I visited my teacher last evening. He lives very close to my home and as I was coming back from the gym (wearing tights and terribly sweaty and dishevelled!), I had this sudden urge to talk to someone older. Where I could be embraced by knowledge and experience in ways where I could sit encircled within it, and refurbish my own spirit. I sat curled up in a big arm chair nibbling a murku, as we talked about issues of tribal oppression, the comfort of illusions that religion offers for the insecure, the pros and cons of the teachings of Krishnamurthy, the vision of intention of art institutions when formulated, the failure of the left in West Bengal and the complacency that trust breeds.
It is such stolen moments that compile whatever free time I have. Quiet interludes with no fan fare but which offer a sustenance that cannot be quantified. And when I reflect upon the wasted hours that many artists in the metropolises spend "being seen at the right venues", believing that their "careers" depend upon this visibility and the perennial wine glass as a symbol of urban success (!); I wish that they would experience modules of interaction that hold more significance.
I grew up within these rituals of informal conversations with friends and elders; as a student either on the old art history steps or at the various chai lari's or the homes of our teachers that were always open for us. Later this extended into our personal studio's and homes once we completed our studies as students.
The hum of the fan, the piles of books that lie around, the cup of tea or coffee and the intimacy of dialogue far out shadow any art party or page three cultural event for me. And yesterday as I sat curled in the comfort of that armchair, I was able to feel the genuineness of spirit and the dynamism of a life of experiences, cast its long shadow onto me. Like the comfort of a cool breeze, the delight of such interludes is exquisitely personal.