SARAH AHMAD | 17 APRIL, 2018
Paint Me A Story
Natsukashii*: think about all the things that made you happy, while I think about mine. Walking up those kota steps into smell of curry, mustard, litchi, and a warm smile, conversations about nothing but a whole lot of love, life and achaar, dim yet brightly lit evenings, endless passages of bougainvillea, pink roses and fireflies, Nani’s homemade jars of yellow mist, sunny winter mornings spent in the sunniest balconies, the old town bakery man, odd biscuits and vanilla cakes, the warmest stories, the coolest blue skies, ice cream walas and papyrus with the richest narratives; khushi, khabar, khairiyat, and other poignant words by Nana.
Life was simple, the air was rich and the soul free. I still can see traces of all those things while a lot has departed and left behind copious amount of memories. In between moments of reminiscences, this day goes on. Art is omnipresent, in everything we do, all the walks we walk, the talks we talk, songs we croon, stains we hide.
We all have a story to tell, a childhood to narrate, an eccentricity to paint and umpteen memories to keep. Often these memories become ink marks on lined pages or black and white photographs where every story told comes alive, these stories become who we are, a habit, a façade. And we repeat, create, relate, hibernate behind layers of plots, sub-plots, and conspiracies.
Here we are, people, memories, creators, slayers, and all of us have something to say. An Artist, Photographer and Entrepreneur, Anshuman Sen takes us through snippets, diaries and memories he often records, re-reads, extinguishes and relights. “I have been writing diaries since I was very young, and I have all of them with me. Every now and then I like to go through them,” discloses Anshuman Sen. “For me art is memory. I look at myself as a gardener who documents the destruction of his own garden. The garden, a metaphor for something, memories perhaps,” he adds.
Atul Sinha, an Artist/Sculptor talks about how he often heads out in the quest for soul and peace to places unknown. These destinations located in the Himalayas become his temporary abode as he goes on a quest for peace, art and unique stories, “the stories become part of my sculptures, and often depict the farming visuals of Almora in a depleting state,” he explains.
People become part of stories, narratives woven together, by artists swishing a brush across canvas sheets, putting words on paper, dancing, acting, sprinting, prancing their way through life. Artists bring to light memories, personal stories and often stories that influence who they are as people and a creative citizen.
An art memory develops into an art event, an event into a story told, re-told, re-interpreted, re-imagined. Fifteen storytellers, writers and poets come together in one place, over a few cups of tea and a few intriguing, warm and emotive performances; the Social House in Delhi becomes their dwelling for a few hours through Whatashort’s event - Poetry, Storytelling aur Chai.
Building, displaying and recounting poignant tales, Achin Biswas’s exhibition- Moodscapes is a collection of many myriad photographs of people, places and nature immersing one in emotional escapades, taking us through vivid locales of Benaras, Kolkata, Dinjapur and Delhi. Biswas becomes a storyteller through is photographs that speaks to one’s innermost thoughts, at this solo exhibition in Delhi.
From the euphoric places we see to all the love we get, happy times that follow and beliefs we create, art is a comrade: documenting the past, imbedding memories in paper rolls and sculpted moulds. A group of contented people, of that momentary tann-tann sound when a spoon stirs tea in a cup, of songs that call for rains, of coy yet bright children in dusk lit halls, of whistles and a honking Ambassador at the gate, Nani’s damp hands and my sticky jalebi fingers, morning birds, evening beasts and guiltless twirls, aluminium desks, vinyl records playing by that corner, Nana’s stories resting next to it. That is where I found joy, calm and art; leaving these memory marks for you to see.
*All the small things that take you back to happy times (word origin: Japanese).
. Moodscapes 2018 by Achin Biswas at India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi, from the 17th to the 21st of April.
. Poetry, Storytelling aur Chai by Whatashort at the Social House, H3/43, First Floor, Vikaspuri, New Delhi- Every Sunday from 3pm to 6:30pm.