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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Journey of an Artist-19, forthcoming book by Viktor Vijay

The glorious peaks of Himalayas looked so serene and stately that I forgot the arduous track that I had been walking on for five days. The valley through which was this track is very picturesque—flowing water rivulets, verdant forests, fragrance of wild flowers, wind coursing through valleys, and meditative-blue sky. On the way, I had come across dangerous landslides caused by rains. I forded swift flowing emerald green river in some places, at others crossed on precariously hanging ancient wooden bridges. Melodious singing waterfalls accosted me, sweet chorus of birds welcomed me, and pleasant sunshine treated me to its hospitable warmth. I was resting on a rock to recruit more energy for the next incline that seemed quite daunting. Just then, I noticed someone walking up the track.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Journey of an Artist-18,

We possess the indestructible soul. Is love not that soul, for what else can give meaning to life? To love is dedicated my life and in love I live and bloom. I am beginning the journey of my life that would take me to harbours in nameless oceans yet unknown to me. And Ruhi would soon renew herself in a new love, in a new man she would accost at the crossroads of her life. These are the destiny's winding streets. Still love stands outside of the fragility of time. I crossed the threshold of fragile into infinite when I loved. There was no coming back from beyond.
(page 29)

Monday, July 13, 2009

In search of Blue Sky

'Sing for me O song eternal, I waited in vales and in deserts burning, you are the fire love's yearning. Your lotus eyes bloom and the time withers. Blowing wind I settle in you, blow me to the shore unknown. I walk but not, yet your distances I close. I look in your rose fragrant eyes and my soul in your music grows. Hold my hand outside of ageing time; kiss me so that our souls coalesce. I waited for you before the beginning of time, till your fragrance I find it shall incubate an unborn child.'

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Journey of an Artist-17,

I do not want to think much about all this: it is enough that I feel the fragrance of yellow mustard flowers and ripe mangoes rising from one end of my childhood to the other end of my life today. All is light. With swooning love I feel Ruhi and her sweet fragrance, her wondering, wandering large eyes flower my childhood once again. I am a Rimbaud rewriting the poetry not of my adolescence but of my childhood. My soul’s rainbow is the bridge spanning my childhood and my present. Love is fragrance; love is bringing lost time back to present ‘A la Cherche Temps Perdu’. It is not the Madeleine dipped in tea but the fragrance of Ruhi that brings back childhood to me. My hands explore her as infinity, indestructible by time or space. To love one has to create this infinity everyday of life....
(pages 28-29}

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Journey of an Artist-16

Her smile had the fragrance of the dancing joys of peacocks in monsoon rains, it was like the elixir of raindrops that fell on the oven-heated body in summer, and it was like the rainbows that appeared in clear sky after the dark clouds had their play.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Journey of an Artist-16,

<“Hello,” I uttered not knowing after how long a time.
“I like this work,” she cooed in musical sonority. Are you also an artist? She queried.
“Yes,” I felt a primeval energy in her; I extended my hand as I introduced myself. Her long-fingered warm hand lingered in mine for a longer time as if transferring some sweet energy; may be so I felt or may be so it was.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“Well, I am final year student at art college and my name is Ruhi” she was sizing me up with her bright, electric, lively eyes.
“Oh! That’s great! I pressed her hand softly introducing myself and asking if she would have some wine.
“That will be nice”
I picked two glasses, proffering one to her.
Together we explored the whole exhibition, discussing the fine nuances of each work. People were talking animatedly; the gallery overflowed with life, all existed in the moment. Sounds of rustling clothes mingled with that of glasses, peoples’ voices with smells of different perfumes they wore, aroma of snacks with wine, and all this with the drama of life. I became oblivious to the life around me, other than the joy of the company of this sunflower-girl. She smiled often as we talked. Her smile covered the whole space and floated beyond.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Journey of an Artist-15,

As I looked around through the evening crowd of artists, critics, connoisseurs and people in general, I noticed a young lissom girl. Standing in front of a painting, she was totally absorbed in it. Her face was radiant with joy and she exuded exuberance and energy akin to electrifying, fresh forest winds. Her skin-kissing dress held her slim, perfect body like a dainty vase holding soft, fragrant narcissuses. Like full-bloomed blossoms, her breasts tugged impatiently at the material of her dress. Her long dark hair, framed her light round face in liquid softness as if morning emerging sun was pushing back the surrounding darkness. I felt suddenly a silence. I walked up near her and appraised the painting. It was a warm sun-lighted landscape with a profusion of flowers. Standing entwined in the landscape were the silhouettes of a man and a woman. Magical silence pervaded the landscape and subtle joy emanated from it. Time seemed to be resting in peace; frozen embrace held the love constant—no before or after—only the sunshine, the silence, and the endless space. Just then, the girl turned her face a wee bit, our eyes met and stayed frozen for a while. I felt the same music of fathomless joy as was flowing from the painting rush to me from her eyes. She smiled and I felt drops of honey float in the air. All was fragrant. Her full, sensuous lips quivered in the light and I stood captive.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In search of Blue Sky

