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" Mamun, How beautifully your Nana paints! "
I was 5 then, and seeing him work on the canvas always amused me. Water colour, acrylic medium, oil, charcoal on paper, that could accurately capture human faces , expressions,varsity of nature, green landscapes, blue oceanic waves or depth of the sky, were no new to me. My world was apparently bounded by his canvas where I always had something new to see. If anyone in our school would ask what your father does, I would proudly say He is an Artist, but followed by a bigger question, where is he working. My younger-self was stupid enough to understand their question. May be they wanted to know what my father does for a livelihood. Passion to many does not feed stomach. And nonetheless they were quite correct, earning through one's passion is definitely tough and very few manage to balance both. Even if nana holds a Govt. job, I always took pride being the daughter of an artist over any designation ever since as a child. My own Leonardo da Vinci is He.
Born to this art pedigree, I neither had to search for an inspiration nor its equipment. And my biggest motivator, my mom who would not stop till I make it perfect. It would at times take 10 rough pages or even more to get one perfect mango drawn and coloured within the boundary lines. We talk of going beyond the boundaries, but the society wants us to be an organised self, may be these lessons start from an early phase of life. Art to me was never a serious thing, it was all upon my mood. Not that I wasn't trying, but the art wasn't coming to me, this is how lame explanation I would give myself Until that big competition.
I agree awards don't validate human creativity, but they give us a wide smile, inspire us to work more and most importantly they give us an identity among our own small circle of friends. And nana was the happiest that day, so, national award it is and my first big success at the age of 10. Even as a kid I knew how contented it feels to see your parents happy. They loved me as they did before, an award did not obviously exceeded their happiness for my very existence, but there was something in that success hug by my mom, that handshake by nana,that excitement of my younger brother unwrapping the gift hampers, playing with the medal and looking at the cheque that says my name, was special. And that was our first.
Ever since that, painting has always been my best foot. But all these years, I have learnt two things, first, you don't have to have a pedigree to excel at anything that you strongly aspire, you might have a better perspective towards it but no one will proxy your own effort, second , passion and profession might not go together, but that does not debar us from following our passion, for it is like a wave!