From a shy girl to a confident individual
Life is like a river that changes many courses. My life too has changed many courses and I have learned to adapt & adopt accordingly.
I belong to a close-knit Rajput family where girls are brought up to be disciplined & to conform to familial & societal norms and guidelines. Being the only & oldest girl among 3 brothers, I was fortunate enough to have been brought up in a forward-thinking environment. My father was a university professor and he encouraged me to pursue education and other interests.
Right from childhood itself, I was inclined towards art. Art spoke a language to me that I could comprehend. Living in the university quarters I was fortunate to witness and be close to many talented and educated women. These interactions from an early age taught me to appreciate art and artisans. The seeds of the skills that I honed as a grownup were planted by these very women.
I hold a Masters degree in English Literature but my love is reading and writing Hindi poetry.
Married life saw me shift base and city and I adapted to the defense life. My husband was an Air Force Officer and we shifted cities and bases frequently before he took his retirement. These frequent shifts helped me to see not only my country but also the world in a different light. From a shy, small-town girl; I gradually morphed into a confident individual. Soon after, parenthood beckoned and we welcomed our daughter and son into this world.
However, motherhood did not dim the flame of artistry than burned inside me. I continued to learn from books and whatever sources were available. I applied myself to learning hand-made flowers, decoupage, macramé, knitting, batik, textile designing, cosmetology etc. In the course of our defence life, I conducted classes in art and craft for children & ladies. I also dabbled in teaching.
The real journey which has brought me to the juncture that I find myself at today began when my husband was posted to New Delhi. I pursued a course in Textile designing & cosmetology. Textile designing helped me to perfect my skills in colour application. During this time I was also supplying artificial hand-made flower arrangements to hotels like Sofitel Surya, Le Meridian etc in Delhi. I applied for and won a contract with the Khadi Village Industry Commission and supplied thousands of hand-made greeting cards to them. My homegrown ventures picked up and I regularly started supplying to various corporate. This further helped me to home my craft and infused me with more confidence.
My husband’s exit from the defence services saw us relocate to Allahabad where I taught beauty culture and therapies at the local Polytechnic. After a three year stint at this we relocated to Chandigarh and this was the city where my journey as a nationally artist began.
In Chandigarh I came into contact with the art fraternity & my self taught techniques of Encaustic Art was highly appreciated. This was an art form which was very new to India. These are brushless paintings made using hot wax so tools for this trade were not readily available in India. My father painstakingly crafted some work tools for me and helped me to initiate a foray into this field.
In 1997 I held my first solo show in the Museum Art Gallery Chandigarh with 55 paintings. I was fortunate enough to be very well received by the art fraternity. My muse is poetry so each of my art works is always accompanied by a brief Hindi Poem which describes the artwork. Since 1997 there has been no looking back and I have held more than 21 solo shows and numerous group shows all over India. My last solo show for my Encaustic paintings was sponsored by the Indian Council For Culture Relations in their Azad Bhawan Art Gallery in Feburary 2017. My book on Hindi Poetry titled “Dhoop ke Tukde” came out 2 years back and was well received.
Today when I look back, I am content with the body of work that I have credited to my name. I am happy with the support I received from my husband & family which helped me to spread my wings. But, I feel that the river of life that flows in me is still on a journey. It is still changing course and I am eager to see where it shall take me next.