Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Man who lit my Inaugural Lamps

I've been traveling so incessantly of late that I've practically lost touch of all that goes on in the world around. Family often calls to update me on the latest news... or I catch up with dailies on the Indian Railway or airport lobbies. 

Today is another such day.

I've picked up Lokmat on my way to Jaipur. Despite all other headlines that decorate the front page, my attention keeps shifting to an inconspicuous little note at the corner. It says, veteran Bollywood cinematographer Ashok Mehta succumbed to his battle with lung cancer on Wednesday afternoon, August 15, 2012. He was 65. Ashok Mehta is most known for his prolific work in Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen and also in Subhash Ghai's blockbuster movies. Yesterday, news of his death almost got drowned in the continued media coverage of politico Vilasrao Deshmukh's cremation and the celebrations of India's 65th Independence Day. But I ought to remember this grand man Ashok Mehta for memories much deeper...

6 years back in the summer of 2006, three artists scurried around to somehow piece their debut exhibition in Fine Art together. Short of practically every factor necessary for a successful launch, these young men struggled to finance their Paintings, invitations, publicity and hosting for the exhibit. What they did not anticipate earlier though, is that most recognized faces in the city would charge money to even light the inaugural lamps at an event. This is the juncture where Ashok Mehta - a legend - agreed to do the honours unconditionally. And he attended the inauguration as promised even as Mumbai reeled under unprecedented traffic and political chaos - BJP leader Pramod Mahajan who had been shot by his own brother a few days back was edging closer to death in the ICU of Hinduja Hospital, located in close proximity of our exhibition venue - The Nehru Center Art Gallery at Worli..

I was one of the three fortunate artists who had the privilege of Ashokji's blessings since the very onset of our careers.

Today, his rightful place in heaven is secured. But like I said in an earlier blog post... we mourn not for what's gone but for what's left. From hereon we're left with an irreplaceable loss and some heart-wrenching memories of his goodness.


1 comment:

Bikramjit said...

I am completely out of touch of indian news, I try to read news online but it seems all it has is CRICKET or how political leaders bitch about each other ..

But since you have mentioned the movies they were so nicely pictured and I guess all accolades go to Mr. Ashok Mehta..

May he RIP ...



Related Posts with Thumbnails