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Canvas Narratives’2016 – A Narration

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Blogging | 4 comments

This is a story of my art exhibition, “Canvas Narratives”, one of action, anxiety but of course, one that was full of fun.

The beginning…

It all began one summer day when my two-year-old wish came true. It was the day when I met Ms. Sudha Murthy who I greatly admire and respect. She is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, a social worker and a great author among other things. Mother and I became fans of hers because of her fabulously written story books and novels. We wrote to her stating our wish to meet her and got a reply within a day with an appointment! During our meeting I gifted her a portrait of hers I painted, and so she found out that I was an artist and arranged for me to work with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for organizing a solo art exhibition of mine. We discussed with Suresh Sir, the director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and fixed the dates for the exhibition and art workshops for kids at the BBMP school which is associated with the Bhavan.

The preparation…

Once the schedule was fixed, I, my brother and sister started working on things like coming up with the name of my exhibition, design the invitation cards, figuring out how to frame the paintings and other similar details. It was like working on a huge project :)! After doing lot of researching, thinking, analyzing, discussing, we closed on “Canvas Narratives: An Exhibition of artwork by Anu Jain” as the name for the exhibition.

Preparations continued and my brother got my paintings framed in an amazingly, beautiful dark brown frame with off white background.

In the long queue of works, next was designing and printing invitation cards of exhibition, adding a page about the exhibition on my website, creating the FB event, sending lots invites: emails, Facebook, paper based (yes those too :P), we and the Bhavan contacted many local (paper and online) newspapers to post this on their list of events. We also added this event to several local events’ sites. If you conduct an event like this, feel free to contact me, will be happy to give you the details and save you some time :).

Here’s the banner we created for the e-invitations etc.:

Banner - Canvas Narratives '2016

Banner – Canvas Narratives ‘2016

We also worked with a freelance designer from upwork for the “paper based” invitation cards:

Paper Invitation - Canvas Narratives'2016

Paper Invitation – Canvas Narratives’2016

We also designed and printed stickers for the art work, and beautiful business cards for distributing:

There was still a long “to do” list left for us. Thanks to my sister and brother’s determined team work we continued working on it feverishly and getting things done one by one. Next big thing for us was to figure out how to hang all the artwork (framed paintings as well as non-framed canvas boards) so that they don’t get damaged and also continue hanging for the duration of the exhibition at least. My sister and brother did a lot of research we chose to use a Vinyl coated stranded stainless steel picture wire and some mounting strips to achieve both the goals.

Meanwhile we also started preparations for the workshops for kids I was conducting as part of the exhibition. About the workshop, in a nutshell, I went to a school for the first time in my life – but as a teacher :). It was an amazing experience!

We went to the Bhavan a few days before the exhibition start date for setting up all the artwork. There my brother and sister worked tirelessly for several hours to hang the paintings and arrange painted pottery on a table for display. A guestbook was placed in a suitable location next to a bowl full of chocolates.

Beautiful Exhibition Hall

Beautiful Exhibition Hall

Here are the chosen paintings for the exhibition and a little bit about them: A virtual Tour – Canvas Narratives – 2016

I also want to mention that workers at the Bhavan cleaned and spruced up the exhibition hall beautifully, they did a really wonderful job in a very short amount of time.

Meanwhile I had my first unexpected interview with a team from Infosys foundation, it was first of many to come.

The inauguration…

At last the day for the “launch” of this big project came for which all of us had been working continuously for more than 2 months – the inauguration day of my Art exhibition.

A pleasant interview with TOI

A pleasant interview with TOI

We reached early because we had been told that Times of India would be there for taking my interview (as a result of my wonderful friend Ankur Singh’s reaching out to them). The interview with Times of India was very pleasant. There was a reporter and a photographer and together we had a pleasant, fun chat.

The day started calmly, but grew to be full of excitement soon.

At some point during our conversations, Mr Suresh had asked me what I liked to eat and since I am not shy, I had blurted out – “cake”! And so it was decided that we would inaugurate my art exhibition with cake cutting!

Arrangements continued and I was just lost looking at the guests coming in and the Bhavan workers and my family running here and there to get all the arrangements done. My only task of course was to welcome, greet people and chat with them, all of my favorites things :) ha ha…

Everything was finally set for the inauguration – the stage was decorated with flowers and banners, seating arrangements were done for the chief guest and for other guests, inauguration lamp was decorated with beautiful fresh marigold flowers and placed near the stage. Even the entrance door of the hall was decorated with a fresh flowers’ “toran”. It was grand!

Stage and Podium ready for the inauguration

Stage and Podium ready for the inauguration

 

Then from around 4:00 pm, all of the sudden a growing wave of people started coming into the exhibition hall, I did not have time to think! As far as I remember,  there would have been around 100-150 people in the hall. We definitely didn’t expect such a large crowd. Once the chief guest Dr. Vijaya, a senior film journalist and all my family, friends and other guests had arrived, the inauguration ceremony began, and was competed by Mr Pemmaiah. He gave a brief introduction of the event and then asked Mr. Suresh to welcome the guests. Mr. Suresh said some beautiful and kind words addressing the chief guest, me and talked about my exhibition.

