Travelling down my memory lane I recollect that I first started to paint at an early age ( guess like any other child). But I often wonder how I got introduced to this fascinating world of ‘ART’! Thinking more about what really moved me during my childhood I distinctly remember that there was this huge bundle of ivory drawing sheets which had some strong impressions on my mind.
I had discovered them tied together and kept in the backyard of my friends house where I often went to play in the afternoon after school. I must have been 6-7 years old at that time. That pile of papers, left ignored in the corner of a shed either to be carried by the rubbish man or just waiting to be eaten by the termites was, as a matter of fact, a drawing portfolio of my friend’s elder brother. Going by the state in which it lay there, I dint think much of it as a drawing portfolio at that particular time. Later when I got a chance to go through it closely, I was definitely impressed to see the paintings, the use of colours and different subjects chosen to paint, particularly the ‘Nature drawing’. He had a vast collection of paintings of Roses, Hibiscus and Sunflowers. But the most striking ones were the orange and pink flowers known as Zinnia, found abundantly during the monsoon season. Although they are considered to be wild flowers, because of their bright colours they are often planted in gardens and parks as they make a very nice and colourful landscape. Zinnia since then has become a very special plant for me. Every monsoon I have been planting those in my garden, in all the possible colours and till date must have drawn and painted hundreds of them.
Now I myself have a similar bundle of thousands of ivory sheets which is my drawing portfolio and Thanks to my father who has kept them all nicely preserved in his favourite Russian leather suitcase. I am so glad he has looked after them and that it was not left in the backyard to be washed away by the rain or eaten by termites.
Seen here is one of the orange Zinnia flower from my garden planted by my mother last monsoon (yes she has kept the tradition alive, from the time I moved to London) and my old ‘Nature drawing’ of the orange and pink Zinnia flower dated 1990.