Pune-India: If painting is meditation, it is the way of my life
I was attracted to art forms since my childhood. Initially, it was performing arts such as singing, acting or dancing. I learnt Yakshagana (South form) and little bit of Bharatantyam during my days of higher primary school. Eventually, I was settled as solo mime artist during my university days. I was 8 year old when I discovered a few watercolor and charcoal paintings created by my father. He had been an artist and also an art teacher, but he quit this line when I was just two years old because it was not paying. However, I got inspired from his works and started painting with great interest and continued till my graduation, but never had an intention of living as an artist.
After graduation earning livelihood became priority and I had to give up all my interest in art. But it came back with a bang in 2000, after the gap of 9 years. The first reason was a special soul in my life, which was my one-year-old son Devakanta. His scribbling on the wall was creating ripples inside me and triggering child within me. In addition, I was supporting a friend to nurture his artistic interests. But the third and most important reason was my wish to heal myself from the grave tensions of my family life. Even though I started softly working with Devakanta, I chose to seriously pursue it after my motivator and kinesiology therapist Ritu Malhotra conveyed after a few sessions that I am born to create colorful things. Ritu’s words completely changed my perspective towards the self and life in general.
Since then I was attracting everything around me to nurture the artist in me. During that time, I got an opportunity as a photojournalist to cover Ma Anand Mira’s painting meditation in the Osho Commune. As I was interviewing her, I realized more about painting as a way of meditation. That possibility moved me to paint regularly as a tool to heal myself.
Within no time, the art studio of the Osho Commune International (OCI), Pune, became my first studio as I had no conducive environment at home to pursue this path and earn the necessary peace within me. Painting at OCI in such serene ambience with other meditators was very enriching and inspiring. I picture those days as a meeting of monks under the Bodhi tree. I can see the seed of my painting titled ‘Meeting of Monks’ from the Buddha series (2007), which was sown there at OCI. In that studio all of us were following guidance of the enlightened master Osho and his vision of the ‘Objective Art’. Application of that very vision of Osho’s in my life helped the child inside me to break free and reclaim its innocence.
Eventually by the end of 2002, I decided to quit everything to live my life as a full time artist. Today, creating art works is the way of my life and my livelihood. In other words, meditation is the way of my life. In the process of life, whatever I create, I always witness myself with a relaxed awareness and free of judgment. My goal is to bring quality to whatsoever I do. I always let my intuitive self or inner child guide me with every process of creation. Then I let go of my creations with no expectations.
The rest I leave to the world to see, judge and interpret. I stay detached from it all. Instead, I simply stay in peace witnessing all as it is, even though it is not easy and challenging to live a life as an artist in this competitive and complex world.