Indra Persad-Milowe

Indra Persad Milowe was born in Trinidad in the West Indies. Her childhood weekends and holidays were spent at her grandparents’ house. There was a Hindu temple on their street which was the community hub. Indra’s favorite subject in school was art, especially nature, still life and design. On her first day in class, her art teacher wrote on the blackboard: “Art is not just a painting hanging up on a wall; art is in every aspect of your daily life.” Her paintings were chosen for the high school’s yearbook for two consecutive years. At the age of eighteen, as a British Commonwealth Citizen, she received a scholarship to London University and studied General, Ophthalmic and Psychiatric Nursing. She worked for British Nurses Overseas and travelled extensively around the world accompanying hundreds of patients who came for medical care at prestigious London hospitals. After 45 years she retired and went back to what she loved the most - art! Working primarily with acrylic paints on canvas, her work focuses on personal experiences, reliving her childhood memories of growing up in the 1950's and 1960's. Her paintings reflect the many cultural traditions of Trinidad and Tobago including traditional Hindu ceremonies, African folklore as well as the natural beauty of the islands. Indra's art has been featured in publications in the United States and in Trinidad.

The world is a family 

One is a relative, the other stranger, 
say the small minded.
The entire world is a family, 
live the magnanimous.

Be detached,
be magnanimous,
lift up your mind, enjoy
the fruit of Brahmanic freedom.

Maha Upanishad  6.71–75

This means that the enlightened soul sees every particle of creation as Divine and thus sees God in everyone. She lives in Divine awareness always and is not affected by attachments to the constantly changing ebbs and flows of this world. Thus, she is always peaceful and serene, loving and magnanimous.

-Indra Persad-Milowe

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YARD SWEEPERS ON CARNIVAL MORNING (2020)

On the morning of Carnival celebration in Trinidad and Tobago, adults dress in their finest best and go from house to house to sweep the yards in their village. If no payment is made, they refuse to leave until they get paid. If not paid, they leave a bigger mess behind them.

DOUBLES VENDOR (2020)

Doubles are a snack-sized sandwich made of two flatbreads known as bara and filled with a curried chickpea filling. This popular street food is enjoyed by citizens of all origins.   

HANUMAN DELIVERS RAM’S RING TO SITA (2020)

Hanuman told Sita, “Mother Sita! I'm definitely the messenger sent by Rama. To convince you, Rama gave me his signet ring to give to you.” He handed over Rama's ring to Sita. Sita was overjoyed seeing the ring and she felt as if she had seen Rama in person. This is the ring that was given during marriage and she remembered all the occasions and the intimacy that they enjoyed. Her face brightened up, realizing that Hanuman was Lord Rama’s faithful servant. She felt embarrassed for having thought that he was the evil Ravana in disguise and felt grateful to Hanuman. 

DRAUPATI BEING DISROBED (2020)

One of the most searing moments in Hindu mythology has to be the vastraharan, the disrobing of Draupadi in the Kaurava court. Even before Duhshasana starts to tear off her clothes, she has been manhandled, dragged into court in a blood-stained garment, pulled by her hair and insulted by Duryodhana and Karna. All of this while the elders of her family watch in stupefied silence. Her emasculated husbands mutter and rumble in anger, but none of them lift a finger to help her, bound as they were by dharma — the dharma of their new status as slaves.We know that Draupadi prays to Krishna and is able to salvage the last fragments of her dignity. Her garment becomes endless — yards and yards of fabric appear miraculously and defeat Duhshasana’s lascivious intentions. Draupadi never stands fully naked in that public, fundamentally male space.

RAMADAN DURING COVID 19 (2020)

As of April 24, 2020, there were more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the safest option was to pray at home.