An Evening of Lights
Today is the day known to Sikhs as, ‘Bandi Chorr Divas’ which loosely translates to:
'Prisoner Release Day’.
In 1619, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Ji was imprisoned in Gwalior Fort, India by the then Mughal Emperor, Jahangir. Guru Ji - alongside 52 Hindu Kings - was imprisoned for religious and political differences. Brandi Chorr Divas is the day widely celebrated by Sikhs as the day in which Guru Hargobind Ji and the 52 Hindu Kings were released from Gwalior Fort. The day of release of Guru Hargobind Ji coincided around the time of Diwali - the Hindu festival of Lights. For more about the why Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chorr Divas/Diwali, click
As we are inspired by the fashion and jewellery of women from the Mughal era, we decided to portray Bandi Chori Divas from the perspective of one of the Queen’s of the 52 Kings. We have aimed to present and capture the yearning and longing of a Queen for her King in the Mughal period, upon hearing the news of the release of the Guru and 52 Kings.
We began with the first image, depicting a Queen in delight upon hearing the good news. She imagines being reunited with her King and has adorned herself in celebration of this news. The rest of the images shows the Queen anticipating the arrival of her King, ready with the Diva which she had burning in his name, and singing melodious Raag music to celebrate her King’s return.
Bandi Chorr Divas and Diwali are important festivals in the Sikh and Hindu Calendar, and both festivals are synonymous with lights. However, both festivals are more than just being able to light candles with our family and friends, it is about lighting the candles in each and every one of us and sharing even a glimmer of light with all those around us. It is dispelling the ignorance of darkness with the wisdom of light.
Photographed by Hernoor
Modelled by Sukhman