Monday, December 16, 2013

Marrying an Artist... and Giving Birth

This is Hemant's wife, Aamrapali on the type-pad.
Like me, if you marry an artist hoping that he would intuitively know what shades of make-up to buy for you, I bet you'd be learning better with passing time.

When an artist turns lifemate, he certainly gets more emotionally 'involved' in little domestic matters like no other husband would. Literally. Now it's for me to figure out if having an involved husband makes any upbeat difference to life at all, like we women always imagine it would. My husband knows (and is deeply interested in) every little bit of household shopping I've ever made.

For instance, when the butter knife vanishes all of a sudden from our kitchen, I instinctively sniff that by now it would be in use at our Art studio. Neither have I ever argued why my brand new pumpkin-fiber loofah went missing from the bathroom. Sooner or later, the texture of some sculpture would explain it enough. When we used crushed Siporex as medium for Hemant's Teen Peher Collection in 2011, I had packed off my kitchen grinding-stone to a remote corner of the loft. And why not! Hemant takes 'inspiration' from my hair-clips.... and doesn't think twice before bending my face-pack applicator back and forth to check if it can double up as a paint-brush too!

So when I learnt that I've got pregnant, the first thing I did was to make a list of items better kept at a mile's distance away from Hemant.... so that my motherhood remains as cheerful as the news of my pregnancy. Somewhere along my journey with this genius of a man, I remembered having heard that diaper fillings can also be used as frost-props for Art Installations. Don't take my word for it... Check this video... Making of the recent Bollywood classic 'Lootera'....

And so..... Speaking of pregnancy, these days I also surf the internet for information. Never having witnessed a pregnancy first-hand, I could do with all inputs to get me and our baby through, safely. After nine marathon months, comes the most beautiful prospect of all... the experience of being face-to-face with my little munchkin! All the pain, the perseverance, the patience.... culminates in a divine climax called Birth. The process of delivering a baby's soft head out of the vaginal passage is medically termed as 'crowning'.

This is my first baby. Yet somehow that moment of crowning feels familiar. Like a territory already visited. A deja vu.

Cut back to the summer of 2010. I was at Jehangir Art Gallery (Mumbai), discussing philosophical depths of evolution with a crowd of eager Art enthusiasts. At least a thousand people visited the exhibit. And each observer had his own unique take on the esotericism behind Hemant's award-winning sculpture.

An elderly couple set aside their walking aids to offer obeisances to that piece. They could see the 'Shiva linga' of Hindu faith embedded in the black rock. Some people saw it as a delicate seedling sprouting out of  hard ground. There were myriad interpretations to the same work of beauty. All this while, Hemant stood silently aside, neither arguing, explaining nor defending his rather straight-forward choice of title for the artwork - BIRTH.

Nearly four years since then, now when I see my darling husband eyeing my hot designer spatula, I realize I shouldn't be chasing him with it. There's something he sees in there that the rest of us mere mortals cannot visualize until we've personally been through that emotional experience in real life. For it is only since I've been carrying our baby that I've begun realizing what intricacies of a birthing experience Hemant emoted visually through his abstract sculpture.... so many years before he could become a father.   

It is THIS quality to live the unknown that goes to make an artist..

Perhaps after delivering our baby next year, I would feel enough to appreciate the beauty of a soft, delicate core tearing through its surrounding hard shell.... to begin its quest for life. Perhaps, at least by then, a wife would understand her husband's 'Birth'.


1 comment:

Shweta Kanhai said...

You are blessed with the choice of words Aamrapali! Beautiful write up 😊!! Congratulations for this new beginning of being a mother. Blessings!!


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