Inauguration - A wonderful speech by the director of Bharatiya Vdya Bhavan, Mr. Suresh

Inauguration – A wonderful speech by the director of Bharatiya Vdya Bhavan, Mr. Suresh

Then it was my sister Abha’s turn, she gave the “artist intro”, which was very good and there was a lot of clapping during her artist intro speech :).

Inauguration - Artist intro by my sis

Inauguration – Artist intro by my sis

Then Dr. Vijaya who is a kindly old lady (well-known film journalist) spoke in Kannada, which I couldn’t understand of course. A funny thing that happened during this speech was that I was clapping for myself for things she said for me (I was told later by one of my aunties who understands Kannada) ;).

Inauguration - Chief Guest speech by Dr. Vijiya

Inauguration – Chief Guest speech by Dr. Vijiya

In the meantime, we were handed bouquets, were wrapped in shawl, given gifts and so on. Then the customary lamp lighting was done by Dr Vijaya and then I was asked to do the same.

Inauguration - Lamp lighting by Dr. Vijiya

Inauguration – Lamp lighting by Dr. Vijiya

At the end, it was my turn to give a vote of thanks, about which I was very nervous. I had prepared a lot, practiced in front of my brother and sister, mirror and even in front of a digital photo frame, which was really very funny. However, as is expected from me, I instead spoke about whatever was going at that moment in my mind not from that prepared note :D. I was very tensed, but whenever I was feeling nervous I looked at some of my loving friends in the family and their smiling faces reassured me that I was doing ok. I am happy to say that I didn’t disappointed anyone and especially my brother and sister as they said I did a good job :).

Inauguration - Now it is time for my speech

Inauguration – Now it is time for my speech

After all these speeches, there was the non-customary, yummy moment. Gayatri madam from Bhavan’s BBMP Public school got the cake and a pink (since pink is my favorite color) plastic knife to cut the cake. We all ate a bit of the cake and it was delicious! After the inauguration ceremony, I met a lot of new people – members of the Rotary, many super excited kids who were very curious and desperate to ask questions about some of my experimental paintings, other people with varied interests.

Inauguration - Cake cutting

Inauguration – Cake cutting

Questions and discussions

Questions and discussions

Finally, that hectic day came to an end and we came home around 9 pm. We were so tired and felt like we came home after a long travel, but all the excitement from the day kept us going for a few more hours before we went to sleep.

Photo time with family and friends

Photo time with family and friends

In the days to follow…

The 2nd day of the exhibition started with reading the article about me in Times of India at home and I must say they wrote a very nice one. We reached Bhavan around 10:30 am that day and met our family, friends and many other people.  As it was Sunday, many people visited and especially many kids. So, the exhibition hall became a playground! I enjoyed a lot with all the kids.

A piece I was working on during the exhibition

A piece I was working on during the exhibition

More visitors. It was wonderful talking to everyone

More visitors. It was wonderful talking to everyone

The next few days of the exhibitions went well. I got a lot of encouragement from those who visited and also useful feedback that I am incorporating in my work. Many people suggested collaborative projects and work ideas as well, those are very good avenues that I am following up on now.

Painted terracotta pots

Painted terracotta pots

Showing my paintings

Showing my paintings

There was a lot of media coverage as well – both newspapers (online and paper) and TV channel folks. Some of it was fun, but after some time it became rather difficult to repeat the same things over and over again and smiling and laughing and being a show piece (sort of)… sometimes they asked questions which I didn’t see a point to delve into with them and so we had to ask them to stop… anyways, part of the process and one needs to deal with that.

Two days during the exhibition, I conducted art workshops at the Bhawan’s BBMP Public school. Those were very enriching experiences, here’s the blog talking about those.

One of the days, my sister and I decided to do something and visited the nearby Chitrakala Parishad. We got to see a funky elephant made out of waste material  outside which I liked a lot.  We met some fine art students because there is a Fine arts college as well there. We also visited another exhibition and met the artist as well. He had created abstract art about women in society and some of his memories when he was growing up (like playing cricket on the streets). This was an interesting experience for me. Back at the Bhawan, we also met some MBA students who became my friends over the course of the week.

All smiles...

All smiles…

On Friday we met a lot of rotary club from all over the world. Rotary Club and Bhavan are working to start a Gurukul style art school, hence everyone was there.

Encouraging visitors

Encouraging visitors

The last day of the exhibition…

It was a Saturday and we got there early morning as this was the last day and a weekend and we were expecting more people to visit. Among other people, I met a software engineer who was also an artist with whom I had a lot of discussions and learnt about the state of art dealings in India… Throughout the day, people arrived in big groups at times, They were probably attending other events at the Bhavan and were sent to my exhibition as well. They stormed in the exhibition hall and were from different countries and some of the kids were colorfully dressed from the events they were participated in. It was so lively, exciting and delightful to see everyone.

Colorfully dressed...

