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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How a painting turned me pale :(

The college where my Mom taught looked stereotypical of an old university. Large hectares of land, buildings which looked haunted , cobwebs which signified home to generations of spiders, and the names of students starting from the 60’s engraved on every wall.  In between if one spots a room with a potted plant or a creeper, it is probably my Mom’s. She has a penchant for interior designing, decorative furniture, indoor plants, wall hangings and these attract her more than sarees or gold (Or so, I think ;-) ). Our home in Trivandrum and her room in college are living examples to her vast experiments. She has a creative eye to see aesthetic beauty even in the weirdest piece of wood.  Over the years I too started loving wall hangings and hung a few of them in my room.

Soon after my marriage I realized that my better half doesn’t appreciate wall hangings. However I got a few oil paintings as gifts on my wedding and carried them enthusiastically to Bangalore where we rented a home. Soon our home was garnished with new furniture, carpets  - well the carpets were to cover the innumerable wires of the home theatre that went helter skelter on the floor. A clock was nailed on the wall of the living room.

One Saturday when he had to be at office, I took out the oil painting which featured Shakuntala . It was a very common Ravi Varma duplicate piece, but looked quite awesome. I replaced the clock in the living room, with the painting.  The painting was quite large to go unnoticed… and when he was back, he gave me a gyaan on how functional the clock was to the living room, compared to the 'useless' painting I hung in its place. I continued to hold a deaf ear to it as it wasn't  a big deal anyway.

Few days later, we were informed about guests who were to arrive on a short notice and I had to rush to the kitchen to cook a meal. Planning and execution of a last minute meal wasn’t easy for an expert cook like me, who relies on cook books and long distance calls to boil eggs right…still efforts continued until every cutlery crockery and utensil was smeared with bits and parts of the ultimate lunch which was being cooked. Hubby continued to dictate the route on phone to the guests who were already on their way. ( If it was me I would have told them longest route to reach here…) but I couldn’t afford to handle more disasters than the ones which were already cooking in a pressure cooker, frying pan, microwave oven and rice cooker simultaneously. Lunch time was fast approaching, the guests had almost reached and I called out to him to know what time it was. Pat came a roar from the living room.

'Ask Shakuntala ! '

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A portrait experiment.

It was my Mom’s b’day last week, and I thought… a pencil sketch of one of her prized possessions – a black and white photo taken from a studio soon after her marriage would be a creative gift.

I discussed this with my hubby  and he gave me an encouraging and hyper excited ‘thumbs up’ – Of course he is thinking of the hours of peace there would be in the house once I start the venture.  Anyway I took my art drawing book, eraser and all the graphite and charcoal pencils and sat on my bed. I held the photo on one hand. Here I go…Papa stood on the left side and looked less complicated; so I decided to start with him.

 I took a deep breath.

Sketching him looked easy. The long and pointed collar of the 70’s which almost dipped into his shirt pocket, and the bell bottomed pants were not as complicated as the silk saree my mother wore.  Thankfully for me, he sported a normal moustache and not the Veerappan one which was a rage of those times. However, he had thick hair and eyebrows, and I got confused on which pencil to use. If I use the charcoal pencil it would look like a wig. I’ll go with the graphite one. HB looked fine. Few strokes on paper.  And the inevitable eraser brushed out the little that I made. Not to worry…I said to myself,  no artist ever worked without making flaws. Yes, I call myself an ‘artist’ . 

I continued to console myself, arrogantly dismissing the fact that my confidence is down by a level now . I’ll draw the faces at the last…I procrastinated, and decided to start with the shoulder. So here comes Papa’s shoulder! Oh man, he is wearing a white shirt. Or is he?  These Black and White photographs…! How complicated they are compared to the colored ones! This portrait would have been completed and framed by now if the original was taken in a SLR camera. ahem :D

Or is he wearing his wedding shirt which is actually white ? But the creases and folds are not visible. And the collar…where does it start from ? Looks like it grew from his neck. Make an outline, Anita, make an outline ! So an outline was made up to the belt. And eureka…I drew the belt too. But he is not standing straight like I just drew…he is slightly slanting towards Mom’s side. And the belt I drew was oversized and looked like hat of Santa’s. Its eraser time!!

If I complete this picture Papa would look like Shrek and Mom would get the most abusive gift of her life. I painfully realized that I can’t make portraits and went back to do what I do best better… the birthday post for Mom on my blog. I got a ‘like’ for it on facebook and a few comments.

I'm now, a happy and contended daughter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mummy ...

She is the one, who on my birthday ...every year ...

..gave me a tight hug and lots of kisses when I woke up..

..baked my favorite chocolate cake..

.. insisted that I  wear a new dress and bought me one of my choice..

..managed a gift, invited friends and made me feel special..

..cooked me the best meal...

..clapped and sang aloud the birthday song...

..prayed and blessed me...

..Called and wished me when I was away from home...each word seemed to say that she missed me...

...whose dedication has left me without words…


As you are miles away from me, I could not do one hundredth of what you did on my birthdays...I humbly wish you lots of happy and healthy years ahead... 
and thank you, for being YOU.

Happy Birthday, Mummy. 

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