Some of the best teaching sessions are after dinner at midnight! Unplanned, these occur as our students and artist's in residence bring their work over from the collective studio into the drawing room for what is meant to be a "quick-gun-mruggan-glance"! This of course is never the case, and what unfolds are these wonderful sessions in the muted zone of divided time, between a day past and a day yet to begin; of sharing and belief in the dreams of one another.
Baroda despite being a dry state, is party-land each day. BMW's and Suzuki Hayabusa's are an everyday sight on today's crowded roads of the city. Lavish lifestyles and burn outs go hand in hand with dhokla-culture and jallebies. My refusal to be part of this high spirited circuit when I returned in 1984 from London to make Baroda my home as an artist, was because I knew it would create a wasteland within my soul and boredom would paralyse my already tiny brain. Instead our home has always been a space where friends and loved ones can come to find peace and time to reflect with themselves. To read, to be embraced by positive attitudes, to regenerate a pulse of failing self-belief, to laugh, to cry, to be sheltered; or to just eat and feed the delight of togetherness with fun and laughter.
My spirit within my home is on call 24 X 7 and I would want it no other way. It can be exhaustive and I have my hair tearing moments too; but in the moments when I see nurtured energies translate into life changing spaces, it becomes the greatest reward to have found a space of contemplation that holds more than myself. I have some wonderful tributes of love which are not off a shelf but have been made or found, and delivered with exquisite tenderness. Only recently I received a cut-out paper doll with moving hands and legs.....!
Sometimes we all troop up to my studio before we disperse for the night, to look at my days work, or we pour over Surendran's lap top looking at visuals that have many stories that he narrates to us from the depths of his favourite chair in the drawing room; or we listen to snatches of music from his vast collection that holds us silent and transformed, and in tune with ourselves in magical ways that are infinitely precious. It is a life that is truly special and I feel so thankful to have known which road was mine to take on this journey.