Colorfully dressed…

We also met and heard some inspiring stories from a retired army person who visited with his family and gave me some ideas for projects.  Then at the end of the day as well as the end of my exhibition, and our friends came by to help us in taking down and packing up all my art work. This was also fun and it was very nice of them to help with this.

Wonderful friends

Wonderful friends

Wrapping up… and looking forward to what’s next!

On the average, I met more than 50 people every day and there were over 120 people present during the inauguration itself, and got 10 pages fill of encouraging feedback and comments in the Guest Book :). From all the exposure, I also have many new avenues to follow. I am working on those ideas now. Over 20 media coverages including TV Channels, Newspapers and Online Newspapers covered the events and wrote about me. All this was quite a response for us! I feel very encouraged and all the interactions helped me a lot. I think I have grown as an artist and as a person and at the same time humbled by the love and encouragement everyone showered. Thank you all!

Attending school – as a teacher!

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Blogging | 0 comments

This is the story of another good chapter in my life. I am sharing the experience of my first visit to a school and that too as a teacher! Believe it or not, this was my first visit to any school altogether, as I have been home-schooled and do not have any formal education due to lack of schools for special students where I grew up. So it was quite a unique experience to go to one as a teacher!
I conducted two art workshops at BBMP Public school, Shrirampuram, Bangalore. I got this opportunity because of the wonderful people at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore who not only helped me arrange an art exhibition at the Bhavan, but also arranged for the art workshops at this Bhavan affiliated school for underprivileged children. My sister suggested that I conduct such workshops at the school because I love creating and teaching art and craftwork as well as spending time with kids.

Day 1: For the first workshop, I selected to teach the art of (terracotta) pot painting and decorating.

Some samples of Terracotta Pot Painting done by meSome samples of Terracotta Pot Painting done by me

For pot painting, we need a terracotta pot (obviously :)), fabric paints, brushes, decorative things like satin ribbons, scissors, colorful kundan, beads, fabric glue etc. We started collecting all these things a week before the workshop and went from one shop and mall to another to make sure we had all the things and in enough numbers for all the students. After that, my mother helped me with preparing the mud pots. First, we did the base paint on the pots. This should be white or some other light shade. This is required because if we directly put any color except white or light colors like light-yellow or light-peach, then these other colors will look transparent and will not look good. We then put a second coat with the final base color and allowed these to dry.

Stuff needed for Pot Painting and Decorating

Stuff needed for Pot Painting and Decorating

The idea is to decorate these pots by making designs using dark color paints and sticking ribbons and chumkis etc. which give the pot a beautiful and artistic look. Such pots can be used just for a decorative display or as holders for pens/pencils/brushes etc. With all the prep work discussed, I am now very excited to share the experience of my first day at school. So here comes the day, 19th January’, 2016, my first art workshop in BBMP School. Once I reached the school with my sister, we were introduced to the teachers, other staff and the children who would participate in the workshop. We then divided all the art material into five parts and on the carpet we arranged everything in five areas (one for me and four for four groups of children).

After the setup was completed, teachers of the school called in 20 students from classes II and III and introduced me to them as their art teacher!  The children sat on the carpet in groups around the material for their group. I felt happy to see that the children looked super excited and eager to learn and work with all the bright and colorful stuff in front of them (no different from how I felt of course ;)) The workshop started by with me showing some samples and demonstrating what I was going to teach the children and then all children started their work.

Starting the workshop with demonstrations

Starting the workshop with demonstrations

I was so engrossed in the class that I didn’t even notice when the hour got over until my sister asked me to announce to the class that time was up and it was chocolate time :)  Note to self: need to keep better track of time in future workshops.

I was floating on cloud nine being with the children, forgot everything while teaching and guiding them. I must say I have never seen such a disciplined, quiet and eager to learn set of kids!

Engrossed in teaching

Engrossed in teaching!

Proud Teacher with thrilled children

Proud Teacher with thrilled children

After that I got several beautiful flower bouquets, gifts from the children and teachers. One more thing happened that touched my heart greatly, the kids read a sweet speech for me in their cute voice. For me, that moment was very special because it was the first time in my life that a student gave a speech for me, the teacher.

A sweet speech for me

A sweet speech for me

The happy group

The happy group

We then saw some of the classrooms including their art room which was very beautifully painted and looked like a room from a dream (from my perspective of course :)), After that the music teacher and we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the school and the music teacher, Gayatri Madam asked us to have lunch at school the next day as well. She insisted on cooking something for us and asked me what wanted to eat, and without much ado, I said ‘Bise bele bhath’. In Kannada, bisi means hot, bēle means lentil, and bhāt means a dish made of rice. This was the first thing that came to my mind because I just love it and can eat numerous times! So, my first day of the workshop at school as a teacher was really awesome, had a great experience and I enjoyed a lot.

Day 2: On the second day, I had decided to teach children how to make “pop-up greeting cards”. For making these, one needs chart paper, colorful craft paper, pencil, eraser, ruler, scissors, paper cut into various shapes, glue, pastel colors, sketch pens, colorful thermocol balls, colorful tape etc.

