Since the dawn of creation, natural light has been the source of energy for the universe and beyond. Playing hide and seek as day and night, light and darkness have been mutually exclusive.
When God said “Let there be light” to illumine the universe, darkness vanished! But when sun ‘sets’, the veil of darkness unfolds and spreads.
Inspired by this natural phenomenon, man has been exploring ways and means since time immemorial to follow Nature and create his own forms of light to banish darkness or show light to those groping in it!
If science has discovered that colliding particles in the sun emit heat and light, man invented various means of generating the same, using natural sources such as stones in ancient times, wood, coal, oil, fossil fuels, solar, water, wind and wax in modern times.
From being a source of light and hope, the humble candle means many things to many people the world over. Apart from negating darkness and illuminating surroundings, a candle kindles a ray of hope to live, is a means to pray for peace and an object of worship for god’s grace and blessings.
Through this unique Photo Gallery on Candles, lit on auspicious occasions at places of worship, Bengaluru’s ace photo-journalist K. Venkatesh has once again demonstrated the art of creativity through lenses and imagination.
With this latest collection of photos, shot in Benglauru, the veteran lensman wants to showcase that candles are more than waxing eloquence on light, as they sacrifice their very existence to keep darkness away and show the way to its beneficiaries.
“A candle is not a mere object of utility but a creative piece that brings to light many things we take for granted. Those who light and use it are made to handle it with care as much as our near and dear. We learn how to protect its swaying flame from being blown off by wind or extinguished in rain,” says Venkatesh at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat in the city.
The candle flame also enlightens its visitors with its serene beauty in diverse shapes, shades and colours that people buy or get free for almost every occasion. Used by all, especially women and children, from cradle to grave in various forms, the humble candle is a source of inspiration and strength to the devout, praying to the Almighty for peace, happiness and prosperity.
“Candles have a place in every nook and corner of the world. They are also used to invoke the divine on personal occasions like birthdays, wedding and other happy or sad anniversaries. Even when a soul departs from this world! Like moths and other insects, mortals are attracted and fascinated by the shapes and colours of their flame,” muses Venkatesh.
Candles are universal. They symbolise hope and faith, lead mankind to light from darkness, leaving behind fear, despair and sorrow in its shadows. They are also a source of income for livelihood to the marginalised and contributes to the economy as a cottage industry across the country.
“The material (paraffin) used in making candles is so soft and flexible that it gives ample scope for its makers to be creative, innovative and imaginative for designing and structuring them in as many shapes, colours and sizes. Even as its wick burns, the wax melts silently, symbolising its supreme sacrifice for radiating light and keeping darkness at bay!
Like earthen lamps and other forms of light, candles are commonly used to invoke Gods and Angels, with flowers and scented sticks (agarbattis) as they kindle hearts of the devout and are a means to convey pious feelings, emotions and happiness or unburden sorrows, sufferings and grief in silence.
“I have observed that candles are very dear to the people, especially on sacred occasions when Gods and Angels are pleased to bless them or free them from the burden of existence. They connect hearts and unite minds for harmonious co-existence with all, especially Nature and its manifestations,” recalls KV.