Everytime while I hold my paint brush, there’s a voice in me that whispers “Before you die, make everything to be captured on the canvas – What you see, what you hear, what you smell, taste, feel, think – just everything!” Though a fanciful conception, there were actually many moments in my life that have been manifested on my canvases, at least those strikingly gripping ones.
Might sound bizarre, but my fingers have tried translating sounds into colours, motions into stills, odours into figures, tastes into art, touches to curves and thoughts to waves. That’s how I knew that colours need not be soothing, stills need not be realistic, figures need not be perfect, art need not be explained, curves need not be defined, waves need not be uniform – Feeling the liberty in an artist’s hands is a beauty beyond imagination!
deja vu – I don’t know how many of you believe in this phenomenon. I hope at least few of you must have experienced the so-called sense of familiarity at a new place, with a new person or by a warm touch sometime. The first time I ever felt it, was during a trip to Mt. Abu (Rajasthan). As we were climbing up the hills, our car had to halt for a while for traffic clearance. When we were about to restart in a minute, I happened to turn towards the window on my left.
There was an empty row of houses within a compound wall and nobody to be seen around. And lo! For what so ever reason, my heart jumped – this is my place! How do I describe that mental confusion? It was like the now and the here were fading away and I felt the past and the present episodes overlapping inside my head. Instantly my hand went to the car door knob, I could not stop myself from getting down to reach my place. Alas! By that time, our car had to move and I was seated back. Though at that age (13 yrs), deja vu had not been entered in my dictionary yet, the ‘sudden jolt’ I felt had remained an indisputable evidence of the phenomenon.
The scence is vague in my memory now. Mobile cameras were not in use those days. What can I say? – Memories without a front page cover!
However, my recent deja vu glimpses have got a shape through my paintings. This picture of an old brick house seen above (left) was clicked at Varathur, Bangalore. Walking along with a group of friends, this building brought back the eerie feeling in me again on that day. Obeying the inner voice, I painted this deep memory (right) which now stands high on my room wall.
I realized today that I had missed the original photo of the brick house, taken two years before. Just to add the picture here, I went crazy enough to visit Varathur today, traced back this house and you won’t believe what I saw. The building was the same except for the greenery around. And there was this huge bull dozer, ready to demolish the house! The workers were already on their hands and I managed to take the last pictures of the house. Should I call it a coincidence? I don’t know. But this house exists no more even as I type these words!
The next time a deja vu happened to me was during our trip to Kemmangudi (Near Bangalore). A new friend of mine who is posing next to me in the picture above (left) became so familiar and connected to my heart at this particular place that I was getting convinced that past lives and soul mates cannot be laughed at. Probably it exists! Where else can a deep filial affection for a stranger come from. I called this oil painting reunion (right) which gives company to the brick house in my room now.
Few more have been added to my deja vu gallery from then. Feeling their presence everyday, I feel the deja vu myth can survive a reality too!
In continuation to this post, the next post Deja vu – What’s Beyond the Fantasy speaks about deja vu at the ground level.