A COSMIC HOLI
The dazzling colours of Holi represent human joy at the abundance of spring’s unfurl. Bright colours lend positivity to the human soul besieged by a formidable negativity of an attired landscape and ejaculation of the mind’s most repressed and craven evils. The colours of planet earth find glorious reflection in the cosmos with such forays as the Hubble Space Telescope fetching us scintillating images from the “menageries and gardens” of the cosmos. Whether it be the cosmos, or life or rock on planet earth, the bottom line is that we all are made of star dust.
Artist Shubhra from Delhi hosted a solo exhibition last week at the Museum of Fine Arts (PU). The chief guest, associate Prof Bheem Malhotra, and indeed any imaginative viewer, was left mesmerised by the effusion of a nearing Holi in her painting, ‘Colours of Life’. The fact is Shubhra loves butterflies and pores over books and photographs to find inspiration to capture in vivid colours and imaginative strokes the ‘flying flowers’ of the blue planet.
“Nature is not black and white, it is an infinite variation of colour. Humans are so much a part of this glorious, natural Holi,” Shubra told this writer. Her painting is peppered with many dots and ‘bindis’ of colour, an effect Shubhra achieved by softly blowing colours, like soap bubbles, onto the 36” x 48” canvas through a soft drink straw!
Seamlessly, the human mind and eye is regaled by the Holi colours of such cosmic marvels as the ‘Butterfly Nebula’. According to NASA: “The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects.” The ‘Great Orion Nebula’ has a pink, flower-like mass in the middle, so very evocative of one of the last of winter’s ‘Kachnar’ blooms drifting down from the colonnade of trees along the Sukhna Lake’s promenade.
POEMS OF THE EYE
Haryana IAS officer, Dr Sumita Misra’s passion for nature evolved from the days her Lucknow-based doctor parents would take her on voyages through the gorgeous Terai jungles of Corbett and Dudhwa. She has never turned her back to nature ever since and her keen eye roves on the beauty of Chandigarh’s elegant trees and chameleon leaves while she is being daily chauffeured to office, attired in her crisp chiffons. To savour nature is a spiritual quest for this poet, who has penned three books with another soon to complete a quartet of verses.
Armed with a powerful DSLR camera and the handy smartphone, Dr Misra travelled the globe and captured startling images. Her preference is clearly for uncluttered places, so she skirted the Mozartean and “very touristy” city of Salzburg (Austria) and fled to the charming countryside, where trees outnumbered humans. The stately splendour of African elephants and the empress lioness figure in the odysseys of her lens, as also ‘backalley adventures’ in Venice’s canals.
At her recent exhibition, ‘A Kaleidoscope of Journeys’, she eloquently put pen to her passion for photography. In her words: “Photos are the only way we have to hold on to and revisit a beautiful moment. It is the only way we seek to vanquish time and the ephemeral nature of our experiences here. Photos are not just a record of where we were, with whom, doing and seeing what. Actually, photographs are a key. They are the secret code, the prompt that unlocks seamlessly the treasure trove of memories. Memories that otherwise would be impossible to retrieve from the maze of the mind. For me, photography is simply an extension of sight...The image is first captured by the inward eye and the camera merely provides a technological tool for its realisation.”