The clay speaks… in silence…!

It all begins when I touch the clay… & by the time it’s complete & out of the kiln… it touches many chords of life…. Sense & sensitivities change… that’s life…

If anyone says I stick to what I begin with … either the person has stopped relating to changes within or lying….

There is nothing wrong in feeling the changed perceptions or accepting they are changed or changing…

 

Whenever I look at my sculptures ‘Wealth of a smile’ & ‘Royalty in distress’ I feel the strong contrast in their perception towards acceptance of life…

 

Wealth of a smile :

An old person.. breathing poverty … living life full size with a wealth of a smile…

Wealth of a smile is actually one of the many contradictions in life… here the person is penniless… never ever enjoyed the wealth in materialistic sense! & still rides over the life flashing a toothless smile… loving life makes you live…!

I have always believed in life & its beauty… & felt deep within me that materialistic pleasures have no bearing on enjoying the life as it comes… a smile never costs… but it’s worth millions when flashes naturally… & that pleasure millions of rich lack… though having trillions in the booty…
life is a onetime phenomena… enjoy naturally…. till & even beyond your last teeth survives…

 

 

Royalty in distress …

it’s again the irony of life… nothing is permanent… once tasted the royalty… now although it’s no more … the inherent beauty supersedes existence in rags… one more aspect… poverty is one phase the royalty can never come to terms with…

while I was making it the towering beauty had to be in a sleeping position as it was a risk on her life… so we used to call her a ‘sleeping beauty…’

When it was complete to load in the wood kiln gave me so severe an anxiety attack that I was with my fingers crossed both the times, while bisque firing & the glaze firing in wood. It was for the first time it stood erect & towering over all other pieces in the kiln proving her superiority while burning & emerging out more beautiful through ashes… like phoenix….

 

For us too ashes of the past give strength … & we soar higher & higher sometimes peeping even beyond horizons…

Advertisements

A real ‘War Hero’

It was 7 pm. & sharp at that the lights are switched off in Jehangir leaving deem lights for us to collect our things & move out…

But a soul was lingering near my sculpture… WAR HERO…

His gaze glued to it & the words that said..

‘the medallions I bear on my body … till I die…’

When I approached him asked… whose line is this.. & I said…

‘of course mine… that’s my thought when I made this sculpture…’

He said with a slight lump in his throat…

I was on Siyachen glacier post.. when I was hit… & that’s the medallion I will have till I die… was the thought when I was hit…

& here you are saying the same words… & the sculpture says it all the more….’

To this I was at loss of words…

My father was on Burma border in 2nd world war…

He was hit by a bomb splinter on his knee & he led his battalion to his post & then fainted … travelling the distance of 17 miles with that wounded knee… to wake up in Lucknow Army hospital… after he was operated…

The words might have their origin there…

& here is a soldier who identified with the words with same passion… saying…

These words I read made me walk down the memory lane….

Unique visitor….

I had displayed a few of my sculptures in Phoenix city mall last year Diwali. & among the hi-fi footfall of the yo yo crowd… two were very unique…. Wearing their nine yards sari…  with loads of gold & a big kunku tila on the forehead… an atypical personalities from western Maharashtra…

I was curious & eager too to hear their comments… they were moving very comfortably through the display rows… & they stopped… their eyes fixed on the ‘Preganant pause’…

‘potushi aahe’ (she is pregnant)

‘Hmm … dola laglaay..’  (having a nap..)

& next was ‘Wealth of a smile’ … the old lady in hat with her last tooth saved…

Silence… total silence…

Their gaze fixed..

Moments passed by as if ages…

& suddenly one of them turned… ‘bwata baghu..’ ( show me your fingers…)

Uneasily I spread my hands…

‘Lai gunachi hayes’ ( you are too good..)

& the other one added… ‘byes… mazyawanich hai…’ showing her last tooth hanging by… from within her upper lip..

Her wrinkled… unevenly rough hand touched & felt me… with smile in her eyes …  bright n flashy…

Similar incidence repeated today…

This old lady in Jehangir had a cool walk through the paintings & the sculptures… looking intently at them…. & finally settling on a chair…

I loved her confidence… without any artificial posing… she was totally engrossed…

Both incidences… same… similar… loving life unconditionally…

Mesmerizing Jehangir….

7 days of this magical arena… why magical…? It literally draws everyone from students of art to teachers of art at one point of time in their life… or presently… to junior… senior… emerging … all artists… art lovers… art gallery people…. Agents… merchants of art… Commoners who just want to get the feel… get connected to the vibrations … trying to understand the ways of art & artists’ perspective towards the life & beyond…

It’s been a very strong pulling force… every moment since 21st Jan. 1952… when it opened its doors to artists….

