Something peacock-related in the water? Or in the subconscious?
It’s rare – but not altogether unheard of – that I wake up with a clear idea of what I want to draw that day. Last Sunday (16 December 2018), I awoke wanting to draw a peacock. I’ve never attempted a peacock before, but this seemed a good thing at which to try my hand. So I sketched…
My India-based friend Poonam Munshi is a phenomenally talented artist. It was my pleasure and privilege to be able to do a weekly sketching collaboration with her during #Inktober2018 (You can see one such example in this post, which a link to Poonam’s drawing on the same theme).
Last Sunday, I subsequently learned that (by the oddest coincidence of peacock #Sketchulence synchronicity), Poonam had also sketched a peacock. What are the chances?!? Here’s Poonam’s fantastic picture:
Something more than beauty as a reason
Poonam also taught me something I did not previously know: The peacock is the national bird of India.
Over on Quora, Sanjay Sabnani offers a comprehensive answer to the question of just why the peacock was chosen to be the national bird of India:
“The simple answer is that the peacock is a spectacularly beautiful and magical looking creature that resides in India. Why would a nation not pick its best and most iconic bird as emblematic of its national pride?”
The spectacular beauty and magical nature of the peacock should suffice for most. But Sanjay kindly offers further insight:
“For those who want something beyond beauty as a reason. There is an ancient association between the majesty of India and the peacock that dates back to the times of the Maurya Empire (322 to 185 BCE). According to some legends, the founder of the Maurya dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, was rumored to be the child of peacock tamers– Mayura-Poshakha in Sanskrit. The similarity between Maurya and Mayura has led to a lot of speculation about the significance of the peacock as an emblem of this fabled empire.”
I love the eloquence of Sanjay’s words here. I love this odd moment of peacock-related synchronicity.
Gentle reader: What is the oddest, funniest or most outright head-scratching instance of synchronicity that you have experienced lately?
With such an emphasis on synchronicity, I think it only apt that we close out this post in the depths of the Twilight Zone…
UPDATE (Friday 21 December 2018): Peacocks in The Atlantic!
Further peacock-related synchronicity! I am starting to think that there really is something peacock-related afoot in this world today! Just a few short hours after this post went up, Poonam kindly tweeted me to let me know that Ed Yong has today published an article in The Atlantic on none other than the peacock!
Here is the (excellent) article: A Courting Peacock Can Shake Its Partner’s Head From Afar.
And here is Ed Yong’s superb Twitter thread on peacocks!
Keep ’em peeled! Any further peacock sightings out there in the world, please do let me know!
- My thanks to Poonam Munshi for her kind permission to include her peacock picture here.