Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rain . Painting . Art

It’s such a pleasure to travel in Kerala in the monsoons. It’s cool and green as far as your eyes run amok. The paddy fields glistening in all the hues of green that can be imagined... palm fronds dancing in delight as the rain embraces them…the rivers, swollen with water, a little muddy... always reminds me of a maiden in the prime of her youth, Seductive.
But all this when you are in the comfort of a car or a bus. Walking in Kerala in the rains can be a night mare if you like to keep yourself dry. If there are no puddles to greet you then the entire road is probably under water! Lift your dress as high as modesty would allow and walk in rain friendly shoes.
Off late, I have joined painting classes with the intention to brush up my painting technique. Water colors is my favorite medium. I get overwhelmed when I look at a master’s work in that medium. The vibrancy of a water color can not be achieved in any other medium. As I get deeper into the ocean of painting. I realize the style that most suits my personality is impressionism in water colors. Few strong strokes conveying the dynamism of life. Oil Painting with the exception of those in impressionist style is static.
Even in the heaviest downpour wading through water logged roads, I trudge on most mornings to my class for the sheer joy of painting for couple of hours. As part of the curriculum I have painted many still lifes', a live model, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘The First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice’ And lately, one of George Stubb's Horse threatened by a lion theme. When the instructor fetched these books for me to reproduce, my first reaction was a sinking feeling … a profound doubt whether I will be close to even getting the basics right. But the trick as I have learnt from life is to take it bit by bit.
Any new unfinished task appears daunting at first sight. Many thoughts crowd your head, from a fear of failure to a nagging doubt if you will ever complete the task. Even thoughts to abandon the task altogether stream in as the going gets tough. Maximum force is required to move an object from rest to motion. So, you just do it. Begin. Bite small pieces and before you know it, you are swimming confidently in the middle of the English Channel with the end in sight. And one fine day with the joy akin to seeing the sun stream through rain bearing clouds, the task will be complete. Lo, You have learnt to drive. There! You just finished the Sistine Chapel. And you will wonder, “Did I just do this? That wasn’t so difficult!”
That’s what art is all about. It mesmerizes you. Its those moments when you are connected to your soul. When the world with its harsh realities are a distant thunder. It’s the same feeling of ecstasy when you are listening to music, or painting or writing poetry. Its just you and the words… you and the colors on the paint brush kissing and caressing the paper moulding the image you see in your eyes or mind. Its exhilarating. I guess it all boils down to passion.
Passion is what turns work into art.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What do you do when you are feeling low and depressed?
Try cleaning the bathroom.
How does it work?
The main reason for depression if you evaluate it is self pity. A feeling of frustration at your state wishing things were different. Keep yourself busy and help others and depression will melt away.
When you clean the bathroom, you get to spend some time with yourself, you get to finish a job that you have been puting off since ages and as the floor starts to shine again it lifts your spirits.
You can also try ironing clothes or arranging the wardrobe. Works the same way. The shift from a state of disorder to order instills the same state on your mind.
It was a dark moment in our lives when we were DUPED into taking up a resort club membership. Some brilliant marketing by the executive and we bought ourselves a white elephant. We were offered what looked like an opportunity of the life time, not to be missed. And we who hardly vacation bought a resort club membership. After paying a down payment of over 2la we also pay an annual fee of about 2000 Rs. And all this so we can stay at select resorts for free. The food isn't free nor the other value added services. In case a guest is using the membership they have to pay 1000 odd Rs as guest fees. And you can't book for a day. You have to book for at least 2 days. To make it worthwhile you better stay as long as you can. You are allowed 7 holidays a year. Ah, but you can't accumulate them beyond 21 days. And of course while you are there, you pay for your five star food! Ingenious isn't it? Did I mention the traveling expenses you will bear from your house to the resort and back???
The Marketing manager who thought of this concept must have become a millionaire many times over by now with money from gullible fools like us. No. That’s not enough... he must be given a noble prize in economics!
Every time I recollect our membership I could kill somebody out of frustration. So not to feel like total idiots, we are forced to vacation whether we want it or not at resorts they specify. And you better book 9 months in advance else the rooms might not be available. Cheers.
Kudos to Club Mahindra. May you prosper on other peoples graves.
And if any of the readers have money to burn, please buy a membership. Or better still buy it from me so you will get it cheaper than today's rates and I might sleep in peace!!!