Love, Sex aur Dhokha in Contemporary Artists’ Lives
Some artists are like that: they love but are not bound by it. They are like rainclouds; free and floating. They want to belong to the earth. They send messages of love through the pining fingers of rain. Earth shivers in that touch. She would say, even if you are a wanderer I love you because none loves me like the way you do. Clouds accept these words of appreciation and love her further with thunder and lightning. They electrify her dreams. She develops goose pimples all over in the forms of fresh greenery. Her dreams break open the pods and come out as fresh growths. Her musical ensembles sing songs of praise for the clouds through the voices of innumerable invisible creatures. She is in love. But clouds do not stay. She continues her wait soothed by memories, till they come back may be when, who knows. When they don’t come back, she herself turns into rain; a rain of tears and endless moments of pining.
|(Maharajakumari Binodini Devi)|
|(Artist Ramkinkar Baij)|
|(Maharajakumai Binodini Devi)|
|( The artist and the muse)|
‘Crimson Rainclouds’ is the story of Gautam, a non-conformist young painter. Indu is his muse. She coaxes him to take up a job that he rejects. His argument is simple; if the institution is desperately looking for him to join why should he go through the formality of an interview? Indu, though belongs to a rich family, works in a school to earn a salary with which she supports Gautam. Her uncle who had in fact recognized Gautam’s talents first time, however wants Indu to be settled in life with a man of means. Indu is not able to take a decision on this conflict. She wants to live with Gautam. But the very same Gautam, when asked by the uncle agrees to advice Indu to get married to someone of her uncle’s choice. Finally Gautam walks away leaving Indu to handle her own fate. Only Keinatombi, a way side vendor woman with unspecified age (who almost supports Gautam’s materialistic needs from a distance, unlike Indu who does it as a muse from close quarters) follows him to infinity.
|( 'Binodini' )|
We have all the reasons to believe that Gautam is Ramkinkar and Indu is Bindodini. The play is an after-thought of her indecision to marry an ‘unsettled’ Ramkinkar. As an egalitarian Princess, she could have eloped with a commoner like Ramkinkar. But she did not enter into a scandal that would have tarnished the image of her royal family. But a woman of substance, she could speak about this relationship openly though camouflaged in dramatics. It is a well known fact that Ramkinkar and Binodini were involved. But we do not know whether Binodini’s indecision was a result of Ramkinkar’s own reservations about leading a family life with Bindodini. In the play we see the moments where Gautam despite his love her Indu, happily or without much remorse playing along with her uncle. In that sense, was Binodini making a snide remark at Ramkinkar for not taking a decision on her? As a woman with brains, Binodini took the bold step of protecting her ‘individuality’ by not eloping with a man who wants to be eternally free. So this apparently innocent looking and wishfully romantic play that runs in less than fifty printed pages is a final judgement on the historical question; why Ramkinkar and Binodini did not marry? Was it just their class disparities? In my view, this play absolves both the protagonists of their crimes or weaknesses. Ramkinkar was destined to be free and alone. Binodini wanted to belong. Both bemused each other and when it was time politely bowed to each other and left the scene. That’s why Ramkinkar when prodded more than once had emphatically said that he was in love but never had a ‘physical relationship’ with Binodini. He was clouds and she was earth and their communication was divine. Perhaps, seen within the traditional narratives, Binodini entered her nuptial chamber as a virgin.
I exhort all artists to love. I want all artists to fall in love irrespective of their age, class and status. I want all the artists to muse each other irrespective of their gender. I ask all artists to pitch their works in love than in their ATM balance. Ramkinkar and Binodini showed us how love could be really inspiring and could provoke lore and myths. It is not necessary to marry for marriage is an institution destined to rot. Love, dear artists love.
The Animal artworks
Monsoon Madras Musings
|( A painting on display at Madras Musings show)|
Gallery Veda, Chennai, presents a unique group show of artists works, titled, ‘Madras Musings’. The show displays works rendered in various mediums giving a variety of flavours to the exhibits. The monsoon has successfully inspired the works of the artists, which is evident in the works drenched in creativity.
|( A painting at the Soulful Sufi show)|
The Kingdom of Dreams gallery, Gurgaon presents a solo show of art works by artists Sunayana Malhotra. The show tilted,’Soulful Sufi’ , display the artist’s engagement with Sufi qawalis and the joy they inspire in her.
The Spandan Show
|(A painting displayed at the Spandan show)|
The Visual Art Gallery of India Habitat Centre, New Delhi presents a group show of well known contemporary artists of the country today along with the emerging artists. The show is titled,’Spandan’. Rajan Arora and Rajat Arora are the curators of the show and the co-curator is Kuldeep Kumar.
(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)