Monday, November 20, 2006

Art and Amma

My friend Rohit Dhamankar sent me a message from Europe, where he is currently travelling: "I very much remembered auntie while seeing a museum in Florence. The museum had gorgeous mosaics of colored stone fron 16th and 17th centuries. The birds with all the shades showing were simply wonderful."

As coincidence would have it, I had gone today to buy some blank CDs from the stationery+art store located on the first floor of the Vitaan building at the intersection of Lloyds and Royapettah High Road. Looking at the rows of acrylic and oil paints, brushes and easels, I relived some of the excitement she (and I, vicariously) would feel on entering an art store, either this one or Michaels in Austin. The void was physically painful today.

Art, nature, music, and writing remained Amma's passions till the very end. The pic above is of her last painting, completed in August 2005, about five months before she passed away. Lavanya wrote a moving piece about this on her blog some months ago.

Barbara Ehrenreich's piece on the breast cancer culture in America brought back painful memories of Amma's struggles over a period of 2.5 years. Watching her deteriorate before my eyes, and being unable to do anything about it - other than try to convince her to go in for more chemotherapy (she had twelve sessions in all) - was an agonizing experience that's been haunting me today as I look at her art all around me: the kolam-like work on our veenas, the baby Krishnas on the wall, the sketches I discover tucked in between pages of her favorite books...

1 comment:

Aprilslady said...

i guess these art works have immortalized her...She still lives on in those beautiful paintings...

i was lucky emough to see them:)especially that dainty leaf made from a cake of soap.