As a child I loved to draw and play with colors, as most other kids of my age would love to. However, my liking for drawing and colors extended beyond mere scrabbling. The keen interest I had in painting and sketching drew attention of my parents at a very early age. I remember my father telling me that I had sketched an image of Lord Ganesh when I was 4 year old. He had proudly kept that sketch for several days before it got lost somewhere in our small little house that we lived in, never to be found again. I don’t know whether I drew it really good , in fact I don’t even remember it. My father says that I had drawn it very nicely. May be it was just a blind admiration for his kid that my father loved it so much. but whatever, the fact was, I loved to draw and and my interest in drawing grew by the day as I grew. It made me happy when I could create what I see around me on a piece of paper. It amused me that I can change the color of trees , sky and what not, as I liked it to be. My world of color could have blue trees, a red smiling sun, purple sky or a river of milk. It was all possible, and I loved that I could play with it. The joy of creating something interested me much more to draw and paint.
Whenever I would come back from school, I would sit with paper and a pencil to draw things that I see around me. When I was a kid we lived in a small house and the walls of the house would be painted with white limestone, as it is a common practice in many small towns in India. Those white limestone walls gave me a free hand to use them as my art board. I would bring water colors and paint brushes from the shop and paint on the white walls in the main hall of our house, much against the will of my mother :). I would soon see that the painting covered back, by the limestone color when I woke up the next morning. I would feel little sad that someone erased my drawing when I was asleep.But it wouldn’t disappoint me, since I knew I could redraw back on the plain white wall. I could really use the wall as a erasable board to paint on it. I remember I had drawn sceneries on those walls. Most of the times my scenery would have a bunch of coconut trees, a river , a hut , two small hills and a rising sun. Sometime some coconuts grew on those trees , while other times the sun set and would be replaced by moon. Some other time , there would be a temple up hill. A few times some cows grazed below the hills. Buildings, cars and roads had little scope in my sketch at that time. Aeroplanes , were a distinct possibility, But crows and other birds would occasionally fly on my sky in my painting. Gradually, from walls I started to draw on drawing papers. With basic drawing class in school that was in curriculum, I got to know different grades of pencils for drawing and types of drawing papers. I started to draw on drawing papers with different grade pencils.
As years progressed and I started to understand things better around me, the odd colored objects on my paper started to be replaced by nice realistic colors. Drawings started to become more focused on articles of interest rather than of unreal imagination. Portrait drawing started to interest me much more. I would torture my family members and friends to sit still for long hours , so that I could try my new found interest. I realize how kind and loving they had been to me for to sit for such long hours just to make me happy and fulfill my desire to draw. Those were the times when I drew a lot . Drew several things. Portraits of famous personalities, actors, national heroes, nature, events anything that caught my attention. I had made a big collection of my drawings. My dad has still preserved some of those drawing from my childhood.
Sweet time of teenage and the days of college brought a different perspective in sketching. My note book became book of portraits of my professors 🙂 . My friends would request me to sketch their pictures. Some other friends would ask me to sketch their girl friend’s picture in a way that they would not know someone is sketching them :). It was a risky job. If got caught I would be showered with sandals. They would then go and present it to their girl friend to impress them boasting that they have drawn it :). Little could I concentrate on the lectures in college at that time, I blame it completely on the age :). It was a fun time.
Time passed by , with responsibilities of study and demand to perform, slowly attention shifted from drawing to studies. Sketches and drawings became a occasional thing. There were no more sketches during the classes. No more pictures of friends or their girl friends or the professors :). Graduation done and then job straight after, I did not realize, in the time that passed, where that artist in me got lost. I hardly ever sketched. Paint brush, pencil and the art paper became a thing of the past. Several years have passed since then, I don’t even remember when I sketched last. Why did that little artist in me leave me , Will my fingers still create those pictures that I created several years back?, Did I kill that artist in me?. Some questions come to mind often and I don’t find an answer. We get bogged down with so many things in life that we forget what makes us happy. The mad race to make money and have a successful career professionally, kills inner passion of many of us. Surely, many little artist in us get killed in this mad rush. I’m sure just like me there are many with a hidden artist in them, in some a singer, in some a dancer, while a writer in some other. There is a hidden passion of art that makes one happy but which is lost in time.
When I now see my little daughter playing with colors and scratching on walls with pencil, I remember my childhood. I see the same artist in her. How she gets lost in her world of colors amuses me. Makes me so happy to look at her smiling face when she draws a small circle and fills that with her favorite color and calls that the “Sun”. I know in her mind she is imagining that circle to be a Sun. I’m trying to find that lost artist in me in her :).