A resident of New Delhi's fast growing suburb, Gurgaon, Panda has often addressed issues of migration and urbanization in his work. Moving to the city from the state of Orissa, Panda speaks of his own dislocation and migrant status in the city while dealing with his ever present need to 'belong'.
In this painting, Panda gives us a glimpse of what appears to be to the view from a window. Titled, Beginning of a Story, an earth mover draws our attention to the left of the painting as it steadily clears the ground for the foundation of a new house. Replacing the agricultural fields, these new dwellings, in the form of sky scrapers, town houses and industrial estates, continually alter and refashion the skyline of Gurgaon. Perched on a withered tree, birds watch the construction as they prepare for their own eventual dislocation.
"In small or large format, he (Panda) works through the positioning of opposites, of the enforcing of structures and the evacuation of life forms, of mythic cycles and contemporary time, of value and its imminent loss...It is the integration of narrative constructions that determine Panda's use of time and the forms that inhabit space. The animals of the forest of Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, witnesses to the love of Radha and Krishna, now become witness to the emergent new heterotopic India. In Panda's paintings, the animal as cohabitor of space has served as an interlocutor for violent change." (Gayatri Sinha, Jagannath Panda, Berkley Square Gallery, London 2006)