Art – The genre that makes people happy from within. It makes them fall in love with the other world they create by themselves – be it from painting, sculpting, dance, music, theatre, literature, photography or films. An American poet and social activist, Thomas Merton said – “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. I feel grateful at times to have witnessed the varied forms of art that my friends have been bestowed with, in all these forms.
Each art form has a story to tell and also a view to share. The story of emotions, feelings, passion etc. Personally for me, paintings have a lot of depth in the colors, in the strokes and definitely have a story hidden behind these colours. I would like to share some of the paintings that my closest friends’ Tasneem Shahana Masi and Aayushi Garg have made. Their art pieces are beautiful and deep in every way. Though some of them they attempted were from where they saw it but they definitely added beauty and created these masterpieces on their own.
I strongly believe that a picture/painting is a poem without words but how about letting your heart speak out with the pictures that are painted with all the creativity and efforts.
Observing each of their paintings closely ignited my imagination of discovering the stories behind each of the masterpieces and express these stories to my readers.
1.Woman , the best creation of nature – Most of us always wonder what goes on in a woman’s mind – she is happy in one moment, she becomes angry in another – what if a woman’s mind actually had two birds chirping their hearts out. One could be the ‘Good bird’ and the other could be the ‘Bad bird’. I have heard people say that women think a lot – this holds true in my case as well. In my head too, I have two sides having a debate , arguing and confusing me one after the other on the process of my thoughts, thereby influencing my actions. The constant chirping of both the birds, helps me balance out and think before taking decisions but sometimes it gets out of proportion as I lose time thinking pros and cons and lose up on taking actions. A woman’s mind is never at rest, even at night – from personal experience, even my dreams have thoughts and scenes of things I have been thinking every day. Your mind is never at rest. Like the birds are high in energy in the morning, so is a woman’s mind. I don’t think there is ever a night for these birds to rest and sleep. They are constantly feeding a woman’s mind with their chirp and chattering.
At one time, it is good to weigh the pros and cons to act, but if we live life with so many filters and researches, I think we are losing the true essence of living. If we live life mechanically , we are losing out on the best moments that we could get if we lived like a frisbie. A frisbie once out of your hand, you would never know in which direction it would go. You never know it could end up good or bad , but at least the experience of taking action and making an attempt can be rewarding and fruitful. Personally, I have regretted a few experiences of life due to my overthinking, worrying that caused me a lot of my time and being inactive in taking actions. I realize now that if I had acted in impulse, done things that excited me in the first go, I could have been much more happier and relaxed for having at least made an attempt, irrespective of the fact that it ended up as a success or a failure. I am still yet to master this thought in my mind, but some happy realizations. So live life like a frisbie, learn to silence the birds in your head for some time, letting you take the control of your life and not letting the birds overtake your time and freedom of living ( I keep telling this to myself too).
2.See true beauty in everything – Trees are our source of fresh air adding to beauty to nature. They also have a cycle of life like us where they lose their leaves and then gain back with a new beginning across the seasons. In the spring season with new leaves and flowers, trees add to the beauty of nature but did you know, when in autumn and winter they lose their leaves, they are still beautiful? – Yes. Though they are bare, look weak and are not their best, but yet they are beautiful. They have these imaginary white souls resting on their branches, adding to their beauty. When I visited Boston back in February 2015, I passed across a town which had tall trees bare with really tall branches. Just the look of it can give you a lone negative feeling but I could see the beauty in them. The shadow that these trees cast on the ground seemed even more simpler and beautiful.As human beings, we all live under the perception of a certain definition of ‘beautiful’ – Someone who has fair complexion, good hair, good physique etc. We begin to judge or look down on people who are overweight, bald headed or skinny. We begin to give them names, make fun of them etc. But each of us should begin to feel beautiful with whatever we have and whoever we are. I also have resorted to such things and I don’t call myself a saint, but at a point of life when I myself have been fat and plump with a bulky face, this experience where people called me – chubby, plump, fat etc made me feel negative about myself. I realized how it is to be in those shoes of someone whom you give names and make fun of. Throughout my two decades, I had been very thin because of my food habits, my constant chirpiness , being compared to my other cousins who are healthy enough etc but even then I was called names like – Jeera (the indian name for Cumin seeds) , Needle etc. After my visit to New York for 4 months, when I returned home back to India was when I started to actually gain weight and look healthy. At one point, I felt good that it took me 25 years to gain weight and look like a normal girl but even then I was body shamed being called names. I have realized in life that whatever you do or you are – you will be given names, called upon, judged etc. The voice that you are supposed to hear is just yours.
I read this quote the other day which said – “You know yourself better than anyone else, yet you crumble at the words of someone who hasn’t even lived a second of your life. Focus on your own voice and it’s only one that matters”. So very true!
On the contrary, I have observed a recent trend in the behavioral pattern of cancer patients – some of them have positively begun to react to this deadly disease. Right from accepting the pain, the troubled times of round the cycle chemotherapy sessions and the adverse effects it has on their body – they have begun to embrace it gracefully. This gives them strength to come out of this painful time victoriously and positively. We also should know and accept the fact that we are our own kind of beautiful. When we learn to look at ourselves in the mirror and love ourselves for who we are and however we are, we will begin to live in peace. If we begin to look down or compare ourselves to others and demean ourselves, this will keep us unhappy all the time. Bare trees in autumn teach us this fact that beauty lies in who we truly are – in good or bad times, we are still beautiful.
