How a clear white canvas could starkly trigger my thought process and make me uncomfortable is beyond my apprehension. And how a place which has no testament of my existence can be so deeply engraved in my heart is beyond my consciousness.
Standing with a piece of charcoal waiting to sketch down a still life, I realize the irony of just being. Being everywhere, but there. Where we are now is defined by the circumstances we embraced, sometime. Or maybe someone else did that on our behalf. And that what defined me was that I was born in a town that was sometimes all mine, and sometimes bizarrely unfamiliar. I identified this irony sometime when I was in primary school. I don’t belong to the place I was born in. And, I was not born in the place where I always wanted to belong. Then a few years later I realized that this place I cherish most is the one I have least experience of. After a while, when I started taking pride in traveling…I discerned that this place I perilously want to be at, is the one place where I refuse to go as a tourist. And now, after so many years the ultimate humor revealed itself – the only language that I dread is the one I think in.
It’s not a matter of lost identity, but just plain irony, which I refuse to be at peace with, even till date. Sometime early in my life I ran away from the obvious just because it was so negative. I didn’t see the exodus, I was lucky. But I didn’t want to hear about it too. It was bitter. So I ran away. For a new identity that would barrage terms such as bold and indifferent and strong from my personality. So no one would know the real me. But after all these years of balancing my ironical identity, when a simple crisp empty canvas almost clamored explicitly that I paint the Paradise, I felt rather susceptible. Weakly vulnerable. I felt I was missing the intense sense of belonging to that one place.
This guy in office recently said that ‘you look like one of us…I couldn’t have guessed you are not from europe’. I smiled, but I didn’t know if it was good or bad. Because that moment reminded me of the time when someone my own once said ‘you are an outsider’.
Atleast I know what my next painting will be. Paradise.