the story behind the art fest and details about the art festival – mountains ’18 [fourth edition]

Art has played an important role in my life. I started learning Hindustani Classical Music and Kathak when I was only 6 or 7. I spoiled so many benches in school with my best friend, sketching faces with eyebrows on point. Also, I used poetry as a means of channelizing anger and pain when I was 12; and, grew up to be in a professional dance team in college.

During my masters, as my friends made notes in the class, my teachers allowed me to draw in my notebook because they knew I could only concentrate that way. Art has been very close to my heart; blame multiple heart breaks or a genetic lineage – from my grandfather being a brilliant poet to my mother being a violinist, my father a writer, a social gathering singer to my brother, an architect and a musician. I’ve been soaked in art since I was born and art makes me truly happy – content, satisfied, at peace.

As a Clinical Psychologist, I understand the practical sides of art, too. It’s a great way to express, without causing harm to oneself or another. In a lot of our self-reflective classes, we spent painting what our emotions looked like. Being in a surrounding that is overflowing with the creative ambience has saved me, and has saved many.

 

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Seekers of love

Stuti Ashok Gupta
artwork by Stuti for Inktober (2016)
How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon?
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in between villages & cities

When i’m away in a remote village or a forest, climbing a tree or hiking onto a mountain, the little things, the colors and the flowers, the fresh water and the fresh wind, the sounds of the birds and those of the children speaking in a language that i cannot fathom; i realize that all of these things and all of the people at this moment are here without any human planning and yet they perfectly sync into each other’s beauty.
And then, i come back to a city where a building design takes ages and a tree plantation cannot sustain itself without a newspaper coverage of showing mr so & so with ms so & so planted these many trees. A city is full of planning, awful or good, but its symmetry makes me sick.
Nature, no matter how unplanned and unsymmetrical, fits perfectly with one another. It somehow blends everything in itself and bends itself to fit. While the “planned civilisations” continue to destroy everything around them to give them “a right shape”.
What do we think are we, humans, doing, really?
The above snippet has been written by stuti on 2nd september 2017 where she wonders about the ways of nature and cities. She is left in awe of how remote villages are so much in sync with nature while cities are stuck in haphazard-ous spirals of planning and human design.

 




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the shape of conversations

Some conversations are like water, they flow and they take many shapes and forms; they diverge, they converge and eventually they all merge into one. But it’s not the intention or the end that matters, it’s what they do while they go along, they dribble, they drizzle, they tickle.
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who is bijniswoman?

So when i am travelling, be it a bus, a train or a plane, somewhere deep down i am always hoping that the passenger sitting next to me doesn’t ask me the question “so what do you do?” It’s difficult to introduce myself in a phrase, or a sentence. My friends often joke about how people print visiting cards, i should print a brochure. And i just laugh at that, because it so taxing for me. Firstly, to tell people what exactly do i do?

 

Secondly, to deal with their confusing expressions, when they don’t understand how everything i do is so unrelated to one another. And to be fair, they are not wrong. This is my attempt to explain #whoisbijniswoman, what i do and why i do it.
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Varkala- the quiet land of hippies

stuti ashok gupta varkala
For me, it has become a ritual to go on a trip after the semester ends. So we knew we had to go somewhere, and we decided to go to Varkala. We booked our train tickets from Calicut and caught it at 10pm on a thursday. The minute we got into our coach, I passed out with the showering breeze on my face. I almost sleep climbed the upper berth later, which I cannot recall.
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