Days float into nights with the moon and the sun exchanging places, whilst I catch fleeting cat-naps before daylight drenches the Baroda skies; and I am back once again in the studio. For many years I have often relied on this personal clock that dictate my timetable into boot-camp regimes; and my body and mind adjusts without too much protest, with only a few aches and pains of fatigue registering warning signs of revolt from time to time. The graveyard shift holds a peacefulness and solitude that is remarkably special; and with only the television set offering unending monologues, time wraps around my brush uninterrupted. For me it is the time of day I find the most nurturing for myself. There is an unapologetic selfishness of just me being there for myself as I abandon all other duties of life with the gleefulness of a child playing hooky!
But time plays out different things for different people. The recent past has seen so many strange occurrences that make Bollywood potboilers seems somewhat banal! The grand drama of a state government spending lakhs of rupees on white washing it's chief ministers stained and tainted image only talks of the how tax payers money gets used in corrupted ways. The agenda : Modi's fast and the presentation of a changed man! Well, does the cap fit? Obviously it does not if he refuses to wear the skull cap presented to him; so let the marvels of live television speak the truth for what it is. Manipulation of history does not provide for truth and reconciliation. This can only be a great mantra if the person who is mouthing it understands the intrinsic meaning of the message.
But onto another strange occurrence. Arnab Goswami talking to Ram Jetmalani. As I sat painting late into the night I listened to a repeat broadcast of the Times Now news hour interview of Arnab with Ram Jetmalani, on the issue of the 2G scam; and I was in splits of laughter! I cannot imagine how neither of the two have not thought of signing up for stand up comedy. Really! In the stillness of the night, I was just roaring with laughter over what was supposed to be a serious interview on a serious topic. Arnab you are quite unique; and you can take that as you choose to interpret it! As for Ram Jetmalani; he is the quintessential maverick and there is something irreverent about him that I love!!
On the other hand I was moved to tears by a documentary that Barkha Dutt had done on the unmarked mass graves in Kashmir. The compassion that she possesses for what she does, comes from a conviction that does not merely situate itself in being a media person alone. She refuses to be cynical, and holds her truth without compromise; and so what you are offered is to become a participant on board with her.
I am off to market to market tomorrow, not to buy a fat pig, but to look into the bazaars of Baroda for popular objects. I have the rumblings of an idea for a project; and like a duck I need to sit on my ideas to hatch them into some semblance of shape and form. I will wander about in the afternoon heat and percolate my thoughts in gullies of the old city; whilst more sensible people will siesta, especially on a Sunday!
On the duck trail: I have chucked and ducked the gym; because as all things in my city, the standard of the place has turned from swank to crummy in a year! I take an hour and a half to exercise, six days of the week, and found that provocation and frustration of bad management were not what I wanted to encounter in that precious window of relaxation time. So the lure of walking has tempted me back to find my solace in its arms. Today on an impulse, three of us walked back from Kamatibaug to Sama. The duck story is because we walked in a single file, due to zipping traffic; and I looked very much like a regal duck with her ducklings in tow as I marched from point A to point B!!!
Begum is all ready for her stint of solidarity with me in the studio tonight.
She sleeps, I work....well it's all about balance in life, isn't it?!!!!