Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ship of Theseus

I've always been an absentee at my own exhibitions. I don't know if this resonates with a majority of artists out there.... When I'm done creating my Art, there's a certain sense of disconnect that arises within. Making Art is akin to making a silent prayer. It's deeply personal. Once your interaction with God is done, you do not wait to glance about if anyone else in the temple liked your words or not.

One such exhibit was 'Figment of Truth' that marked my debut in sculptures.
Main Auditorium... Jehangir Art Gallery... May 17-23, 2010.

An evening that week, I returned from nowhere to pick up my wife from Jehangir. We had got wedded just a day before this exhibit began... and my wife used to compensate for my absence by entertaining visitors at the exhibit all by herself every day. But that day I faced her wrath. It seems some art-lover had left after waiting a long time just to speak to me. She signaled towards the visitors' diary and warned me to add him on Facebook.... IMMEDIATELY... to re-kindle the missed conversation. His name read : Paresh Gosar. He had left behind a kind note for me - a compliment for my debut sculptures.

Paresh Gosar

Paresh accepted my request promptly on Facebook... but we never really got around to talk to each other. Over the three years that have passed since that episode - we've been mutually out of sight and out of mind.


Cut back to July 2013.

It was a lazy weekend I was spending with director Anurag Kashyap's creative team at their Versova pad. Nights full of filmy discussions, late mornings and continuous movie outings the day thereafter... this has grown to be AKFPL team's regular schedule. I joined them for the afternoon show of a new release that week - Ship of Theseus - at Infiniti Mall, Andheri.

That film has a deep philosophical premise. It is a metaphorical drama that contests whether the inner identity of a person indeed remains the same even after integral components of his self are removed or changed. End-credits of the film were greeted with a standing ovation by the audience. Rarely have I seen this happen in commerce-dominated suburban Mumbai theaters... Commanding such ovation for an Art Film where audiences are reluctant to stand up even to honour the national anthem... An achievement indeed!

At home, my wife sat with anticipation to hear my feedback on the movie. I told her that a part of its story moves around a blind girl who photographs with perfection. Aamrapali's eyes lit up at that. "And does that girl paint too?" she asked. Before I could answer, she rushed indoors and brought along with her the visitors' book of our 2010 exhibition. She was flipping through the pages fast and placed her finger on a familiar name. "Here he is - Paresh Gosar - 21 May, 2010" she pointed out. Elephantine memory.

 "This man had visited our Figment of Truth exhibition. He had told me they were a group of film-makers with inter-changeable roles. They wrote, acted in, directed and produced their movies themselves. He said, they made short films and documentaries. He was on a long trip to Art Galleries in the city that year, hoping to find inspiration for one of his characters. I remember, they were writing a story about a blind girl who could paint! He said your insightful sculptures brought inspiration to him... I felt so good! You know, he sat at the Jehangir reception discussing his life and work with me... He waited for so long... but you never came on time. He had to leave without meeting you...."

..............Aamrapali's natter now began changing tracks.

But weeks later, I signed into my Facebook account especially to visit Paresh Gosar's profile. He was indeed the Production Manager of Ship of Theseus. This time, it was me who left a congratulatory note for him - It was my turn. But there was no response from the other end.

Just like I do not wait to hear the applause after my works, Paresh too seemed to have vanished from his exhibit. I may never know if he ever read the note I left for him - that Ship of Theseus is one marvel of a work!



on the sets of his theatrical : 'Between the Lines'

Paresh with Nandita Das, Subodh Maskara celebrating 'Between the Lines'


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