Tag Archives: English

You Are Not The Centre Of Universe

There might be several things which you do not like; however, note that the world does not run according to your preferences, your likes and dislikes. You are not the centre of the universe; so if you want everyone in the world to live as per your likes then it is too much asking. It is not without any reason that God has kept the system administration of the world with Himself, and created you and your account with selected privileges which we call as ‘free-will’. Otherwise, you would agree, given that every individual has a personal preference and wants the whole world to acknowledge and accept it, satisfying everyone is simply not possible. Any attempt to do so would only lead to utter chaos. So let the world be as it is. Of course, there are certain things which are absolutely incorrect and you are completely justified in opposing them, just as there are others which are correct and one must take every trouble to ensure that they happen. Not only that, one should be prepared to make any number of sacrifices to let that happen. Here the choice is not between good and bad — which is a matter of personal taste — rather between correct and incorrect. At the same time, such universally good or bad actions which I have named as correct and incorrect respectively, are quite few and are generally accepted by everyone. On the other hand, for most part, most of the things that you want to happen or not happen are merely a matter of personal taste. Live and let live — that is the formula if you like to call it that way. 


Transformation Within A Relationship

It may sound counter-intuitive and is definitely completely opposite to what people in general claim. But I carry the opinion that if someone tries to change you — in whatever way — it means he does not love you. Those who want to change you or want you to change your lifestyle or way of thinking, simply want you to make them happy, they are merely using you to their advantage. If people love you, they would accept you the way you are. But what advantage do they fulfil by transforming? One factor is the general tendency to enlarge and boost their own ego by pointing out mistakes and flaws of others. This helps them in forgetting and ignoring their own shortcomings. This is the most widespread motivation behind criticism.

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‘Laetitia Casta’, graphite and charcoal portrait on canvas. Artist: Amit Misra

I have been making portraits in pencil for quite a long time. In fact, I have lost count of how many of them I have made till now. With every portrait, there is something to learn, not just about the skill, but about the facial features of humans. Laypersons mostly comment on the model or the subject I am portraying. For example, once it happened that incidentally I made portraits of Kareena to gift to two different friends. The general opinion spread that Kareena is my favourite actress! I receive the same comment particularly when the subject is a female model or an actress. Here I would like to tell you that for artists the subject is not that important as is generally believed. You might have heard it from artists and photographers that they found a particular face ‘interesting’. However, it simply means just that and doesn’t necessarily mean that the artist is in any way attached to the model. In general, artists do not see face, eyes, nose, lips, hair and so on; instead, all they see is geometrical figures. Yes, you read it correct — all they see in front of them is cones, pyramids, rectangles, cubes, cuboid, spheres, and lines. And it is the amusing combination and interplay of these geometrical figures in any face or figure is what makes it appealing and attractive to them. But I am not mathematically inclined; I am a physicist. So however hard do I try, I am not able to accurately analyse any figure in terms of its geometrical components. Instead, I take the alternative path shown by physics — optics to be precise. As I told you in another post, I am mainly attracted to the interplay of light and shade, how shadows form, the various patterns formed by light, and in the case of portraits, how this symphony of light and dark brings out the volume, shape and characteristics of any figure.

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How To Make The World Happy

Everyone seems to yearn to make the world happy— the leaders, the social workers, the teachers, the youth, the parents, everybody. Nobody has the formula; in fact, nobody even seems to have any idea about what happiness implies, yet such eagerness to spread joy! It is not surprising then that in this eagerness we only end up creating more chaos, those who we try to make happy become more sad, those we wanted to make happy end up becoming more miserable. A lot of effort and pain could have been saved if instead of trying to make others happy — that too without even knowing what it actually means — we ourselves become happy first. When we are happy and full of joy and love, that warmth is spread in our environment and those who come in our contact experience it as such. A blown out match stick cannot ignite a flame, only a burning one can do. If you yourself are sad, how can you bring happiness to others? A warm and beautiful smile on your face has the strength to lift people from depths of depression and dejection, to uplift spirits and give courage to people to move ahead in their lives with vigour and agility. Gloom spreads gloom, happiness spreads happiness. Again, happiness is the characteristic permanent state of a mind at peace with itself; it is not pleasure, which is momentary, transient and is only concerned with its own interests.