I felt very touched and happy when my friend sent over this painting all the way from Dubai with a personal message reminding me that I am very strong. I will surely keep this gift closer to my heart as this picture reminds me that whoever you are, you have your inner strength and are your kind of beautiful.
3.Storms of life – Life is not always good and beautiful, it also has it’s ups and downs. There are times where you blessed with everything and are very happy and there are times, where storms appear and take away what you have but you still have to get ahead with life. These storms should be looked at as storms of betterment – because all that the Almighty plans for us is not to snatch away all that he gifted , instead bless us with those that are even better for our good. We are all image of the Almighty like every holy scripture highlights, so if we belong to the Almighty, He would never ever want our bad. The case is different if we mess with our own lives and we deserve what we went through (that is doing bad to others) but when there are times you feel that you don’t deserve the loss or turmoil when you haven’t done bad to others, Almighty only pulls out those from your life as an indication of blessing you with something more better, it could be for people, for circumstances etc. we have to be brave. This painting by my friend makes me realize that storms come and go, but are life has to go on till we are destined to be in this world. We have to be our own strength, have hopes and patience that this too shall pass.
Here in the painting, we see a woman cladded in red fully with black boots – on a more humorous note – no matter what the times are, be the best version of yourself. I love fashion myself but in terms of storm I’m just the opposite. This painting was a lesson for me too that when you feel the storm, stand tall, face it and put on your best attire 😉 (on a funny note), but remember – storms don’t last – so keep telling yourself – ‘this too shall pass
4.The Beauty of family – This sketch by my friend is very simple – just a branch with a bud, flowers etc but take a closer look to see the real beauty. This sketch highlights the beauty of our families – think about your family , your parents, your siblings, your niece-nephews, your grandparents – aren’t every member of your family unique and special in their own way?. Yes, they are. Look at the buds on the right and left of the sketch, looks like the little angels (and devils) in your family. The small children who literally set your house on fire with their noise, laughter, crying and all their naughtiness. This is their phase of growth where they learn from looking at you and your parents, they fall and get up injured but that is also a learning to conquer their fears
Look at the bud in the centre that is slightly opening it’s petals – these could be your teenage children or even you who are still learning to live life by your experiences, your first hand experiences or your peers or friends’ experiences etc. Now look at the main part of this sketch – the blooming flower – right at the centre. This resembles our grandparents – the ones who have tremendous experience just like their white hair. They have bloomed so well with all the experiences life gave them and are happily ready to be the foundation of their family and pass all the learning to their children and grandchildren. Like the buds and other flower, we bloom and grow out and even move out of the stems by our own but at the end, we ultimately belong to our foundation – our beautiful blooming flower – our grandparents who stay grounded, waiting for us to return or even get in touch and spread joy and happiness before they wither and leave us to heaven abode. I could never think or imagine this much hadn’t I received this sketch from my friend, Tasneem. Just look at the sketch and feel the importance of family – see how all the flowers and buds together add beauty to the true meaning of family. I can feel all that I am sharing here, although somewhere down the line my family has taken a hit in keeping in touch but I always wished to see us altogether and catching up once a month or on celebrations gives me great joy. My parents have their thoughts and needs and my brother’s family has their own thought process and their needs but when I see all of them under one roof for even a day, for me the world doesn’t exist. I am so happy at heart that I am lost in my own world – my family.
Remember – each of us as family members have our own colors and types, we also can bloom or more so take some time to bloom but all of us together are strength and are beautiful in every way.
5.The power in ‘Her’ – This beautiful painting was made by my friend, Aayushi. She is young, independent and has a wonderful heart. She had this painting in her room and one look at it gave me a lot of positive vibes. Looking at this painting, made me realize the true stature of women in our society. There is gender bias, there is inequality, you see both respect as well as ill-treatment given to women but this painting made me realize the true power of ‘Her’. I asked my friend if this was her imagination, but she said she had seen this somewhere and that’s how she painted it on her own.
Look at how she is sitting in water , which is filthy, yet as you move your eyes up to look at her face – see how she still blooms in her mindset with positivity and happiness. Look at the way she sits silently and in calm, not complaining or crying – rather trying her best to reflect positivity to society. Her beauty doesn’t seem to be just in her flowing hair or her simple attire but the fact that all that she is put to , she still would bloom with goodness in her heart and mind and that is exactly what she would reflect in society. You can demean her, look down upon her, put her to filth and abuses but always remember – she would be on that filth because of your ill treatment but all that will come out of her for you – would be in all phases – goodness and happiness. She will create her kind of happiness and world wherever she is – be it heaven or hell.
I was touched when my friend gifted me this , when I told her I was in love with this painting. It is almost like a sign that I am reminded that no matter where you are or what you are put through, be positive and spread the good word.
Paintings can definitely be soothing to the soul and I am very glad I could put my imagination to words with the wonderful paintings my besties have shared with me.
Never forget – art can be a therapy to the soul. So for all those trying your hand at painting or sketching, do your best at creating your masterpieces, share your stories with the world with those colours and for all those pondering at such paintings, look for the signs of positivity or create your own story with your creative imaginations.