The dust from
The experience can only be described , to use a cliché, as a dream come true.
Where do I begin? How can a journey of a 5000 years be contained in a single blog post? How can I describe something that was so awe inspiring, moving, and so completely humbling? As I walked into the great monuments at
Some of the Arab men wear ‘galabia’—But most of the stylish ones wear designer t-shirts, jeans, trousers, shirts. Almost all of them look really handsome. Egyptians pride themselves on being more open minded than the other Islamic nations as the women are allowed to work, drive and even to not wear the head scarf if they choose not to. (I found very few women without it.(98 percent of the women I saw had covered their hair)
Sex before marriage is absolutely taboo and for a man to get married, he has to pay a ‘bride-price’ to the girl’s father.(A dowry system that we have in our country but in reverse) The minimum I was told is 2,00,000 Egyptian pounds, which is a large sum of money. Earning such a large sum of money is beyond the means of many young men, and so they get married at later and later ages, maybe even in their late thirties and forties. Maybe it is all this high sexual energy in the air, I found the atmosphere highly charged. I was also told that the Arabic language is full of sexual innuendos and it richness lends a naughty bawdiness to daily talk.
I loved the Egyptian food too. I don’t eat meat and there were a variety of choices for me. I loved almost all of it.
I wanted to remember every moment of it.Ended up taking LOTS of pictures and I am sharing a few here. Satish and I are great fans of Wilbur Smith, and for us, it was the very scenes described in his well researched books coming to life. We could almost see the great Magus and Queen Lostiris as we imagined Ancient Egypt in all its splendour and glory as we visited each monument in reverence and awe ,apart from all the touristy things we did.
They say there are some things that you have in your mind that you just have to do in your lifetime. For us, visiting
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The unchanging fact is he is gone, and there is nothing I can do to bring him back.
Since I paint myself, I know how much of feeling and passion goes into a piece. Like most Artists, I can paint only when I feel deeply. When mere words don’t suffice, that is when I turn to my paints. It is a compelling, driving, extremely deep and a powerful force that makes me take up my paints. I have no control over it. When it evades, it takes over me completely. The image flashes in my mind and the thoughts go round and round in my head until I must spill it on to a canvas, else I’ll burst. Once I start a picture nothing else matters till I finish it—I forget everything—I forget I am a mother, a wife, a woman, a person. I forget hunger, thirst, pain, irritation. I go into a different world. The high lasts a while and when it is over I am emotionally drained. That is how powerful Art is to me.
I don’t claim to be a great artist, but my paintings are a deep expression of something that moved me—something that affected me. I cannot paint ‘just like that’. (Unless of course they are landscapes from photos or a scene in front of me that I am depicting) Most of my pieces are bits of my pain, my joy, my sadness, my frustration, my amusement---it may not be wrong to say that they are bits of my soul.Here is one I made a while back.
Sometimes people whom I hardly know ask me casually to paint a picture for them. I just smile and change the topic. The truth is, no matter what others say or think about my paintings, they mean the world to me and I paint for myself, not for others. There are only very very few people for whom I have painted and gifted my paintings to. Making a painting for someone is like writing a poem for somebody. It is a gift from the heart. It cannot be demanded or bought. It has to be earned.
I made another one for a good friend recently. It is a simple picture—Ink on handmade paper. It is called ‘Happy as a lark’. The photo fails to capture the beauty of the handmade paper. But he still liked it.
And I was happy.
Oh and yes, one more thing--if you liked my pics, don't forget to leave me a comment :-)
If you want to view more of my paintings click here.