Embracing my Inner Artist

01-9199283005_014c7de0c9_oIt took me sometime to realize the significance of the gifts that God has given to all of us.

Prior to that, for almost ten years, I stopped painting. That was the time, I was doing my research and was simultaneously teaching in a college. My art book, my painting brushes and my old paintings were gathering dust somewhere in an old chest somewhere in my parents' home.
But I was not happy, after all.

It is not easy. In a society where money is everything. If not money, then the cause itself, the cause of doing something solely for your own interest { where the society is not directly getting any benefit from it }  is considered selfish in itself.

But only the heart of an artist can feel the longing of another artist.

In  a short story written by Rabindranath Tagore,  titled "The  Artist", the mother { a homemaker and an unknown artist herself }, says of her artist son, defending him against his uncle who discouraged art :  " If he ends up a street beggar, that would be better. But I pray, he never turns out like you ".

Actually, I was obsessed with art and creativity from a very young age. I did not even go to any art school, yet I was drawn to art like anything. It would be very simplistic to say that I found solace in art. Life was art for me, or rather art was life.

Art, not only in the form of sketching and painting, but creating anything be it making a collage, making a  bag, decorating the room, writing poetry, getting lost in music, styling food in a plate, designing outfits, or photographing objects and subjects or simply  feeling and seeing the beauty of nature with a sense of  awe and wonder... finding beauty in day to day simple things...in the structure of a coriander leaf or a citrus fruit..
For me, everything in life was art.

I would talk about art and creativity to disinterested friends and relatives. They would find my ideas, "abstract" and "philosophical ".

Gradually, I began to keep a distance from these people and stopped bothering them with my over enthusiasm for anything artistic or creative.
Yet, I had to sit with them and listen to their conversation about the topics that interested them, topics like whose daughter eloped with whom and who is good and who is bad and what will they be wearing at which party. But I felt uneasy, particularly with the gossip and the hatred that people had  for each other.
Gradually, I distanced myself..
As a result, I was called aloof and unsocial.

But I was lonely in a sea of people.
I was not comfortable with this loneliness.
But then, "Almost all creative souls are lonely."
So, with this understanding, I began to enjoy my loneliness or alone-ness.

Years rolled by. I could clearly see by then that it would be difficult for me to fit into a lot of places.  But I wanted to follow my heart.

Fast Forward to the present.
I started painting again. I started sketching.

The first time, I took the pencil in my hands, after a gap of ten long years, I was frightened. I was trying to sketch the figure of a woman and I was not getting the strokes and the shapes right. Somewhere I was feeling a lack of a natural flow. The lack of  spontaneity.
That day, the sketch did not turn out to be good.
So the next morning , I woke up and re-sketched. I corrected the features with the help of an eraser. I used the eraser again and again. I corrected the sketch so many times, until I got all the expressions on her face according to my desire. I was finally happy. I finally felt confident.

So, I started sketching again, I started feeling the music and rhythm of my life again, I started writing poetry again, I started renewing my creative life.

Finally, I embraced my inner artist.

After cleaning, cooking, mopping and washing, I had the entire day left all to myself.
I plunged myself  into the sea of creativity.