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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bakthi

Yakshagana has influenced me greatly during my childhood. My cousins and I have spent entire night watching different stories from Indian mythology enacted in this folk art form. While the story and the performance enthralled us, I was particularly interested in the costume. How each character had their own identity and how the costume helped define that. So to paint a Yakshagana character was always in my mind.

I started looking at different pictures to choose a character from Indian mythology and Hanuman was the most appealing with a green face, golden crown decorated with pearl. So picking the subject was not difficult at all.

On the first day, I was surprised how quickly I completed the face.  



But then a second day that attempted the crown failed miserably. I simply did not want to continue. My Guru always told me that no matter what I paint, I must always add something creative and unique from my end. And with this painting, I had no other choice than making Hanuman of a yakshagana look like how he does. Cornering myself to a dead end, the painting stood still for almost 3 months with nowhere to go.

My first thought was to add a story. Include Sita in Ashoka Vatika in one side and Rama on the other side. But space was a constraint. So with no motivation to proceed, the painting waited there on my easel for the moment to arrive.

And the moment arrived with my friends, Aditya and Parag. At my place, when we were discussing the painting, Parag mistook the yellow patch made for crown to be feathers. While recollecting a joke, he made a very funny comment. After they left, as I watched the painting, Parag's subtle humour hit me and I decided to replace the crown with  feathers. 

Not only because it was different from the costume, but for the fact that it would better define the character. Feathers made him appear more part of the forest; made him look more vibrant and lively and allowed me to present him more as a human than an ape.


And the expression conveys his most distinctive characteristic - Bakthi, meaning devotion; Devotion towards Lord Rama.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

April-Avril!

Exams and more exams filled up this month as we ended another level of French studies. I must admit that this had been one of the best levels in terms of structuring our language skills. Thanks to our brilliant professor who took special interest and went out of the way to teach and correct us. Several written tests and a viva with a french national boosted our interest and confidence in the course.

On one of the Fridays, some of us from the class met at a restaurant called Opus for a music concert by a french group called "Issac Delusion". It had free entry for students. We had a great time chatting and listening to music.



Something very unique about our team in office is that we are a bunch of guys who have been together since almost 8 years, most of us are of same age group and with similar hobbies. Believe me, its a rare communion to find. So, then years passed and we got busy with our personal lives, went out of city to a new office location that had limited options for a hangout. So after a long time, we all decided to finally have a get-together outside of office. We went to hotel UB near our old office at the city. It was great discussing everything under the roof over a drink. This has triggered interest in having similar get togethers out of work, like the good old days. Something I find nice about friendships that have lasted long, is that you just don't need to be conscious of yourself. We know each other so well that it really does not matter what we say or do.

I also enjoy the company of new friends, like the one's i made in french class and with those whom i collaborate for art work. A new generation that understands impulsiveness, accepts unpredictability, who enjoy lazy sunday afternoons with beer and friends to talk n'importe quoi! An evening could simply pass by hanging out at a Friend's place, speaking about art, movies and world in general and make impulsive decision to explore the food street; basically flow with the stream of consciousness.

Towards the end of the month, I traveled to Surathkal to attend my cousins wedding. The weather there is bad, very humid and hot. I could not overstay! But its always nice to catch up with cousins whom you have not met for a long time.

Sometimes, days can be simply beautiful with a ride somewhere far without a destination in mind or trying something new for the first time. It's only that many choose to burden themselves with thoughts of future that they can only imagine. Planning a future does not mean one would have it, isn't it? So do the undone, explore the unknown. Like the quote in the movie "The beach" can better explain - 

"For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."




Thursday, May 02, 2013

MM Hills

During my previous trip to Chamarajanagar I had missed out on going to MM Hills. Hence when there was a day off for Easter (March 31st) Preethi and I left Bangalore at around 6:30AM. After a small squabble with some boy cutting my way at a petrol bunk, we drove directly to MM Hills. As always I enjoyed the drive on Kanakapura road. We stopped for some tea and bun for breakfast as we did not find any good restaurant. But as the day turned noon, the temperature augmented and it was impossible to drive without AC. April is the worst time to drive around Bangalore not only because of the weather but the view as well which was mostly dry as if burnt. Everything looked sad and ruined with trees without leaves; the one’s remaining had turned brown, ready to crumble. 



But even in this hot summer, there are some trees that blossom, specially my favorite tree of all – The golden shower tree (Cassia fistula). The yellow flowers showered down from every branch. It looked lovely. Last year I planted 4 of these trees in the front yard of my Surathkal house. I can’t wait for them to blossom.




After a nice ride around the hill and few hair pin bends we reached the temple at around 11:00 AM. I bet the drive would be much more beautiful during or after rain. The temple was crowded. We followed a descent queue and had Darshan.  



We had lunch at a small restaurant nearby. The food was pathetic but we had no options. Nagamale was next on my agenda but the villagers told me that I could not drive up there and it was a trek that had to be started in the morning and would be difficult under hot sun. So, tired that I already was, we decided to return. 

On the way we stopped at Sangama. Two rivers meet here but during this time, there were pockets of water collected between 3 rocks and in those pockets where several Bangaloreans bathing. It was not a pleasant sight so we returned immediately.  

This was one of the tips I did not enjoy much at all. I think it had to do mostly with the weather. It was extremely hot, trees were dry and everything looked burnt.