When I stepped in on 30th Mar. with my sculptures … & yesterday when I packed my sculptures to make a way for another artist… these few days literally changed me inside out…. They just made me comfortable in their clan… my work made my way… here you are nobody’s nobody… only your work can speak for you…. Stand for you… & that worked the best for me…

It’s like baptism… like thread ceremony… you are given a diksha … you take an oath without words… purity within you is tested … hundreds & thousands of eyes n fingers are touching you invisibly & gauging your vibes… with positive appreciation… they may not say a word… but their lingering by your art piece says it all… they may not buy your work… but their penetrating gaze through & through your art piece is priceless….

I did not keep any book for them to write their comment in… neither did I print any catalogue or brochures for them to carry my art home…

I was letting them move through my sculptures… in silence… & with all my senses extended I was imprinting every moment… every word said – unsaid… in my system… their expressions… their whispers to self or their accompanists… their nods… their smiles… their searching look of…  ‘who is the sculptor…’

& ‘may I have your card or some contact…?’

They may or may not contact me later… but for the moment they were in my vicinity they were totally attentive to my sculptures & were thinking about them… the most precious thing in our life…’TIME..’ they spared for me & my sculptures…  I am indebted to each one of them forever…

So …..

j..e..h..a..n..g..i..r…  the magical word… the magic in the place …. & the air I breathed in like the magical potion … is not ‘in’ my system but ‘have become’ my system now….

Jehangir Art Gallery..

My first ever touch to the artists’ land….

30th March… I entered the premises of Jehangir & as my boxes containing sculptures were moving in… I felt the surge of vibrations within me… as if the historical space of iconic artists was coming alive… & the arena had a strong calling…

Somebody offered a chair… but I preferred to sit on the floor… so meditative those few moments were…. Very tranquil…. The vicinity had seen the world famous M. F . Hussein… S. H. raza…. B. prabha… & so many hundreds … upcoming… emerging…  getting world famous  & still returning back to Jehangir to feel the vibes of their roots…

Those moments came alive… may be for every artist landing here for the first time to exhibit the work… they create a comfort zone…. A welcome zone… to let him/her be one of them …

It’s very true … the Vastu says tathastu….

‘touching’ … the clay…. 2

After the first 8 days of learning on wheel… wedging the clay… making the slabs… I fell sick… I was to take part in the Kala Ghoda Potters’ Market… made a hip of things… & was running temperature….

Now I think… I was just an infant of 57 years … & my teething problems had begun….….

My left foot ligament ruptured… I was operated… & everybody … including me too… thought that’s that for my clay venture…

My back & neck problem would not allow me to sit on the wheel… & my left foot would not allow me to work in standing position for long….

Sallu (Salma) & Sulu (Sultana) were with their hands soaked in mud all the time.. & would tell me to make miniatures of their big projects… sometimes I would … sometimes not…

Days were not so funny… my calling was different …

& one day I came to Sulu’s saying I am going to make a sculpture… described to her how I would do that….

& before I knew I was onto it…. ‘War & peace’ my first sculpture….

Then next day I made the ‘Wounded soldier’

& it continued…  my milk teeth had fell off & the permanent teeth including the wisdom tooth were fast emerging….

Touching clay would shape my imagination … my brainwaves passing through my fingers… all my senses could feel the clay I am shaping… I could hear nobody… would say nothing… Tranquil moments…  vibrating… never still… hours would pass by like moments…

‘touching’ … the clay….

A  miracle happened in my life …. Dec 2012… & Salma, my friend was doing pottery since a few months… & was after me for joining her… I was in complete denial… with a stance ‘I am very bad at any other art exception except exceptional acting skills… which is in my DNA… comes easy to me…

But… a BIG BIG BIG BUT for any other art form… a strong NO.

Since I am good in Math, I would get through my drawing exam in school with passing colors with the help of Geometrical designs.

I have a video camera & I had shot a Marathi feature film using her house as a location with that camera…. so she suggested, I come with my camera & shoot while she is  doing pottery.. I willingly accepted… & landed in Dharavi kumbharwada & met Sultana (I had instantly loved her name), Hanif, Yousuf, Abbas & their father too who had worked with the great art directors of the Golden Era of Indian Cinema in 60 s throwing huge pots … it was fun shooting the grownups playing with mud…

I was moving around in a ‘touch me not..please..’ expression making ‘a way’ & keeping ‘away’ through mud…

Shooting was done within 10 minutes… & I was just fooling around passing comments on their muddy selves… when Sultana threw a ball of clay from say 7-8 feet calling out ‘catch it Neelu..’ & I caught it reflexively not to spoil my cloths…

That’s that… it was the very first contact with clay… & thereafter a continuous association …

Touch of clay is such … once you touch clay… it touches you deep within… may be because every living being has a journey coming from clay & returning to it…

it’s very  ‘touching’ … the clay….