Sunday, November 06, 2011

To be continued.

I grew in a time age and place when being nerdy was the best thing a kid could do. Geeky kids who scored the most marks were teacher's pets and the envy and admiration of classmates. The first ranker would get the highest pedestal of respect in the class. So, it is given that a good report card and place in the top 5 ranks was every parent's dream. I do not recollect my mom sitting with me and making me do my homework - she would just check it at the end of the day, and that too till I was in middle school. Good result on the report card was mandatory though or else the kid would be lectured clear and loud about starting a cottage industry to sell appadams which is equivalent to the present day mom's threat of working in Mc Donalds. Running around in the streets with the pretext of playing was the recreation. There was no ballet, art or tennis involved in our day to day routine and hauling a bag load of books back and forth from home to school was the only activity - amid all this expectation on academics, I strayed on to the path of color, sketch and paint. One fateful afternoon in my second grade, it clicked to my little grey cells that I could actually recreate, or attempt to recreate the painting of a little girl in a frilly dress and a bonnet that adorned my notebook cover. I promptly began to draw on a piece of paper - the teacher, who was filling in for an absent colleague, walked to my table, looked at the picture and asked if I drew it. My hazy, unformed ego was flattered and thus the self taught, mediocre, imitation of an artist came into being. Ever since, I tried to copy the images of Gods and goddesses on the complimentary calendars that decorated our blah walls. Sometimes they turned out good, sometimes bad and at other times they were down right ugly - but who was paying heed anyway about the quality of those sketches? Art was my escape, it was my fulfillment. It was a bonafied testimonial to my self discovered talent. I was at it consciously, subconsciously and every level of consciousness in between.
In the meanwhile, many assessments came and went and there was the pressing pressure of academics as usual. I think somewhere down the line, the integral part of art in a child's life was totally undermined. Actually, it did go unnoticed till it dawned upon me that, though I am a self taught artist, I had it in me to teach the same technique to my child and see her appreciate art if not excel at it. Now I started teaching little kids - as little as 3 something and it does sound very ambitious and pressing to teach a barely 4 year old the nuances of art - but believe me,