Raison d’être

Warli on Tiles
Warli on Tiles

My little cocoon consists of my family – my husband and two little boys. Fulfilling my primary duties of taking care of them and the house was consuming my days.

One of those days I heard my inner voice and obeyed. I picked up my charcoal once again. That’s when I realised how much art could give me. It helped bring me spring back to life,  I woke up the next morning with new energy to deal with that day’s challenges. Concentration for even an hour everyday, drawing or painting those lines, rejuvenated me. I decided never to put down my pencil again.

As children, we have little idea about how our cultivated hobbies and talents will come handy later on in life. Neither did I, but it did. I will always be grateful to my parents for encouraging me in some – art, love for writing and music.

What started off as occasional sketches, recycling of old wedding invited into arty-crafty gift envelops and thank-you cards, painting plain tee-shirts for my kids to satisfy their obsession with super-heroes(!), led to a lot more. Maya was born. Ideas rushed in from all corners; converting waste material into something beautiful and useful became more satisfying than anything else.

My friends and family are wholly responsible for what Maya is today. They encouraged me and trusted me with tee-shirts for their kids, bought my envelopes, ordered paintings for their homes….

I decided that I had a path to follow and a cause to work for. The cause:

One, Indian folk art is my primary focus. I have decided to work on various forms of Indian painting. Warli, Madhubani, Saura, Jamini roy, kalamkari, sanjhi are some of the areas I have explored.

Two, wasted materials are not always a waste, think a little and spend some quality time with them, they can do so much more, reducing carbon credits on the environment.

Three, children in our country should learn our art forms primarily. We should not subject their imagination to our limits. Techniques like Warli should actually be taught at kindergarten level. We will be surprised to see what all they can come up with as concepts. We aren’t doing enough at school levels. We should do it at home. I want to do what it takes at a micro level to achieve this.

Four, I want my children to learn the art of appreciation more than the art itself. Shying away saying- I cant even draw a straight line- is not acceptable by me. When I say appreciation, I mean they should learn, which part of the country has what kind of culture and how important it is to preserve its heritage. Pride to hang an Indian folk art in their walls instead of something else should be an educated and informed choice.

Five, I would like people to value Indian folk art for what it is, I want to raise awareness and develop the notion of pride with regard to these art forms amongst as many families and kids around me as I can. This, in my opinion, is the key to keeping Indian folk art alive.

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