The day was warm as hell. But the twilight hour rain turned the nasty experience with the day’s sun into a chilling experience with the rising moon. The pacifying aura of mother nature was at full display. It was raining cats and dogs to the utter dismay of the ones without an umbrella. Even I carried over the day’s disappointments of not having been able to have a good lunch in the afternoon. But the burst of the rain drops kissing my face as I walked out of a cafe demystified nature’s magical heal. I fortunately lost all heat, stress and annoyance in that one moment. It would be utter exaggeration if I call it my moment of enlightenment. But if I truly believed my exaggerations it was that close to making me a BUDDHA. Following that moment I was stuck in rain for about 30 minutes at the heart of Hetauda, a city in the central hills of Nepal. But the patience drawn from magical touch worked well for me as I was able to witness an equalizing effect of rain.
Rain is a great equalizer. It soaked the beauties and the hunk, the bald and the bold, the proletariat and the gentry, the dark and the brown. To sum it up it left all blessed with its magical touch. I hope we all have our own moment in the rain where we are able to clear off all our greed, frustrations, egos and disappointments. Let there be rain…
It’s been quite a while since I last posted a blog. I have always been a passionate writer inscribing emotions into paintings and then making a failed attempt to describe them. Paintings are for me like love letters where I pour my heart into the vibrancy of the colors and allow the mind to step aside. May be the emotions were not that strong enough but whatever be the reason, today with a coffee mug by the side, some sports in the TV, lazy grey clouds in the vicinity, water drops hitting the glass and if trying to stick to it like age old lovers trying to hold hands until there is no option of departure, I suddenly feel the need to write.
Outside the sliding door of my backyard I can see the grey clouds, a slight drizzle to complement the grey, birds chirping or may be having a conversation about the uncharacteristic rainy day falling in middle of a hot aussie summer. But that’s what life is all about neither the scorching forty degrees heat nor the chilling cold lasts forever and so does the spring. Just when things seem all predictable, we often have a taste of unpredictability. Hence I would like to be comfortable in my stupidity than my self-proclaimed ability for intelligent predictions.
The grayish almighty heaven, the stillness of the ever dancing trees, slight breeze and moon like luminance does not add up to a what can be called a colorful day. It is interesting that although we know every day cannot be colorful we expect it be one. Expectations by the way are meant to be cause of sorrow in our life. But as the steam leaves the coffee mug by my side every passing second, I begin wonder if that is our greatest strength. The expectation to see light at the end of the tunnel, the expectation to stand all odds when all possible alternatives have given way, the expectation to perform better than the previous best, thus expectation can be relieving, relieving us from all our self inflicted limitations. Hence it’s important we find colors in day to day life and be mesmerized by the hidden colors filling up our monotonous schedule. The painting tries to unearth the possibility of finding the hidden colors in our day to day life.
It’s just one fine Melbourne morning…the birds are chirping…having their usual conversation…about where will they be flying out today…wow!!!… that must be a privilege after all they have some free airplane tickets to begin with. They may as well be just expressing their excitement for rather exciting morning and thank god it’s a sunny morning for a change, given the last four days of rain…storm…hail storms….whatever you call…the sun’s up and glancing at my room and the tress are still, unlike usual days when they have to spend long hours bending in all possible directions…they finally have their moment of solace…they aren’t working out this morning, that’s it.
The sunlight, yes… it’s just light after all…the usual thing. But it has a motherly touch to it…it embraces, cuddles, pampers, inquires, comprehends, warms…sublimates my deepest fears, and anxiousness and photosynthesizes all our stored potential… as it lights up of our day to begin with and its omnipresence inspires everything that breathes, survives, thrives and effortful for existence.
A question, “what is light?” once fascinated scientist like Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday and James Maxwell. The answer as we know now, it is an electromagnetic wave and everything visible and invisible is by product of light. But more so the science of which tells us about the interwoven nature of electricity and magnetism. I am no physicist by the way… in case you are wondering the academic background of the author. I am the light itself like all of us, beaming and echoing the interwoven nature of emotions, survival and objective march to prosperity.
It’s been four months and four days ever since I landed in the city…and oh my…my!!! everything has happened with the speed of light. I left my country within a span of 17 days to begin with….started off with my class a day after I landed…then the course registrations…IDs, libraries….online stuffs…new friends…new modes of commute…new methods of learning…training your brain to think differently…and all in all a new way of life. But finally there’s break…as the gasp of air just leaves my lips.
