In a year filled with challenges, one Indian painter turned her artistic sensibility to the world around her and discovered moments of beauty amidst the turmoil.
“I am a single mother with a son, so my instant reaction when the pandemic hit was to worry about what I could do to earn enough money to cover our rent and pay fees for my son. Yet even as things were closing down, I tried to never lose hope. I took a risk and discovered an innovative way to practice my art, painting on saris, scarves and shawls.
Life was more challenging, but I kept myself calm. I have learned the art of patience from painting.
When the lockdown started, there were suddenly no souls on the road. Streets which were once noisy with the sounds of the city — the hustle and bustle of local market vendors, shoppers bargaining, car horns honking, rickshaw bells clinking — all came to a grinding halt. It felt like a ghost town.
One afternoon, as I looked out of my balcony, I heard something strange. The sound of birds chirping, something you don’t usually hear over the sounds of the city. I ran up to my terrace to find birds hidden in the thick leaves of a tree. Humans were silent but nature was singing with joy. Animals were out in the street celebrating life.
This feeling gave me the idea to create a new painting on the theme of hope, a reminder that there is always a bright side even in the darkest hours of life.”
“I have tried to bring this philosophy into every aspect of my life. Rather than worry about what tomorrow holds for me and my son, I work hard and stay focused on the present. For me, this has meant finding opportunities in the pandemic to teach my family and friends the art of painting, as well as the practice of yoga and meditation.”