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Muscular Gods

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
September 2014
Muscular Gods

Shiva with bulging biceps, Vishnu with six-pack abs, Rama with a broad chest—Hindu gods are looking more buff than ever, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “The Gods Seem to Have Been Working Out.”

Rather than the traditional pictures of gods and goddesses in seated positions, their bodies looking soft and curvy, artists are depicting them in active poses with firm, muscular bodies. The depictions, in comics, paintings, and books, are designed to appeal to middle-class youth.

Delhi artist Anirudh Sainath Krishnamani told WSJ that Rama “was this really macho, warrior kind of person” and shouldn’t be “looking like this really soft and nice-nice person.”

Satyaki Pal, a 24-year-old business school student who reads graphic novels, agrees: “(Hindu gods) were also warriors. They were supposed to be strong so they could fight anybody.”

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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