Book Review: Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani’s book is an honest account of how it took cancer and her near death experience (NDE) to understand that in order to love others, you must learn how to love yourself first, deeply and honestly. As the title suggests, she had to die to learn how to be truly her, how it’s ok to be her, and to let go of all society pressures and rules … because in the end, it really doesn’t matter. What matters in the end is who you really were and if you lived this gift of life in joy, being the amazing true being that you truly are.

It is actually an amazing book that moves you, shakes your universe and makes you question everything that you took for granted.
There were times I would sit down and just ponder on her words because the depth of it would stir something deep within me, making me acknowledge things that needed to be changed.

Here’s an article that appeared recently. Read it and you might be tempted to get the book.

Love Yourself Before All the Rest –

Rating: 9/10

Art Blog: The Story Behind ‘Meditating Buddhist Samurai’

 The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha
The mind is everything. What you think you become.

When I started painting this, I wasn’t sure of my confidence in Art. I hadn’t painted properly in a while (lets say close to 2 years), and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. The fact that I chose 2 canvases, with sizes 100 cm w x 80 cm h each, also scared me.

Trying to decipher what this painting needed consumed me. But it burnt a quiet fire that I thought had been extinguished.  Very similar to a person meditating, this painting took me to a deeper level of peace and serenity, and made me tap back into my skills very subtly.

Soon, I was doing other paintings alongside this one. I kept completing the other paintings as I kept re-discovering myself through this painting. And this one kept going on :). I used to ask it … ‘hey are you ever gonna get done?’ It would respond back ‘soon darling soon. Just enjoy the journey’.  And I did.

I used palette knives to build the texture, with real beach sand to build the bark of the tree. It took 5 buildups to get the effect I wanted. Each buildup took 48 hours to dry, and sometimes even more, thanks to our Dubai humid summer!

I stayed close to sunset fiery colors by using cadmium yellow, deep and light cadmium oranges, buff titanium, brown, burnt umber, brown oxide, pale gold, copper to create the shades. I haven’t used white nor reds … but yet the painting exudes the un-used shades and colors. It took 4 to 5 layers of paint before it emerged the way I knew it would. And it would demand that I paint both canvases together, layer by layer, otherwise the painting would get stubborn on me!

A friend said that it has the energy of a samurai … so she ended up naming it. But it made me realize that within each one of us is a Samurai, waiting to emerge, waiting to fight what we are meant to do, but not with violence – but with peace and serenity.

When I researched it, I found out that a Samurai followed a set of rules or a way of life known as Bushidō. Loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry, and it originates from the samurai moral values.  Bushido was also influenced by Shinto and Zen Buddhism, allowing the violent existence of the samurai to be tempered by wisdom and serenity.

I guess my Samurai emerged when he needed to, brought change into my world in a form that I understood – my art. My art that brings me peace, serenity and most importantly – JOY!

Art Blog: The Story Behind ‘Ganesh in the colours of Holi’

Ganesh in the colors of Holi

Ganesha is my muse. I love painting him, and funnily enough, I get the most number of requests to paint him.

When a close friend Vicky asked me to paint a Ganesh for his new home, I wanted something that matches Vicky’s personality. For all those who don’t know Vicky, he is very similar to me. Mad. Funny. A little bit insane. Loveable. Yet he has an inherent quiet streak of loyalty, honesty and reliability. He is one dude we can rely on blindly (we won’t ask his wife to comment here! Lolol)

During Ganpati visarjan, people go dancing like mad on the streets, throwing powdered colors (holi colors) to celebrate his journey to the sea. Hence I have used a multitude of colors to bring out the spirit and color madness on the white background. Vermilion red, cadmium red, fluorescent red, bright red, cadmium orange light,  lemon yellow,  metallic blue, phthalo blue, cobalt blue, wedgewood blue, leaf green, sap green, emerald green.

For the Ganesh himself, to bring out the solidity of the idol,  I stuck to 4 colors – cadmium orange light, cadmium orange hue, venetian red and burnt umber.

This is one Ganesha I am personally very proud of. To bring out the splash of colors on a pure white background,  I had ONE chance only, especially because I was using palette knives. There was no way I could go over it a second time to fix any mistakes, cuz then the splash holi color effect would go. It would mean me restarting the painting again.

Here’s celebrating the madness and love of Ganpati and Vicky! Wohooooo

Art Portfolio & Blog


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