The Agony And The Ecstacy

lotus pond

“Drawing is the poet’s written line, set down to see if there be a story worth telling , a truth worth revealling ” – Irving stone

From within the unfathomable deep depths ,flows the esoteric river of inspiration through the heart /mind of an artist ….that which cannot be contained but needs to flow on its own terms and conditions ! That inspiration fructifying only when it has completely intoxicated and challenged each microcell of his being !
My passionate life long ‘affaire du couer ‘ with the ethereal lotus pond culminating into an oil painting of gigantic proportions . My hearts desire to recreate and bring the magical lotus pond to life on a canvas .

The 9ft ×11ft canvas still felt small .. would it be able to hold the magnificience Of the pond I wished to paint ?

The lotuses became my life , my breakfast lunch dinner all overtaken by this raging passion which consumed me completely . The days didnt have enough hours and the nights seemed to long …… Anyone travelling to europe was beseiged by my most ardent requests to bring back with them ,the winston & newton oil paint tubes their jewelled hues magical… missing in the indian colour tubes . The 7 ft ladder became my second home perched on top painting that elusive lotus leaf. The sheer pleasure of painting completely overtook my five senses…. the ever present strains of the sitar floating all around me . My year- long patience and perseverance continued untill one fine day I found myself standing in front of this impossing majestic impassioned art piece … elated… bewitched …by my own creation !

Finally the day arrived when this painting ‘a gift ‘ would be handed over to its new admirer …i thought so. ! …never in my wildest craziest euphoria did i take into account that it may not be appreciated . The ‘rejection ‘of this stunning piece of natures’unity on a coarse piece of canvas unimaginable obsession .. my very breath…. .The would have been recipient did not like it … didnt want such a gift ! Well as they saying goes ‘beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’ !!!
Days passed into months , winter to spring …the forlorn lotus pond hung on the dinning room walls in its long forgotten glory !

Riddled with enigmatic unanswered questions dejected ,my saddened heart continued its silent conversation with the pond and its real to life inhabitants every morning and night … as if rehabilitating them after the tsunami of rejection !

One fine spring morning ,the sun filtering in through the open terrace doors ,I came out of my room planning the day ahead alchemical silence seemed to permeate the whole apartment….a small yellow butterfly flies past ..instantly pulling me out of my silent reveriè. Unconsciously my eyes following its flight pattern , a wondorous excitement taking hold of me , seeing it flying inside the confines of my house .To my absolute amazement the butterfly’s destination point -the non – living blooming lotus fixed on the wall !

Time seemed to stand still as i watched mesmerised …bewitched … a dialouge between the animate and the inanimate ! A butterfly s wish to rest on the sublime petals of its friend a flower in bloom ! What transpired in the next 20 minutes etched on my heart for eternity !

The struggle of this fragile yellow beauty trying with all its might to land and sit on top of the elusive bloom..its manmoth effort to try and somehow sit on the inanimate painted bloom …breathtaking ! The dramatic blues of the painted leaves …the contrasting joyous live yellow butterfly … nature in synchronistic harmony!

In that intense silence i stood there .. witnessing the unbelievable ! The sound of its legs scrapping against the canvas creating the most divine celestial music that ever passed through my ears . Time stood still .. the sun the moon …the stars …the revolving earth !

A piece of art rejected by man accepted by nature ! stumped and breathless I stood there watching this interplay .

No art prize , nobel prize , or awards could equal the honour conferred on me as did nature that day , represented by a wisp of a yellow butterfly . My soul humbled to even use the word humbled for the honour , the purest of existance could have bestowed on me .

Those few sacred minutes giving me a deep insight into the mind of emperor Jehangir s first view of kashmir

“Agar Firdaus ba roy -i-zamin-ast
Hamin ast -u-hamin ast -u- hamin ast ”

If there is paradise on earth -it is this ,it is this , it is this !

Life is orgasmic beautiful simple and serene …even in the most trying times – if only we could be our own algorithm interrupts of our mechanical robotic life … stop … breathe ..and see …

Shalini Gupta Newar is an artist


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