Tuesday, May 15

and the brush spoke

I stirred the thin paste of mustard & tomatoes in the frying pan. She stood in front of me. part of a world lost.

I had walked away from it. Built my life. Changed. She had walked away too. Built her own life. She hadn’t changed..

She still tied her hair neatly in a small ponytail. With one stroke of brush. still wore her specs. she still wore loose khadi kurta with white churidars. still didn’t wear any makeup. She still talked a lot. And had a studied arrogance towards life.

"I downloaded your father's picture"...she gushed,” can never forget him...neeeever.. the uncreased kurta...the loose pyajams.... his languid walk...he seemed from another world".

And I could hear the unsaid...forms and images were so important to her...it must have been important for her to download the fading image of the man who was my father.

The simmering mustard stuck to the ends of the pan. I stirred it scraping the crispy brown layers from the edge. Just like old times, that stick to the edges, brown and crisp.

“Do you still cook as well?” She asked. “ You were such a spectacular cook….” she said excitedly.

“It still tastes the same”…I replied. We laughed.It didn’t take her more than a second to react.

And then we laughed at everything in turn. The bunked classes, the bad movies churned out in sweaty cinema halls, the hunk of an English Professor, the crammed togetherness in small rikshaws, the dosa afternoons and stolen cups of coffees at Shubraj, pride of Ashok Rajpath.

We laughed at complex things as well, things that were neither black nor white, but a shade somewhere in between, things that were core to our existence then.

Her paintings. My poetry. Her research. My job. Our single status. And our collective disdain towards it.

Neetu still paints beautifully. As though all the intensity within pours on the canvas. Her paintings haunt.

I insisted she send some paintings to put on my blog. She conceded with some hesitation.

I don’t claim to understand art, but I am aesthetically inclined. And I think Neetu, it’s a loss that you don’t take your gift a little more seriously.


Neetu said...

Shuchika you possess perrenial love for my art.Honestly speaking I do not rank it so high. But surely, your appreciation thrills me and encourages me to at least give a serious thought to it.
Your posts on this blog takes me to a state of ecstacism and I feel nostalgic about those not so cherishable days when I used to relish your cooking experiments along with a free treat of Suzi Ka Halwa.
I am glad to have another phase of life where I can have some bit of those days, coloured with different identity and different paradoxes which baffle probably both of us to same magnitude.

shikha said...

shuchika,when i first read your blog(it was the poem life awaits) i instantly liked it and then somewhere in between I thought you were too stuck up in life,unable to move on and appreciate the Now and here in things.....

But I think different poeple write for different reasons and only certain emotions inspire you to write...

Lately though(guess you post on singles)you have been writing on upbeat topics and also there is variety,which is refreshing...


Also,am hoping that you are taking your writing seriously,cause you have lot of talent and many people relate to what you write(have seen so blogs,with very different thought processes,bookmarking you....think that's proof enuff)

And yes,your writings are very candid,devoid of any fear..they are extremely heartfelt:)

Anonymous said...

tell your friend never to chuck the habit... she is too good at that, and yea every reason to take it up seriously... the third pic there,lady in black is an amazing work.. the brown shade of the pillar.. attach a footnote to the post, so that the readers would click on the pics to enlarge it

Yuva said...

like LIFe, art you dont need to understand.. you can just enjoy it.

that's awesome painting..

anamika said...

hey please tell your friend that she must never give up her hobby. She is just fab

Anonymous said...

nice!'ve been introduced to your blog recently.ve grown up in patna too n see a bit of myself in the write-ups on the city. 've something to do with films. i liked your review of dor n would love to read a piece on 'metro' in that language n tone of yours. so lets ve a reader's special..

Shantanu said...

Good to see another post from you. And yes, the art's pretty good.

shuchika said...

neetu , you are really good at painting. really.

shikha, thanks for observing that I have given in. to peace within.

thanks lash, shantanu, yuva, anamika

pushkar, i promise a metro review, only for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shuchika and all of you for giving such serious glances to my art pieces. I assure you I am never going to give up this art.I simply can't. It's beyond my control. I have grown up with it, I do not remember since when!!!!
Shuchika, you know this, you have seen me for quite a long time, doing some bit of it, in Patna and now here at Mumbai.