'Sing for me O song eternal, I waited in vales and in deserts burning, you are the fire love's yearning. Your lotus eyes bloom and the time withers. Blowing wind I settle in you, blow me to the shore unknown. I walk but not, yet your distances I close. I look in your rose fragrant eyes and my soul in your music grows. Hold my hand outside of ageing time; kiss me so that our souls coalesce. I waited for you before the beginning of time, till your fragrance I find it shall incubate an unborn child.'
That is how I loved him. Love that is in the order reserved for gods. Gods who are gods because we keep them on a pedestal. He was my ship in which I sailed. The cargo of my virginal love I packed as to different ports we departed.
The hot dusty gusty summer wind blows. The clouds of brown powdery dust loosened from the earth rise and whirl carrying the yearning for a little liquidity. It is so much like my own inner landscape, dry and water-starved. The sky was veiled by the revved up hot piercing sand that accelerated in all directions. The hot particles hit like arrows of fire. Though my body was covered in the long cloak that I wore, my eyes and portion of the face that was exposed cried in the hot blast of the wind. The stray sturdy thorny kikar the cynosure of the desert fought the parching clime, though bereft of its tiny leaves. On the hot burning sandy surface it drew a drawing in shade on the ground with its leafless thin branches and trunk. It fought on, starved of food and water. It had only the dust and the sun for company. The song of the whizzing dusty wind it heard and nodded its dry branches in appreciation. The songs of fiery pain are no mean music for the soul.
It was an orange yellow-red landscape. While the winds gathered their breath to blow again with redoubled energy, I could see electric threads of heat rising in the distance

Friday, May 22, 2009

Journey of an Artist-14

My childhood comes flashing to me whenever it desires, for the innocence has no time table attached to its recall. As I stayed in chair the sunshine of my childhood lighted up my present. I did not feel the chasm that separated my childhood from my flowing present. The time has melted away with such vehemence yet the lived elements of childhood appear to be a just a touch away. I am in front of the canvas in my studio. I am mixing colours on the palette; the fierce intensity of orange is vibrating against the cerulean blue. The unspoken colours are having a dialogue of silence and explosive energy. Fathomless blue of sky, of endless golden landscapes, and resurgent cosmic energy of orange, fiery sun seem to be playing my childhood rhapsody. All this seems to stem from the little honey drops that dripped incessantly in my days of joy when life was an endless feast. This is the continuous churning of time that brings up sparkling diamonds of matchless beauty from the deep ocean of resurgent soul. It is these gleaned at will, lighted scraps of time through which soul resurges and creates oasis of beauty.
“Your coffee’, I hear Ruhi call in her singsong voice.
The aroma of south Indian coffee invades me. “Thank you darling,” I say almost caressing her through my voice. She takes a chair next to me as she surveys the painting.
“Dazzling energy oozing from the painting, celebrates the rose garden of life.”
“I am still working on it,” I say as I take her hands in mine, while my childhood still held its discourse going in whispers. She has such soft warm hands. I run my hand over hers, and I feel that I am caressing the jasmine branches that swayed happily in the courtyard of my house in the village. She leans over me in repose of contented thoughtlessness. I sip my coffee slowly. Ruhi's fragrance wafts alongside aroma of coffee and I put my arm around her, feeling her soft voluptuousness course through me. I recall the first time we had met in the vernisage of a friend’s exhibition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Journey of an Artist-13,

It was here that I learnt my initial lessons about beauty and love, to develop my aesthetic sense later. Changing seasons taught me a substantial number of these lessons. They imbued in me refreshing feeling for beauty of landscapes, unsullied virginal nature, singing birds, buffaloes wallowing contentedly in village ponds, snakes scurrying in the thickets and startled hare suddenly jumping from their hideouts. As goes the feminine love my teacher covered very good ground, unknown to him. He was the ultimate role model for all of us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Journey of an Artist-12,

Villagers thanked the gods who gifted them such precious bounties. They made offerings by burning corn in the fire, to thank gods for their benevolence. They danced in the temples to share their joys with the gods. For the gods were also happy gods, they liked music and dance and the colourful attire villagers put on the festive occasions. But that did not mean the gods gave only what the villagers desired. Sometimes they made the blizzards roar through the valley and trample the golden crops that were waiting to be harvested. At other times they sent rains that would loosen rocks from the mountains hurtling them down heartlessly.