Material for making pop-up greeting cards

Material for making pop-up greeting cards

20 children from classes IV and V participated in this workshop. I was happy to see that once again, the children were disciplined and very excited and eager to learn. I started with showing them what a pop-up card and demonstrated how to make it. I showed them one or two steps at a time and the children followed.

Immersed in teaching and thoroughly enjoying it

Immersed in teaching and thoroughly enjoying it

To make this type of card, one needs to make some measured cuts, which after the class I realized was a little difficult for students, so in future I will find a better way of teaching this in the next class. Yet, the children had created some very beautiful greeting cards using their imagination. They went with various themes ranging from, Birthday, New Year, Diwali, Christmas, Republic Day, Pongal to Happy Garden, which I hadn’t heard of before! I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm and creativity.

Busy kids working on colorful creations

Busy kids working on colorful creations

After ending the workshop, we first visited an exhibit of some huge and beautiful paintings done by Mr. Suresh (Director of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan), I then continued talking with the children who weren’t ready to leave me alone even after the workshop was over. They didn’t want to go for lunch or for their other classes ;). A group of kids expressed how happy they were about the class and gifted me a big “thank you” card they made, one child gifted me a hand-made bracelet and we took a lot of group photographs to preserve our precious memories of the two wonderful days.

Feeling proud - children of their creation and the teacher of the kids :)

Feeling proud – children of their creation and the teacher of the children :)

The jolly group after the class

The jolly group after the class

Collecting memories - lovely greeting card created by my lovely students

Collecting memories – lovely greeting card created by my lovely students

Can’t miss mentioning the fabulous lunch we had on the second day as well – yummy bise bele bhath, raita, sweet pongal and dahi bhath cooked by Gayathri Madam.

One really remarkable thing for me was that for the first time, children used “Ma’am” or “Madam” to call me for questions during the workshop. Prior to this, I was used to children addressing me as “Didi” (elder sister) in Kharagpur – this was quite significant for me. For the first time, I wasn’t at my home and was not teaching kids I knew, instead I was at a school as an art teacher among school students I just met.

This workshop had many heart touching and lucky moments for me and was overall a great experience for me. I am looking forward to conducting many more and better art workshops and classes in future.

The Patna Chapter

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Blogging | 1 comment

This is the story of two days – 22nd and 23rd Sept when I had a new type of experience in life. It began sometime in July when I got a letter from Mrs. Shobha Koser, Registrar, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. The letter was an invitation for me, a student of Pracheen Kala Kendra, to participate in an All India Fine Arts (Painting) workshop cum exhibition held in Patna, Bihar. At that time it wasn’t clear to me about what this would entail. I sent the necessary information e.g. my bio data, samples of my work etc. as requested by the organizers (which later made its way into the booklet published , see below):

Booklet with Artists Description

Booklet with Artists Description

 

Page from the Booklet  - about me

Page from the Booklet – about me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end of August, I inquired about the details and found out that this was going to be a workshop cum exhibition, where 25 artists were invited from all over India. All the artists would get a chance to display 5-6 of their paintings at the exhibition and would paint an Acrylic painting on a canvas of size of 3 feet by 2 and half feet along with the other artists. I mention the size specifically, because I had never painted something that big before – the painting was supposed to be taller than me ;)

I discussed some ideas with my painting teacher, Sharmila Roy to figure out what I should paint in a workshop like this and on a canvas that big! She gave me some good suggestions based on her assessment of my abilities. All of this – the size of the painting and the thought of working in the midst of many other artists, outside the comfort zone of my home, made me a little nervous. Apparently, that wasn’t enough, a very big and septic boil grew on my left hand about 3 weeks before the event and it continued to well… grow. My hand swelled up like a balloon and it was so painful that it even prevented me from doing my daily tasks. So at that point, it was very difficult for me to even imagine painting a piece that huge. But I still tried hard to practice painting something before going to Patna. Only half finished it though…
A day before exhibition, we flew from the Kolkata airport in a small plane to get to the Patna Airport. My mother and elder sister accompanied me. The next morning, after having breakfast and of course my medicines including a painkiller I went to the “Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir” where this workshop cum exhibition was going to be held.

Entrance of the Venue

Entrance to the Venue

We had been asked to be there by 11 am for the inauguration ceremony. Before the inauguration, the organizers arranged the paintings that the artists had got along for display.

Other Exhibits

Other Exhibits

My paintings on Display

My paintings on Display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we waited… the ceremony began three hours late! This crossed the notion of “IST” as well we think :) The inauguration was done by Shri. Vinay Bihari – minister of Kala Sanskriti and Yuva Vibhag (Department of Culture & Youth), Bihar government and Shri. Patel – minister of Shiksha Vibhag (Department of Education), Bihar,  government. After that they called me on stage and gave me a memento and a bouquet of flowers. There were a surprising lot of press photographers and reporters and they took a lot of photographs.

