In 1999, I was sitting bored, watching TV, and on a piece of paper, I started sketching this Goddess Laxmi from a Diwali greeting card.
When my mom saw it, she insisted I make the rough pencil drawing look better. So I got calligraphic pens and did this sketch. I got a cousin of mine to help me draw the eyes because I was not too confident in doing it.
That’s when my mom found a teacher who used to teach painting at home and she pushed me to go for those classes. I used to think – OMG its my weekend, my job is crazy as it is, pleaseeee let me sleep. But she saw in me a talent that even I didn’t believe I possessed.
As I started going to those classes, somehow the passion instilled in me. Until that point in my life I wasn’t sure what my talent was, what was so special about me as a human being. Somewhere there in those weekend classes, I discovered a side of me that made sense to me.
Colors made sense to me – the shades, the hues – it all made sense, even though I could not figure out the true colors of people. Brush strokes made sense to me even though I could never tell the intentions or motivations of people. Creating paintings by mixing and experimenting made sense to me even though I could not figure out the manipulative nature of people. Even when I messed up and had to restart a canvas again – even that made sense to me – but I could not understand the way people would walk away without giving things another try, another chance.
They always say even when you don’t understand yourself, your mother does. And my mom understood that her daughter is not like anyone else. She helped me find a way that I could express myself, gave me a gift that I could grow and harness in order to make sense of the nonsensical world around me.
Even now, when I’ve been stuck in my life, it’s usually been phases where I have not been painting. As soon as I take my brushes and start to paint, I pour out all my feelings, confusions, insecurities, anger, rage – everything – into it, and within days, my life shifts. Everything makes sense and it all falls into divine order.
And then at work I would be stuck trying to come up with ideas. Seriously how many ideas can one come up with on a daily basis?? In my head I would start to create a painting, and ideas would flow. If I needed something solid, I would take my canvas and the dam would break :) and we delivered at work.
You all might say ‘you always had the talent leena’ but deep down I know that it was my mom that pushed me, believed in me.
This is where it all began. :) My art. My paintings.
Thank you mommy.