It was one such night gods seemed to be in foul mood, and it had been raining. Lying in bed, I was hearing the pleasant pitter-patter of the rain drops rushing to meet the earth with a yearning that echoed in the ferocious wind and the lightening that lay seize to the little village. A primal rude fear hurled me to an unknown discomfiture generated by the sound of thunder and blinding crash of lightening. The dark clouds forebode hell's arrows and I shivered inside and outside. As we grow, we learn to fear but the reasons change over time. Our journey through the life is infested with fear at every turn every corner.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Journey of an Artist-11

Life was not a search for special secrets of living. It spun around simple days and nights that carried the songs of birds in the morning and of the villagers in the evening, it came from the sweet melodies of fragrant winds and of shepherds' flute, it came from swaying wild roses, poppies, irises, and the gay abandon of village dances by the fire. The village lived more by the gifts that the God gave without putting a price tag. There was plentiful sunshine that matured the crops and the fruits as also the joys of the villagers. It was a happy smiling contented village.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Journey of an Artist-

I bowed to the destiny. Whispering night and sweet Tana spun a magical web, she sailed with me to unknown joyous lands. The spirit climbed glades of unparallel beauty. She made me realize the string music of my body and opened the closed doors to my soul. I offered my soul at the altar of love that transcended the physical into eternal. Soon I would realize greater truths about life and living. The eternal journey was on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winding Streets

'How would I catch the glimpse of the eternal from these vanishing moments? That was my search, and that's what I had to paint. Such big quantity of time had always been passing in fragility. Yesterdays were mere specks of memories stringed together, existing in, but emptiness....
These are the destiny's winding streets. Still love stands outside of the fragility of time. I crossed the threshold of fragile into infinite when I loved. There was no coming back from beyond.'
excerpts--Journey of an Artist

Bless you the dweller in landscapes of eternal hues!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Journey of an Artist-10,

Our exiles help us to fashion from shadows of past the most beautiful sunshine landscapes. Upasak – for that was the name of the poet—presented to me a collection of his poems. When I read the poems soft as the fluffy clouds, shiny as the sun-kissed dewdrops and beautiful as a little baby, my heart cries. It cries for Upasak’s beautiful soul that travels to his Indian abode collecting fragrance of blooming mustard flowers, of wet earth in Monsoon rains or the aroma of lentils cooked by his mother and a thousand other fragrances, aromas, colours, tastes and sights. That meeting changed something in me. I did not realize what or in what way. I understood better the tales of gypsy kings and the lost lands of honey and happiness that my mother talked about in her magical tales of yore.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Journey of an Artist-9

You always take some character of the city you live in for long, in your own personality. I have become a mini Vienna in part of my being—with its idiosyncrasies, moods, frivolities, and its rainbow coloured cultural cameos. When I move away from the city, stronger it asserts its fragrance in me, but remains imperceptible, taken for granted presence, in its dazzling lights when I dine with it everyday. It is as if when in Vienna, I ask for Turkish coffee and when in Istanbul, Viennese coffee. Yes, it feels tastier!

Exile, even temporary has it own nostalgic fragrance. Some years back I travelled to Poland, where in the musical city of Krakow, I met a poet from India, who had arrived dusty-time back in Poland to study engineering. On way to earn his degree in engineering, he also earned the love of a sunshine-bright Polish girl. He married her and raised a happy family. He invited me to visit his family. In the house, I saw a small Ganesha sculpture, pictures of Indian gods, sandalwood incense, an old map of his city in India and music from his growing up period in India. He had a daily ritual of offering incense to gods. He told me that he was not particularly religious but as a child, he used to observe his mother worship everyday and light incense. He indulged in this ritual not from force of faith but because it brought him the pleasant nostalgic feeling for his childhood. He played for me Indian songs he grew up with in India; they were like memory tracks for him.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Journey of an Artist-8

