Shiva Nataraja

This murti of Nataraja has been in the window of a store near where I work for at least 20 years. I often walk past is and just as often stop to admire it. I have never really considered taking it home, lovely as it is. The murti is simply too large for any of my rooms. I have mentioned its needing a home to a couple of different friends, who were looking for large murtis of Nataraja, over the past few months, but none have followed through.

Today, when I was walking past it on a lunchtime walk to the bank, I noticed a “commercial property for rent” sign in the window. I will miss having this resplendent image in my work neighborhood, but not enough to buy it and bring it home. I decided, though, to take a photograph. I know the owner only very casually, but well enough to know he is retiring, rather than being driven out by rising rental costs or the recession. The neighborhood has gotten trendier since Nataraja first appeared in the window. Nataraja might be replaced with a delicious restaurant or a fabulous store purveying things that entice me. Or the space could stay vacant or be used for something that holds no interest for me whatsoever.

Nataraja–lord of the dance of concealment and revelation, of dissolution and manifestation–is dancing here. The murti will be sold or transported away when the shop closes and will physically be gone.

I will have my memories of the image, a photograph I took with my BlackBerry, and will have had a sweet opportunity to observe the lord of the dance dancing away his own image.

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