique campaign" going on now where "deities in car dashboards being equipped with accelerometers, lending them pre-recorded voice." urging the drivers 'to slow down or drive safely.' According to the company Droom that sells these pre-fitted idols, " India is the 3rd country in terms of deaths due to road accidents and stands at the 67th spot in terms of number of Vehicles per person. There is one death every four minutes due to a road accident in India. Moreover, 20 children under the age of 14 die every day due to road crashes." and ".. our idea comes from that sweet spot between technology and a razor sharp insight on the Indian driver. We thought we could make the Indian driver listen to us. After all, god was on our side!"
This particular abstract green marble sculpture is of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles though not fitted with a accelerometer! It became the first sketch in my India sketchbook from my trip last November. I used Indian handmade watercolor paper that I cut to 7x30" and folded into an Japanese style album. It was the first time I was using that paper which is heavy and rough and took a while to get used to.