Receiving a Memento

Receiving a Memento

Memento

Memento

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this ceremony was over, around 4:00 pm the organizers asked us to start our work. At first, I was a little nervous and felt some hesitation to work in front of so many people – professional artists, media folks and others as I had never done something like this before. But after some time I became normal but it was still difficult to enjoy working because of the tension to complete the work accompanied by the severe pain in my hand due to the boil. In addition, the reporters were creating some disturbance by asking questions, flashing cameras as they took pictures. I was mostly lost in work, I turned my head around just momentarily to see what’s going around and found that everyone else was also lost in working on their pieces. It was a nice scene!

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Everyone was hard at work

Everyone was hard at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of day, by around 6:30 pm, I was able to push through to finish quite a bit. I was very exhausted, but satisfied with the progress. Everyone was asked to come at 10 am the next day in order to finish the remaining work.

At the end of Day1

I was tired by the end of the day

The next day, I reached the workshop area around 9:40 am, once again after breakfast, medicines and a painkiller. I worked hard and was finally able to finish my huge painting.

 

Hurrying to complete

Hurrying to complete

Posing during work

Posing during work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We heard from the exhibition organizers that 8 newspapers had published my photo and an article about me. My sister went and got as many newspapers as she could from the Railway Station :). See some clippings below:

Patna Exhibition - Hindustan Times Clipping

Clipping from Hindustan Times

Clipping from iNext, a Jagaran Initiative

Clipping from iNext, a Jagaran Initiative

 

 

 

 

 

Clipping from Prabhat Khabar

Clipping from Prabhat Khabar

 

Clipping from Dainik Bhaskar - they got my name wrong somehow ;)!

Clipping from Dainik Bhaskar – they got my name wrong somehow ;)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After everyone had completed their paintings, the organizers cleaned and decorated the hall and hung the paintings made by the artists as part of the workshop. This was the prep work for the exhibition that commenced next.

On the second day, the ceremony was inaugurated by two famous Indian artists Shri. Anandi Prasad Badal and Shri. Shyam Sharma. After that the local public and reporters started arriving for looking at the exhibits.

Exhibits

Workshop Exhibits

Exhibits

Workshop Exhibits – My painting on the left

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Painting - after it was done

My Painting – after it was done :)

At the end of the second day, Pracheen Kala Kendra had given participation certificates and a rather hefty booklet about the event to every artist. Towards the end, the artists, organizers, family had group photograph sessions, which was fun!

Artists - Group Photo

Artists – Group Photo

All the artists also signed a big canvas to commemorate the event and leave a message.

Signed by all of the artists

Signed by all of the artists

I consider this a successful event of my life because of all the new experiences I had. It was quite exhilarating to work in a public location and alongside professional artists, the best part was that I was able to complete the painting and everyone liked it! It was also good to look at various different types of paintings and see some new techniques at work. It was very nice to observe the creativity of various artists. Meeting and getting to know some new people was equally exciting. This was a platform which gave me chance of sitting as an artist between various famous painters of India and also working surrounded with camera and reporters, can’t complain!

The return journey was somewhat adventurous too. Because of the press coverage, many people seemed to recognize me at the Patna airport and came up to say Hello etc. Even the security lady recognized me from the newspaper photo and we had a nice chat :).

It will sound funny if I say – I feel like a mini star/celebrity when I recall those two days spent in the midst of camera lights, reporters and the crowd of Patna, but I sure felt that way! I feel really lucky to have attended this event and thankful to my family and teachers because I could not have done it without them.

Sudha Murthy- An inspirational woman

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Blogging | 2 comments

20 June 2014 was a very special day for me. It was a day when my two year old wish came true. It was a day when I met my idol and teacher Ms. Sudha Murthy. She is a computer science engineer, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, an Indian social worker, a great author and a member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation, among many other things. My Mother and I became fan of her through her fabulously written story books and novels. I have mentioned her as my idol and a teacher because I have learnt from her books what life is, what is necessary in life to do and above all, her books helped me improve my English. Her books are written in simple English and in a way that everyone can read and understand. Every book and novel she has written is based on her life and experiences.

Sudha-Murthy_&_We

With Sudha Murthy – the founder of Infosys Foundation, a brilliant author and much more

I took the first step towards fulfilling this wish of mine by writing an email to Ms. Murthy expressing my wish. She accepted it and gave me an appointment for 20th June. We went to the Infosys Foundation office to meet her. Before meeting her I was feeling nervous but when I first saw her and started the conversation, I found her a very simple, quiet and loving person. We did not feel like we were meeting an unknown person and instead it felt like we knew her for a long time. The way she talked with us it felt like she had a great treasure of life experiences and there will always be a lot to learn from her. I liked two of her lovely teachings  a lot, one is that it is not important in life how educated you are or how many degrees you have, what matters is how good a person you are and how many good things you have learnt from your own and others’ experiences. Second is that one should have a hardcore thirst and willingness of learning things and achieving what you want because without these two things one cannot get success in life. She said to me that I should always keep up my thirst of learning and meet more people and learn as much I can from their life experiences. She said that she liked my positivity and smiling nature. She also wrote to someone who conducts art exhibitions to setup one for me and that she would sponsor it! I will always remember those 45 minutes given by her to us. I had a great and unforgettable experience from this meeting with Ms. Sudha Murthy.