This humanity carries a memory of the golden land from where they self-exiled like the gypsies, to which they probably would never return. Nevertheless, the land would continue to flourish in their soul and small icons unfurl fragrant memories and exist side by side their life in Vienna. On their visits back to the land of their past they bring tokens of cultural memory to sustain them in their exile—an exile of voluntary choice. Humans create webs of memory to fall back on, whether its separation from the beloved person or from the land of their forefathers. This is the beauty of human resilience. To eliminate this missing, this lack, this absence, this unwilled silence they create a new reality in the recesses of their souls. This is the fountain of all creativity—to bridge the lack, the missing by inner dynamism; the writers, the poets, the painters, actors, singers etc. use this angst to live and to create flowers of extreme beauty. Eternal Vienna, the forever city for arts as also for the exiles! However, all artists are exiles, self-exiles. Their search for precious pearls makes them cast their nets wider, deeper, and in distant lands of their souls. The city taught me a lot about humans, humanity, art, artists, freedom, and suffocation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

journey of an artist

The Journey
Acrylic on canvas
artist: Viktor Vijay
Elena had been telling me about her last assignment covering a war in Africa. How something changed permanently in her soul when she observed so much futility and hatred among humans who have but a temporary stay on earth. That is the story of human civilization all through the ages. We have finished our coffee and after paying the bill, we walk out on the street. It is early evening and the light is still good but beautifully soft. Aimlessly we move in the city feeling the warmth of flourishing life. The neon lights are slowly taking over as we take a promenade by the Danube. The reflected city in the Danube water looks like a genie emerging from the lamp. The eternal river of Europe, its fertile soil, its life sustaining water sustained humans and animals alike for thousands of years. It has become symbolic of confluence of people and cultures. A collage of large humanity finding its moorings in Vienna of eternal Danube; Asia, Africa, Latin America with myriad cultural cameos come to fertilize the social and cultural landscape of Vienna. This humanity carries a memory

Friday, April 10, 2009

Song of Light

Song of Light
Size: 42"X34"
Acrylic on canvas
Collection: artist

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Journey of an Artist-7,

Vienna Opera of Joys

Size: 70"X60"

Acrylic on canvas

Artist Viktor vijay

This brings to my mind the wonderful old man with Tolstoy-beard who would stay on a bench by Stefanplatz bus station just opposite the Mozart candy store named after great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It looked very funny to me to have turned the great artist into an advertisement to sell chocolates. Everyday the old man could be seen established in his seat, while people hurried up and down obliviously trying to accomplish unknown missions of their routine life. The non-fecund actions of this accursed humanity made them go round and round in a circle like the beast turning the Persian-wheel. While humanity milled around this Tolstoy, he would be engrossed in his love. Around him, surrounding him and on him would be a loving group of wild pigeons, cooing to him affectionately and snuggling close to him open heartedly. They would eat out of his hands the food he brought for them everyday. May be his existence did not register with many of the people who routinely crossed this street everyday, or may be they thought of him as and old crank. Well it did not matter what people thought of him or if he did not exist for them. It was an indictment of contemporary civilization. Human life has become much mechanical-time propelled. As a result, the feelings, which are the finer silk web of human meaning and essence, have ceased to exist. Elena and I would often watch this wonderful specimen of humanity. Elena photographed our Tolstoy and published a moving image in a Viennese journal. People ran after newer models of limousines; they no longer ran after butterflies in the forest. I remember how returning from school I would chase butterflies. They settled on flowers and as I advanced stealthily, they would flutter away. It did not matter if I could catch them; I was delighted to observe their beautiful, designer wings and their intensity while drinking nectar from the fragrant wild flowers. When I pass through crowded streets of Vienna, I still look for my childhood butterflies. May be one day I will find them and would whisper to them once again as I used to as a child.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Journey of an Artist-6,

I met Elena first time in a small café Café Hawelka mostly frequented by artists. I had gone there with a colleague. I had not been very long in Vienna. The small café is very popular with artists who struggle to balance their creative world with the material. My colleague knew Elena. She introduced me to her. She came from a small town called Zilina in north-western Slovakia, very close to Tatras. When I heard ‘Tatras’ a chord stuck in me; my mother and father had met in Polish Tatras and it held a special magic for me. Elena is a photojournalist. She is tall, lanky and with very intense brown eyes. The café owner has special affection for art and artists. The walls of café are full of paintings, drawings, and photos, gifts from artists who frequent the place and have sweet bonhomie with the owner. The artists hunger is satiated by the fresh strudels, and delicious Viennese cakes. I find the owner on his desk with his well-groomed beard and a smile for all the artists, known to him by name. The artists relax by his good coffee, meditating or in the midst of heated art discussions, their faces hidden partly by the thick blue smoke from their cigarettes. It often reminds me of Picasso’s card players wrapped in thick smoke. This is a magical world –faces vanish and emerge constantly from the smoke screen. Life is lived here with intensity oblivious to the routine run of daily grind.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Journey of an Artist-5

