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Talking Tibetan
Varun Soni, PTI
January 30, 2004
First Published: 14:03 IST(30/1/2004)
Last Updated: 14:27 IST(30/1/2004)

It is by far the best and the most appropriate example of artistic talent. The brush strokes change colour according to the theme, as they move from one canvas to the other. But, noted painter and sculptor Satish Gupta’s lair in South City, Gurgaon does more than that — it also mirrors his inspiration, the Buddhist way of living.

A fact evident as you enter the driveway, which has the Tibetan Om (also the symbol of Gupta’s artworks) inscribed on the entrance with Buddhist prayer bells hanging on the sides. The exterior of the house has been coloured in yellow and red. Says Gupta, “The home is built like a haveli divided into two parts — one serves as the studio and the other as the living quarters — with a courtyard in between. In fact, it is like a painting, replete with a wide expanse of sky, lots of greenery and water bodies. It has been designed in such a way that it makes me feel as if I am living in the mountains.”

Before you enter the lobby which has a wooden chest with a sculpture placed atop it, you confront a Tibetan Om that is painted on one part of a wall. As you look around you, two pillars supporting a wooden wall catch your eye. The lobby leads into an open space, designed in a modern way which basically serves as an exhibition space for Gupta’s paintings. To one side of this is a seating area that includes low seats upholstered in green and beige. The centre table has a glass top placed over a base that is in raw wood. Beneath the glass top, are lots of shells, lending the space a touch of the exotic. The room leads into an open swimming pool with flags in various shades adding a dash of colour. An iron boat completes the picture.

However, what takes pride of place here is the bathroom, which has been designed in the most unique way. It includes a circular mirror in marble and stone, two large wash basins, a small lamp in the shape of a hut and screens camouflaging the different areas.

The courtyard, around which the house has been built, has a little garden in its midst. While a small waterfall adds to the natural effect of the green, antique stone artefacts around the courtyard lend a touch of the exotic. “Whether they are wall coverings, a wooden jhoola, seating or any other artefact, everything comes from an old haveli in Rajasthan. Dark pink walls set off the antique pieces rather well. In true village style, the area also showcases an old banyan tree,” says Gupta.

The ground floor has two bedrooms and a dining room. While one bedroom has a wooden bed in maroon, a cane chest and a maroon sofa, the other has low seating, chatais for flooring, a uniquely shaped recliner and a manji, all upholstered in a Rajasthani print. The walls in the latter are hued in mustard and the room is home to paintings by Gupta, Tanjores as well as lots mirrors and pots.

The dining room, on the other hand, has been designed in a futuristic manner. It has sculptures by Gupta, unique jaali work in gold, a marble top table with a wrought iron base and three screens displaying sculpted pieces.

The first floor has two bedrooms, a living room and a library. One of the bedrooms is a story in red and yellow (aptly called the Passion Room) and has two low beds — one in yellow and red and the other in maroon and black. Other items include a red trunk, a wooden cabinet and paintings by Gupta. The bed in the second bedroom is in brown. A couch, a cabinet, an old wooden table, lamps as well as black and white paintings by the renowned artist all add to the appeal. The doors in the room sport handles in the shape of shells.

The living room on the same floor (called the Jade Room, after a rather nice looking urn in jade, which provided the inspiration for the interior design of the space) has two seating areas. A centre table made out of logs with embedded tiles and some low seating comprise one of the areas. The other is home to a big wooden couch with lots of cushions, a wood and glass centre table and a working table. While shelves showcase pottery objects, three lamps made out of old wood from Kerala are the centre of attraction in the room.

However, it is the library in the Gupta home that mirrors the artist’s inspiration. It has a working desk and bookshelves on both sides of the room, Gujarati pillars, old Bhutanese Thangkas, a painted cabinet, a small waterfall and a seating area with colourful cushions. The piece de resistance here are the Llama’s robes displayed on the wall. Wooden beams support the ceiling, making the room look distinctly Tibetan.  A colourful canvas indeed!


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