A trip to Munnar

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in Blogging | 0 comments

This is the story of my awesome family trip to Munnar, Kerala. Munnar is a lovely Hill Station in the district of Idukki, in the state of Kerala, India. In order to reach Munnar first we have to land in the Cochin International Airport or Cochin railway station because there is no airport or a railway station in Munnar. So, we reached Cochin by airplane from Bangalore. And our airplane was also something different from usual airplanes because it was a very small plane with a seating capacity of 72 passengers, it had two fans outside and it was flying at a maximum height of 18000 feet. We were able to see all the places and rivers etc. on our flight journey from the airplane window. So, we named it Pichku, meaning small :)

Munnar is 108 km from Cochin airport and by car it took us four hours to reach there. Munnar is famous for tea plantation, spices and cocoa, and also for waterfalls, dams, gardens and of course for mountain ranges.  zsdfg Our journey from Cochin to Munnar was adventurous, full of excitement and a little tough too. Because on the way we found our car going round and round on snake shaped roads. In some places roads were very steep and very high at places and this was going continuously throughout our journey. You will feel like you are going through a forest in a slow roller coaster and inside your stomach seems like a mixer This is because Munnar is not a plain land but it is a hill station and all the roads were made by cutting mountains.

All the way throughout our journey we saw fabulous and refreshing sceneries of green mountains filled with wild plants/trees, bushes, natural waterfalls, tea plants, coconut trees and Banana plants. On the way, roads were very narrow as well as scary because in many places there wasn’t much space on road, only one car could go at a time and also at one side of our car were mountains, trees but on the other side there were very deep trenches. Path between Kerala and Munnar was cool, full of greenery, non-crowded roads and with colorful thatched roofed houses

In the end, on 29th May at 2:30 pm finally after making our stomach shake we reached our cottage named Carpe Dime in a resort named Bird Valley Resorts. Reaching our cottage was also a fight for a walker and for our car driver because it was built very high from ground and way to that was of very steep without any boundary or support on their sides.
We stayed in a cottage which was 18.5 km away from main Munnar City and by car it took us more than 45 minutes to reach there from the city. jiop
At last, it was very relaxing and refreshing when we reached in our cottage’s balcony. The natural scenery of clouds touching the green mountains, foggy environment with cool climate and green scene of tremendous varieties of trees and tea plants and variety of colorful birds flying/twittering around our balcony relaxed our mind and body.

Next day, on 30th after having breakfast we went to see Mattupetty Dam which was 14 km away from our place. It is situated at a height of 1700 m. Mattupetty Dam is a storage concrete gravity dam built in the mountains of Kerala, India to conserve water for hydroelectricity. And is a wonderful place for nature lovers. One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Mattupetty Dam, which is an ideal picnic spots for tourists like us. There the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) of Idukki provides slow speed boating and Motorboats facilities on hire and speed launch stalls of food and variety of stalls of handmade things for tourists to buy. There we also found horses for riding. Other nearby attractions at Mattupetty Dam includes Kundala tea plantations, the Kundala Lake and the dairy farm, run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project.
We also went to Munnar City for buying Kerala’s world famous spices and homemade chocolates. It was a small town but there you can find everything for living life and you can get restaurants of many cuisines.

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On 31st we went to see Tata Tea gardens, automated tea factory and Tea museum. There we went inside the Tea processing factory, where head of it personally showed us the processing units and how each machines works and how step by step Tea is made out of fresh green Tea leafs in it without adding any chemicals etc. It was a great experience for me as I always love to visit factories and am interested in knowing about machines. After this our driver suggested us to visit Blossom Hydel Park. So we went there, which is about 3 km away from Munnar town, is located near the banks of River Muthirappuzha and the misty Kannan Devan Hill Tea Estates and situated towards the old Munnar. The place has a vast stretch of landscaped mountains, gardens with exotic flowers, artificial waterfalls and lawns in its sprawling 16 acres of lush green land. According to the people it has a variety of facilities for adventure such as trails, boating, nature walks, bird watching, roller skating, badminton lawns etc. But due to some construction work all the inside roads were badly damaged and full of big and small stones, so for us it became a big hurdle to cross. And due to that it became very tough for us to reach even half way, then we came back. And that was our last tourist spot which we had enjoyed visiting in Munnar.

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Our trip of Munnar ended on 1st June. At the end of our trip I would like to say that we enjoyed a lot and had a good vacation in Munnar. I enjoyed capturing scenes of clouds touch the hills, cool and foggy environment, green trees/plants and various colorful birds in eyes and camera. And I would say everyone should visit Munnar once because it is a cool place for hanging out with friends and spending vacations with family.

