What the World Sees

The human face is such an interesting enigma. A millimeter here or there is the difference between plain and extraordinary… Isn’t it amazing, that something we have absolutely no control over, has the ability to dictate so many situations in our life? 

As an artis who observes faces constantly, I am amazed at the beauty that exists in the miracle that our face is, yet it is abhorred by so many for its colour, size of nose, size if lips or eyes etc. The narrow definition of beauty does a huge disservice to the mass of humanity who live an entire life believing that they are not good enough.

When will we realise that we are exquisite marvels of design!?

  
 

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Wabi Sabi

  There is a beautiful concept in Japanese culture which refers to the perfection in imperfection. It refers to beauty that is impermanent and incomplete. 

The photograph above, taken from the net, reminds me of just this and when I look at it in a human context I realise that no other concept describes our life better…

I am a caterpillar too…

I Am a Caterpillar too…

Once, not too long ago, I asked the gardener to change the indoor plants in the living room. Dutifully, he removed them and brought in several new pots with lush green foliage. As he left, we got down to the business of cleaning the mess of fallen mud and debris.

As the maid was sweeping she screamed loudly and dropped the broom. She had been scared by a dark green caterpillar. I reassured her that it must’ve fallen from the new pots and that she should just sweep it into the balcony. While talking to her, I noticed some more caterpillars making their way under sofas and other low lying furniture. I kept quiet, so as not to alarm her further. I made a mental note to remove the furniture and clean thoroughly after she left. However, one thing led to another and I completely forgot about the caterpillars.

One day, I was sitting at the dining table, having coffee when I saw, coming from under the sofas and other furniture… butterflies. Gorgeous, colourful butterflies flitting around as though they belonged in my living room, a truly miraculous sight!

Those caterpillars which had creeped us out not too long back had metamorphosed into these beautiful butterflies. They had each found a dark, quiet spot and done their growing up there. When the time was right, they had shed the darkness and chosen to move into the light.

I am doing my own growing up too, at my own pace. Just like the caterpillars let their instinct guide them, my instinct tells me that we each are exactly as we are supposed to be. We are in different stages of evolution but no one can stop us from becoming the butterflies we are meant to be…

Hands of Time

Time is a tough guardian. It makes memories fade away like writings on sand. The freshness and excitement of a new experience, once so enchanting, dulls like the ink on prayer flags high up on the mountains. Try as one might, one cannot hold on to too much for too long. Its nature’s way of ensuring that sanity can be preserved in a human being. Yet, some memories defy time and stay ever fresh. That also seems to be for our sanity…I place my hand in my young daughters and instantly a picture is taken by the mind’s eye for safekeeping. This picture will be etched just like the first time her chubby fingers held mine as a baby. I think of my mother’s hands, showing signs of a lifetime of work… I think of the times they have created ever so lovingly – favourite foods, warm sweaters, blessings, reassurances, prayers…they have never stopped working and weaving their Imagemagic.  They say hands reveal a person’s age like nothing else can. I say hands reveal how much a person has loved. Time definitely leaves its trace on everything it touches…

Flying Without Wings

Flying without Wings..

I am driving my car and trying to come to terms with what I am feeling. These are alien emotions, I have never felt them before. They are a curious mix of awe, tenderness and inspiration.

I have just finished a one hour art group and have been amazed with what I have seen. My group consists of differently-abled people. It is a cohesive and energized group of young and older adults. When we work together, there is much laughter and good-natured banter. In the course of making art together, I have seen some of the very severely challenged people become the most enthusiastic and happy artists. Their delight in mixing colors, trying out new and exceedingly difficult subjects, while being severely restricted in movement, is awe-inspiring to watch.

They love their art and through them I love it even more. I have new respect for the human spirit and its attitude to persevere under the most adverse circumstances. As I see them bend over their task with absorption, smiling as the colors magically  cover the page they are working on, I do not know how to verbalize my feelings…

Suddenly, these words, coming from the radio, fill up my car…Flying Without Wings.. I have never heard it before but it is a beautiful song and somehow these words describe exactly what I am looking for…How does one fly without wings, I wonder? One flies because ones imagination takes wing..crossing all boundaries and barriers that an immobile body cannot physically do..One flies because one refuses to let circumstances become bigger than ones magnificent spirit…