Relationship And Self-Knowledge

Relationships are the mirror through which we look at ourselves. We start with trying to understand our beloved and may be our relationship, however, the farther we advance in our relationship, the more we discover about ourselves. How we relate to the other people in the course of the journey together allows us to understand ourselves. If you say you do not understand the other person, it means you do not understand yourself at all. It is not abstract philosophy, instead a plain simple fact. Conflict in relationships arises from a conflict within oneself. The world appears queer when looked through a broken glass. A twisted perspective results in a biased outlook, even simple sights are turned into complex and complicated scenes. 


Emotions And Love

Emotions are not love. As long as you are in the trap of emotion, understand that you do not love. We have been brainwashed by movies, TV soaps and novels and poetry that emotions are synonymous with love. They are not. Emotions are like waves — they have ebbs and crests, they come and go, one moment when you are with your beloved, you are joyful, the moment he is gone, you become sad, he does not reciprocate your affection, you become upset, he resists, you become offended or angry. Is that love? Love is like a steady flame in still air; it does not waver, it does not flicker. It remains constant in joy and sorrow, difficult and easy times, it only gives but does not ask for anything in return. It is only concerned with spreading happiness, and that is all it knows. Wherever there is love, there is no pain; wherever there is pain, there is no love. With emotions you are concerned with yourself, while with love you think only of your beloved.


Conflict And Love

The whole world is in conflict, either in the form of war or disputes. In families there are conflicts in relations. If you observe closely, you would discover a conflict within yourself — your ideals and philosophy against the practical wisdom on how to survive the world. Your professional life is nearly always in conflict with your personal life.

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Friendship And Service

photo credit: Neil. Moralee That sly smile via photopin (license)

What is a friend? When do you decide to call a person as your friend? You say ”A friend in need is a friend indeed”. But as far as my memory goes, I have tried my best to help everyone who sought my help — irrespective of whether they were acquaintances or not. On the occasions when I could not help, it was solely because of my limited potential and capabilities. If you tend to help only selected individuals who come in your ‘friend circle’ and shut your doors to everybody else, then I would say that you might be a good friend to your fellows, but not a human being. As for relationships, you need not tie people into bonds in order to love them. Love freely, expand yourself, spread happiness.  


Celebrating Relationships

I have never been able to understand Friendship Day, or for that matter, any similar day — be it Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day. It might be the norm in the countries and cultures where the individual is more important and people tend to live an isolated life. As soon as children grow up, they live separately and only on selected days meet their parents — after seeking an appointment. When such is the norm, I doubt if friendship has any more meaning than a mutually beneficial agreement with unwritten clauses. All this is unthinkable for Indians. Here our ethics tell us to sacrifice the individual for the family, sacrifice the family for the nation, sacrifice the nation for humanity, and to sacrifice everything for the Divine. We believe in relations, and making and keeping bonds. Relations come first and are the foremost consideration in every decision making. I do not see any sense in having a special day to celebrate a particular relation; for me, every day is Mother’s Day, every day is Father’s Day and every day is Friendship Day. 


Book Review: ‘301 Things To Draw’ By Editors Of Chartwell Books

Image source: NetGalley

If you want to be successful in any form of art, you need to practise it regularly in order to hone up your skill. Otherwise, any gap in your practice would slide you back and erase whatever little progress you had made. This way you would find yourself forever beginning from scratch and never making any considerable progress. But easier said than done. If you are an artist, you would know that making a piece of art is easy when you are in mood or it is your hobby, but it loses its charm when you have to perform on demand. And here the demand is ‘regular practice’. Sometimes you do have the will and discipline to get up and sit at your working table, but have no idea where to start — what to draw and how to start with it. Note that here the first stroke is the most difficult step, for once you have overcome that hurdle, then the art would by itself pull you into it. Thereafter it becomes easy. But the first step — the artist’s block as it is called — is the most difficult phase. If you ask me, personally I do not consider it to be any issue. While sketching, I start drawing whatever object is lying in front of me.

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