The Other

There is this certain invisible “Other” who haunts the minds of many if not all, the other who keeps a check on them and is watching every move, waiting to pounce on them for any mistake which the “other” might not like or approve of.

This mistake could be anything, from how you dress to your unwaxed arms to the delay in your son’s marriage to the amount of money spent on your daughter’s wedding to what shoes you wear on jogging to the company you keep to the profession you take up and so on. The “other” seems to be so keenly interested in just every facet of your mundane life and bring it to such esteemed significance that you choose to spend innumerable hours on avoiding or rectifying your mistakes less you invite the wrath of the “other”. How dare you not use the new cutlery in the party, now what would the “other” think of this sin!

Who knows what bad luck this evil deed of yours might cause! You know, perhaps it is this very “other” who causes women to sleep in extremely uncomfortable saris with atrocious bling in the soap operas, or maybe it is indeed the “other” which causes half of us wannabe smokers to place a cigarette between our lips or red paint on them for that matter, woh saare “others” laga rahe thhe na, to maine bhi socha ki …

So engrossed are we in pacifying this “other” that we stop pacifying our own selves and fail to realize when we ourselves become that demonic “other” in someone else’s life…

 

Watch the following video for a soap opera tangible manifestation of that “Other”

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A little art from the heart

The Young India Fellowship allowed me yet another opportunity to revisit myself. During the module on Art Appreciation we made three art works, two were acrylic on canvas, and the third was with oil pastels on sheet.

Having been born clumsy and grown clumsier, skills do haunt me now and then, however I allowed myself to feel free and just express honestly.  Am sharing two of those art works (I forgot to click photographs of the first one )

Peacock Blues (Oil Pastels)

The above artwork was made in a period of 1.5 hours. I realized that oil pastels are an amazing medium (what was I doing until now?) and I must most certainly work more with them. I goofed up below the neck and above the tail wherein the mixing did not come out well. Well the way oil pastels blend is sheer joy.

Nostalgia (Acrylic on Canvas)

While painting Nostalgia, I was thinking of my brother and could not help but draw the scooter , reminiscent of the memorable scooter rides I have had with him. Somehow it seems to signify a certain freedom that I crave for once again. I tried to experiment with the texture of the canvas and dry brush because I wanted some translucency while still keeping it a silhouette.

I also made a bookmark for a friend on her birthday. Though it did not exactly turn out as I had wanted it to, and I felt thoroughly embarrassed after gifting it to my friend,  I still had fun while making it.

A slightly deformed bookmark

Bookmark hanging in book

Shall be updating with the photograph of the first artwork soon.

Of Stories and Needs: Lessons learnt from children

With a few storybooks in hand and activities planned I made my way to a children’s home. When I met them, it was indeed a stark reminder of the gap between what we think and assume and what really is. Having always spoken faithfully of stories as healing and stories for change, I had somewhere forgotten that they are incomplete, words are not food and illustrations are not love. When the heart craves for a mother and the mind at gaining the attention of a new visitor, I do not know what story to tell.

I realized how small I am, how much of a fantasist I am, and how awkward I am. A few weeks ago a wise friend had remarked on one of my posts that perhaps people are born with empathy, they either have it or don’t. Much as I tried to understand and comprehend the many queries, I knew I was feeling torn inside, I was overwhelmed, I was sad, I was heart broken with my limited capacity.

What did I add on to their lives? A stranger, she came, she played with us, she taught us how to make aeroplanes, we laughed with her, and when she was leaving, we cried…perhaps they were in a better frame of mind before I entered for that small instance and reminded them that there are so many barriers, barriers of walls, barriers of notions of normalcy, barriers of money, barriers of an actually non inclusive education system, barriers of lack of the knowledge of sign language on our part, barriers of the sheer lack of empathy in us…A lady who visits them often, came in with food, one of the little girls, distributed it among all and then took her share, one by one the little ones came and offered me a bite, I felt humbled and human…

Teachers’ Day Special

I cannot imagine a world without teachers. My mother taught me how to hold a pencil, my father taught me how to draw, my grandmother taught me the importance of eating butter and my brother the joy of sheer love.

Though I have a million instances to narrate, I can never forget the day when my English teacher at school, Ms. Manju Sharma, called me aside and asked me to speak out, to express. I started with answering her questions in class and gathered courage to speak in the morning assemblies. Every time I would speak on the stage, even if it was a mere line or two, she would by default come and congratulate me for that, motivate me for the next time. For me, she was an epitome of divine goodness in times of low confidence and inhibitions.

I wonder if she would have ever imagined me as part of something like this:

 

 

I consider myself lucky, for at every stage I have been blessed with the most encouraging, understanding and loving mentors, and that is all what a person needs to keep moving ahead, to keep trying and to not quit: Positive energy!

I am always inspired by the following Ted Talk: If only I can be worthy enough to be a teacher someday:

john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_game.html

 

A humble doodle: