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Chardi Kala!

Today we take a look at a bit of a secret project I have started for some good friends of mine. As the project is quite large in nature, I will be posting it in bits and pieces before finally a post that examines it as a whole.

Here we examine the feature wall - a 27 X 12 ft wall at the center of the gym and the inspiration behind it. To be honest, I had a very strong vision of creating a Bollywood-style movie poster in my mind, letters a blaze, intense portraits and some figures in dynamic, action-oriented poses. The only thing not permitted, was adding additional text above and blow the letters (I believe this would have really given the poster impression), a small price to pay for such an awesome project.

A look at the gym's feature wall

Starting from the left we have a Sardar ji howling a Khalsa battle cry. Using bodybuilder poses along with some Dragonball Z style inspired lightening, this figure was modelled loosely after Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. I won't get into the legend behind Banda Singh, however it is incredibly interesting and supposedly well documented. I encourage you to look into it as did I.

In the center we have numerous things:

- Sardar Ji & Sardarni portraits

- a Sikh warrior breaking the words apart using the chains that bind him

- the phrase 'Without weapons there is no war'

- Nihang Khalsa Fauj

Though mere Punjabi bohot acha nahin hai - I was told the words are a very old and bold Sikh saying. The flag on the other hand (Nihang Khalsa Fauj), is something I have not seen before as I am accustom to the Orange one introduced by the British. Interestingly enough, the blue one was introduced by the 10th Guru Gobind Singh after the formation of the Khalsa and features a Kittar (dagger), Dhal (shield), and Kirpan (sabre).

Artists Rendition of Banda Singh

Nihang Khalsa Fauj

On the right we have what is clearly an elderly warrior - inspired by the legend of Akali Baba Deep Singh. A learned scholar, spiritual saint and warrior of the highest order, Deep Singh is most known for the battle of Gohalwar in 1757 against an Afghan army led by Taimur Shah. Like Banda Singh, I won't spoil the story, but strongly encourage you to look into it.

Inspired by the legend of Deep Singh

Artists rendition of Deep Singh at the battle of Gohalwar

Lastly I will explain the dark ominous and mountainous background. Artistically the dark background makes all other elements (letters, warriors) and their colors pop-out and come to the forefront of the mural. In terms of concept - the mountains are representative of the Afghan terrain, a place where the Khalsa had continually battled Mughal armies for centuries. Though my history is by no means precise, I do believe there were parts of Afghanistan that were only ever conquered and held by the Sikh Empire.

Well there you have it! Check back for more updates.

Until I write again,

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