I remember as a child, my parents taking me to Little India to visit the parrot astrologer. I was usually clueless to what the astrologer was saying, because I barely spoke Tamil, let alone complex Sanskrit terms that encompass the universe and my place in it. I was always excited though, because it meant I could pet the parrot while the astrologer spoke to my parents. The concept for this mural explores the progression of Little India through the lens of astrology and the astrologers that once inhabited the many five foot ways of Little India.
The mural is set in the aesthetics of a tarot spread, each with a depiction of Little India’s growth through the ages. The progression is exemplified through aesthetics. The mural reads from right to left in expansion. The utmost right illustrates the green ringneck parrot picking out cards on a person (most likely man) wearing the white dhoti and a shirt, with their forehead smeared with holy ash or vermilion, with traditional Indian motifs. The use of the Indian motifs reflects the history of Tamil astrologers catering to mainly immigrant indians. The progression of style in the cards is also a reflection of the popularity of this practice and thus became a widespread activity many indulged in, especially in times of uncertainty. The left of the mural will depict a flow of tarot reading towards a more contemporary outlook and design. This represents the accessibility of this practice, where artists and artisans continue this practice by reading tarot decks in the many cafes, bookstores and galleries around Little India.