My Visharad Finals – Convocation

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Blogging | 2 comments

This is the story of a day which brought me in the light of many people and witnessed me attending my first convocation (painting).
Story of this day started on 21st September,2013 when my teacher Prahlad Banerjee asked me to attend his musical program at Durga mandir campus in Golbazar,Kharagpur where the Registrar and Secretary of Pracheen Kala Kendra,Chandigarh were the chief guest and there they gave me a memento and announced that I got a good position in the Visharad exam in the eastern zone. After that day, my little story was covered by four Newspapers and two TV channels. This was my 1st stage experience in front of a good audience and family.
Then on 3rd of December,2013 I received an invitation letter from Pracheen Kala Kendra for attending convocation ceremony in Calcutta for clearing Visharad Final in Fine Arts and holding the 1st position in the eastern zone.
And finally that day also came into my life and it was the day of my convocation, which was held on 22nd December,2013 in Calcutta. We went Calcutta to a day before and stayed in a hotel. Next morning around 10am we started for the place named Maha Utkal Manch. As we entered that place, I saw a large room with soft instrumental music being played and organizers running here and there for finishing all arrangements for starting program as soon as they could. I looked around and found that it was not just a room but it a large two floor auditorium.
I think it had a capacity of around thousand people. The announcer asked all the media persons to sit in the front row, students in the remaining rows and family members on the 2nd floor. In the beginning I was feeling very awkward to sit in front of dignitaries (Secretary of Pracheen Kala Kendra, Mayor of Calcutta, Dwijen Mukherjee – internationally renowned Rabindra Sangeet Singer, Anirban Chowdhury- Deputy Resident Editor of Hindustan Times etc.) and in between thousand unknown people, but later I became more comfortable.
In the beginning of the program, the chief guests addressed all of us with nice words, then they started distributing prizes and mementoes to all the musicians. Then they gave prizes to the students of different streams of Arts and principals of different centers who deserved to be felicitated.

I, receiving the degree certificate and medal from Mrs. Shobha Koser and Sri Deijen Mukherjee

I, receiving the degree certificate and medal from Mrs. Shobha Koser of Pracheen Kala Kendra and singer Sri Dwijen Mukherjee

After waiting for quite some time, they announced my name and came my turn to go on a the stage. And on my way between my seat to and the stage a funny incident took place which I really want to share. All the people including me were thinking about how to take me to the stage because the path of the stage was little narrow and my chair wouldn’t go through it, all of a sudden (I don’t know when they decided),four persons lifted me along with my chair from ground to the stage a meter high. And after landing on the stage like an airplane I couldn’t do anything except laughing.
I received a degree and a medal on the stage from Mrs. Shobha Koser and Dwijen Mukherjee for achieving the 1st position in the eastern zone in the Fine Arts exam named Visharad Finals of Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh.
So, my 2nd stage experience was very beautiful which also got converted into an
unforgettable funny experience because of my speech full of laughter :)

Wall Painting – reaching a new height, literally :)

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in Blogging | 4 comments

Wall Painting

The wall Painting

This is my first wall painting and one of my biggest projects, so far.
I call it a big project because it was interesting, difficult and time taking. It almost took one month’s hard work for completion.
I decided doing this painting on the wall of my balcony because it was in bad shape due to some repair work that was done a couple of days back and I was not getting anyone who could repair and paint it again.
So, when I was not able to find an option to fix the wall, I decided to assign myself a project of doing a wall painting on that balcony wall.
In the beginning it wasn’t easy for me because of the large area to paint and height of the wall (which was beyond my reach). I needed to draw a large design, needed a tall chair or a table so that I could reach the necessary height, huge quantity of paints and importantly I needed to think how to paint the wall such that it looked good.
After analysing these things I started my work by painting the background wall by experimenting mixtures of different combinations of things. I tried a mixture of white color Fabric paint, white chalk, powder of Selkhadi(Alabaster/Soap rock) and Indigo and mixed them in an electric mixer. In the beginning, I had thought of painting background completely with white Fabric Paint but my bottles of paint broke and I couldn’t find more in the nearby market so I thought of trying this mixture.

How it actually looks on the wall

How it actually looks on the wall

After finishing the background by climbing on a tall chair and tying a brush to a long tree stick. Then it was time to draw the design on a the wall. For that, I drew the design on a tracing-paper and with the tracing technique traced it on the wall with a carbon-paper and also drew some parts with a pencil by climbing on a chair.
And at last I did the main part – painting it with acrylic and fabric paints of eleven colors – red, orange, leaf green, sky blue, purple, yellow, dark-brown, yellow ocher, deep green and crimson by sitting on ground, climbing on a wooden chair and table, as needed.
It was a great experience and fun way of utilizing time :) I was satisfied after completing my work.

It was gratifying to see an electrician (who had come for some electrical repairs) wait patiently until I completed my art before he could photograph it. I got some nice comments from people who saw it and four invites of doing wall painting in their houses.

One of the best days ever

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Blogging | 6 comments

Date 21st September 2013 is now added in the list of days with some of my best moments of life. It was a great day which I can never forget. This was one of those days I would never have dreamt of. I am still so happy that I want to share this experience with everyone and would love to do that any number of times.

I am talking about my first stage experience which I had yesterday. It was the day when I attended a musical program, got my first memento on stage in front of a good crowd and a few notable persons (the memento was presented by the Registrar Mrs. Shobha Koser and Secretary Shri. Sejal Koser of Pracheen Kala Kendra), I was interviewed by a media person, got a huge applause and cheers and also I gave my first stage speech in English which was appreciated a lot by my family as well as everyone else who was there.