A new country…a new city is much often an overwhelming experience. But Melbourne has been a true teacher and my good friend, getting the best out of me and helping me realize that there is something more to myself. Coming into an international city like Melbourne, the first thing that strikes is the freedom…is the liberty that the city provides and imbibes within its residents. But on the flip side it does not mean that I come from place where there is an authoritarian regime exits but certainly from a place where the thoughts are not allowed to become liberal, where thoughts are not allowed to become simplified. The other day I was talking to friend from Myanmar enjoying a cup of coffee, escaping the wind that seemed to be in a hurry to get some somewhere haphazardly flipping the umbrellas of all its bystanders. In the meantime, she shared something very interesting that it would not have been possible for her to talk to a guy in a coffee shop back in her home country. She said it with a smile that there would be shrewd eyes taking a keen interest on the mutual interests of the two in conversation. Looking back at that very fateful conversation I felt that although we both represent a democracy more specifically democracies in transition i.e. referring to the political transitions in Nepal and Myanmar, but democracy is not just enjoyment or exercise of political freedom but also a state of mind. Liberty by virtue of the word echo’s freedom in all direction but it’s also the liberty of mind and perception, where an individual by virtue of freedom of autonomy is able to enjoy the full potential. It’s a state of liberal self. What Melbourne has taught me is this very fact that a liberal self is patient, welcoming of thoughts and hence one is able to embrace different thoughts and ideologies in turn making the society at large more diverse but yet cohesive. An ideology once instituted in South Africa as a rainbow nation. So what Melbourne exudes is not just its history and culture but transfers its inherent thoughts of liberty not only enabling people to enjoy their full potential but also provide the opportunity to instigate a subjective liberal renaissance.
We are all free thinkers by the way…we are all birds cuddling the clouds but our thoughts are often guided and indoctrinated…but all it requires is a city enlightened where we can think beyond our indoctrination. Thus the painting is representative of a diverse society smiling and sharing a space in a cohesive manner… all the fingers have different sub function but together they strive for the same objective and more over the smile has the same interpretation.
The significance a bloody war often lies in the peace that prevailed following it. Somebody lost, somebody stood victorious but I don’t know who won, who prevailed. I guess it’s the overpowering and omnipresent emotion called peace that prevailed. Moreover, the holy silence following the last gunshot, the last cannon fire, the last brave soul that left the physical self, the last sting of blood lost, the last wish of the last fallen that remained unfulfilled, the last words of the last fallen that echoed…the smoky battle is what prevailed.
The author has feeling of hollowness today…may be the commemorating music of the bagpiper arising right out the grave of those fallen may have been a factor. I along with Raffy, a rather serious looking, with a composer matching a master musician, soft spoken with gentleness of a martial artist, formally dressed Philippino doctor…., went to attend ANZAC day Parade at the Federation square, Melbourne. ANZAC day, commemorates the sacrifice of the brave son and daughters of Australia and New Zealand, who went down fighting for their motherland starting with the battle of Gallipoli. But interestingly as I was watching the commemoration services of ANZAC day over the television I found the memorial services were being attended with utmost emotions by the friends and the then adversary, the Turkish Army.
It was then I realized that the greatest awakening of our time is not E=mc2, the famous equation of Albert Einstein, but consciousness of peace that arose from the mushrooming clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The realization of importance of peace is defining moment of our time. In the eyes of the marching veterans, the prevalence of glory and pride was quite evident. But the march was not just glorification of the battle but the satisfaction of peace and everlasting smile that prevailed following the fall of their honorable comrades. They were rejoicing not because of the accolades but by the realization of fact that it is better to live with the guns laid to rest than the men who operate them.
The painting is tribute to all those honorable men and women who sacrificed their life for the realization of peace past their living self. It is a salute to all those people who dared fight their selfish self and come out brave out of their discomfort within. Had they chosen not to stand, had they chosen not to come out of their comfort zone for the comfort of the generation to follow, had they chosen not keep their head held high when rest though that it all over…we would still be engulfed within the bloody smoke….searching for the meaning of our existence and identity….Had they chosen not to smile in adversities when rest had forgotten to smile…. We would still be awaiting the greatest realization of our time…
Life has always been about the shift. Some strings of transition that nullifies the possibility of status quo. We transit from being happy at one moment and sad in the other which continues to and fro, while some other time we make a paradigm shift. It was February 25th, 2004 when I underwent one such shift that was to change my life forever. It was 8:50 am that fateful day when my father’s heart beat one last time. The shift was sudden but not totally unexpected and shook me like an 8 on the Richter scale. But shift is like an unwelcomed Santa it comes with bag full of uncertainty. Moreover uncertainty is like the beloved girl friend, I guess, whenever she is not around the miss is quite evident and when she is around…the wish… is to wait to miss her again. Some of the most inspiring stories are born out the ashes of uncertainty; they haunt, test and prevail. It is always great to discuss about being in one such situation over the afternoon tea but actually facing one is challenging.
Coming to Melbourne, was a great shift and the anxiety surrounding the new place, the uncertainty. But the early uncertainty has been worth an experience. Some familiar looking unfamiliar faces have become actually familiar now just helping me calm my nerves. In the land of unknown there is nothing more soothing than familiarity. But I have some idea about her erratic weather by now. She is almost like a poet, expelling the emotions as wind and rain every now and then. Hopefully we can do business. Melbourne as of now is my new friend whom I know by name but I am yet to have an extensive chat. We both are testing out each other and taking a feel of the other. It’s been a month since I first met Melbourne and we both have something in common we are both willing to explore new possibilities and we both are growing…Moreover I am thankful
The painting is the pictorial representation of the shift. The shift from Kathmandu to Melbourne…