Innocence Of White

How often do you take a look back at your piece of history and go 'OMG!'?

I, for more than once, have had this innate feeling that our land was a unique land of colours - both literally and metaphorically. I have always wanted to see how our ancestors lived in the deep Indian jungles and accumulated the power of nature through yoga. How could we even affirm that there were nine planets existing, without even knowing an instrument called telescope, which would only be invented probably more than 2000 years later? I won't be able to see those things, unless Dr. Emmett Brown comes up with his flux capacitor. To be realistic, we do not need to look that far ahead to glimpse through our rich heritage.

Last week, I had the duty of touring my newly-wed brother and sister-in-law round the city. Basically, the job screams 'hello, solitude'. But, nevertheless, I enjoy showing the 'out-of-towners' my city (as if I own it). My sister-in-law wanted to see the zoo, palace and more specifically the Art Museum. It really didn't dawn on me that inspite of living in this city for nearly ten years, I hadn't been inside it for more than 15 years! All the while, I would pass by it or stop at its popular tea-stalls outside after college. 

While the Art Museum was probably the most boring object of my curiosity,  I decided to bump along. "When the couples walk hand in hand, I might as well enjoy company of the paintings", I thought. Moreover, my sister is an Art major. So, she might be able to deduce the meanings behind those lines and shapes in the ambiguous paintings. The art museum doesn't project itself like a typical gallery. It's actually more than a century old building, constructed in the way, buildings were supposed to be constructed - in harmony with nature. Even the sun's arrogance didn't penetrate through it's walls. The gentle breeze and cool shade, I envied it. 

The doors reek of colonial dominance our country succumbed to. Not until you start seeing the first paintings on the walls to your right. Those were the artworks of the genius Raja Ravi Varma. A versatile artist and king at his best. A man whose paintings made photographs look like lifeless junks. There was something about his paintings that gave the viewer joy in their hearts. I have heard people say this a lot. I still couldn't get the reason. "I mean it's just a painting after all. Who would paint in this age when you can print it", I used to ponder. But my theories were about to be shattered and little did I realise it when I walked into a room on the first floor of it. 

It was a painting of a lady, clad in white saree. The clothe was gently touching around her seamless texture. She wasn't adorning a blouse. That would be less of a priority in those times and considering the job-in-context was modelling, per say. She looked shy or probably she was thinking about something at that moment. She held something in her petite arms. Little did I notice, that my tourists had already crossed two rooms and were about to head downstairs. But, I didn't bother about them or the people watching me, thinking what a pervert I am. Out of all the paintings there, I didn't want to lose focus on this one. I wanted to know what was the artist intending to show me. Was it her innocence? Of all the manly feelings that went through my mind, I undoubtedly knew that the lady in the painting would have been extremely beautiful, but still not as beautiful as the painting in itself. She stood there in between what I assumed as a small garden, and looking at me. Seducing me with her looks with the smile of an angel. The white saree which she wore started to glow the more I looked at it. I mean, mushrooms would have done a less impressive job. What was about this art that I couldn't understand? This was the magic of Raja Ravi Varma. I felt then that painting was not about precision of the picture or its geometry. It was about the expression of the artist. It's pure. It has a story to tell. It was an act that consumed lots of time and care. Hence, it was intimate. I wouldn't know who that beauty was. She might have been a servant or his mistress or a normal village girl. Or maybe a nobody. But now she is embedded in my mind as I think about the flowers that stood by her sides. I took out my mobile phone to take a snap of her, so I could see her again. Unfortunate, the security tapped me on my shoulders saying it's not allowed. So much for preserving art! But, it was alright for me. My brother came hurdling upstairs when he realised I didn't tag along with him. He knew why I was standing there for that long. He stared at the painting and then back at me, giving a naughty grin. I would still want to see her, but now I would use the oldest camera known to man - Imagination. 

As I walked out of the room, I took one last look at the portait to read the words - THE FLOWER BEARER


Post a Comment


Author Profile

My photo
I am the kind of person who continually keeps changing. Some call it restless. But I call it evolving with time. I am an Engineer by profession, a Coldplay fan and a pure Socialist at heart. I believe that one should not stop dreaming and that dreams install hope in this world