My memento

My memento

This was a day when for the first time I didn’t feel low or odd being part of a crowd of more than a hundred unknown people. I also had my first lucky experience of watching a live performance from famous musicians.

Me on Stage PKK

This pic was taken while I was speaking on the stage :)

This experience made me feel positive and gave me a lot of strength and the desire to work harder for achieving my dreams. First and foremost, I want to thank my family, then my teachers Sharmila Roy, Shri. Prahlad Banerjee, Mrs. Shobha Koser and Shri. Sejal Koser of Pracheen Kala Kendra who helped and encouraged me and because of all of them I had such a special day in my life!

[Update]

I recently got hold of the video of the program. Here’s when I was on the stage:

Done with GED :)

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Blogging | 18 comments

Three exams were left and I had one month in hand. It was like a do or die situation. It was the first time in my life when I had little time but a big load. I am talking about my GED exams.

GED stands for General Education Development, which is administered by educational authorities in the USA. GED tests are a group of five subject tests namely Mathematics, Science, English Reading, Social Studies and English Writing. When students qualify, it certifies that they have American or Canadian high school-level academic skills.

In the queue of challenges of my life until the recent past, first were the three subjects of GED namely English Reading, Social Studies and English Writing; second was my desire of achieving an educational certificate and third one was receiving a certificate which must be equivalent of class ten and twelve standard that would enable me to appear in the 6th and 7th level of Pracheen Kala Kendra Art certification exams. These were the hurdles, which I needed to cross by the end of year 2013 as the pattern of GED was going to be changed and I would have to appear for all the five exams again.

Qualifying these three subjects was a big challenge for me because they were mainly based on American context and secondly I could not get any schooling or good teachers which greatly affected my way of studying and learning. If I would’nt have cleared any subject among those three then I would have only one more chance for appearing in GED this year. This was the first time I was going under great pressure. After forgetting everything, I fully concentrated on my studies and worked very hard continuously for six months and the most during last one month. My exams started on 3rd of June and ended on 17th June,2013. That did not bring an end to my tensions as I got the results of two exams but the result of last exam was left. That was the one, which was going to decide my future. At the end of last exam I was not sure about my result and I had set my mind to give one more exam in September. My result was supposed to come five days later, i.e. after 17th but it was very surprising that the result came just after three days. Moreover, the most surprising thing was that I successfully qualified GED and I got my highest marks in English writing. It was the most relaxing and surprising day of my life. For two days it was very difficult for me to convince myself to believe that I had successfully completed the GED.

GED Certificate

GED Certificate

Now I am happier because I got my official GED certificate from USA :) However, now after completing GED I am confused regarding what should I do next? Let’s see what is going to be my next story.

Story of my largest painting so far

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Blogging | 5 comments

This is the story of my acrylic painting named “Halloween-esque“. As its name suggests, it is a painting of a castle in a haunted theme. I call this a story because it took me a long time to complete similar to writing a story book or making a movie which also has excitement, action and emotions involved. It was also a new experience of working on a big canvas, brought forth difficulties involved and helped me to know my abilities and weaknesses better.
It started on September 5, 2012 when one of my friends asked me to paint a Castle with Acrylic colors of a little mysterious kind, for her. At that time I didn’t know a lot of things – like how to draw this thing as I hadn’t ever tried to paint any building type stuff. It was all seeming as if art was all unknown to me. There were a few other issues like choosing the size of canvas, how many color tubes would I need and of which colors and above all I didn’t know how to draw on a big canvas!
Then one of my Uncles guided me and informed me about a website called www.himalayafineart.com for buying canvas and acrylic colors and my brother and sister gave suggestions related to the theme. After all the online shopping for paints and canvas, on October 17, 2012 I got everything set, my colors, brushes and yes a big canvas. Then in-front of me there came another problem – where should I set up my canvas and painting accessories? After a study of some places in my house, I decided to paint in the balcony of my house, as it is filled with beautiful daylight and cool breeze which I felt as the perfect location for painting. As the canvas was big I faced another problem – where to place the canvas – an Easel or just on the ground. After many experiments I decided to use the tea-table and two cardboard boxes as an Easel.

While painting the moon

While painting the moon

When all setup was done I started to draw a rough layout of the painting by drawing and erasing many times using different tools like colorful chalks, pencil, ruler, and also some kitchen items like steel plates and pots. Just drawing a rough sketch of the painting, it took me more than a week. It was quite experimental and challenging for me. After taking a little break, it was the coloring time or you can say it was the time for giving it a look of an actual picture. Extra care needs to be taken while painting in acrylic colors as the mixed colors need to be used within a short period of mixing before they dry up. I did the coloring in parts. Finally my big painting or you can say big project was completed on November 17, 2012. It was quite a happy and relaxing day when I showed it to my family and got really good comments from them. And finally on ‎February ‎08, ‎2013, I gave the painting to my friend and found a big smile on her face. My story had a great happy ending :)

The painting at it appears on my friends’ wall

Halloween-esque on Wall

Halloween-esque on Wall