Time flowed like the water in Mur. I am in Vienna, enjoying coffee with Elena in Café Central. I like to come here. It is the custom of the restaurant to serve brown nut cookies with coffee. This custom goes back to half a century. The building housing the Café has a long history, as is the case with all of Vienna. It is more than a hundred year old and served at different times as a warehouse and bank; the façade is beautiful and invites you to enter the building. Arches create dainty waves in the main hall of the restaurant, the ceiling is cupola shaped, and polished ornate pillars divide the space. Large windows admit Viennese daylight freely. From high ceiling hang lamps by long chains to be effective for customers to see each other in the soft light. Just as you enter, by the main door there is a reclining sculpture of a famous Viennese writer who fancied this restaurant and was a regular here. The owners installed his sculpture to make him a guest—through day and night. The writer is now permanently reclining in a chair by the entrance and appraises every visitor to the restaurant. It is so surrealistic that you may think some one real is in the chair. I also like the waiters here; they are handsome, suave and very polite. The one serving us has wide forehead and light, dreamy eyes. He could be a poet in the making and may be one day will have a sculpture dedicated to his memory. Some of the waiters can have with you discussion on latest in art, literature, opera and music. It is a city of culture-dreamers.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Journey of an Artist

Journey of an Artist-4

I imbibed all the interactions between father and Ahmed Bey subconsciously. Later in life, they would fuel my interest in the lovely land and music of Turkey. Meanwhile I was happy to have such outings to the town, for they presented new vistas to my life and existence. After finishing shopping usually, we would dine in traditional inns known as Buchenshenken, relishing local delicacies of roast pork, smoked sausages, cheese, the special verhakert— minced meat and sausage spread, and the usual snitzels. While I inevitably had juice, my parents washed down the delicious dishes with schicher, the famous wine from Schilderland in western Styria.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Journey of an Artist--3

My father spent long periods on sea and brought for me beautiful gifts of toys and dolls from far off lands, which I did not know about. He would narrate mesmerizing tales of people from cultures so different and wonderful. I related to my father’s tales the way I did to my mother’s—with awe and wonder. They were real for me. They are real for children, for the children do not distinguish between apparent-reality and inner-reality of the world from where all the magic of imagination cascades.

From his travels, my father brought another gift. It was his cooking recipes from different lands. He loved to cook food from different parts of the world. His recipes were exotic and his dishes exuded strong aroma. When I think of my father, there is always an association of aroma and taste of food and his apron-clad image in the kitchen. He brought condiments, herbs, and spices from those far away lands. I recall he would often make a salad with pumpkinseed oil. Pumpkin oil dressing for kidney bean salads is a specialty of the culinary culture of Styria. Father’s love for different cultures mixed with his love for his land; this was so as far as his interest in food was concerned.

Sometimes we would go out to a small town not far from home to buy provisions. One shop in particular I remember. A Turkish family ran it. The old proprietor was large and moustachioed; his two sons assisted him in the shop. Sometimes his wife would also come to the shop. She had a large scarf tied to her head. She had a daughter of my age. She would talk to me in German and with her mother in Turkish. I was awed that she could talk something I did not understand. I would be welcomed along with my parents. The old man would talk to me and offer some candy. He would talk to my father about his journeys. They would also talk about Turkey; my father had travelled to Turkey many times, was quite familiar with the culture of the country, its food, and especially famous Turkish kebabs. The old Turk came from the Mediterranean region of Turkey, which had a history from as early as eight century B.C. when Hittites civilization flourished in the region known for long as Asia Minor. It was during World War-I that his father fought alongside Germany and later settled in Austria. Sometimes Ahmed Bey –the old Turk would visit his relatives in Anatolian region. His ancestral village was not far from Side, which was a scenic port in ancient Pamphylia. He would tell my father how the whole region is replete with ancient ruins and its rich heritage over thousands of years of wonderful history. Sometimes he would play haunting Anatolian music. I really liked the music and especially the sound of string instrument called Balma. I wonder how even as exiles we bring rich cultural tradition and enrich other cultures. All through human history society and civilization was enriched through such intercourse.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Beyond Ordinary Time--The Magus

Thanks Irini, you the Eternal soul from Greece. There was John Fowles the British novelist whose works I admire no less. My paintings and my art always draw on the literature that touched my soul with magic and humanity. The first novel by Fowles ‘The Magus’ is an excellent piece about reality and illusion. What is reality is basically illusion because it changes so fast and so quick that you are left stranded about the meaning of ‘reality’. What is created with imagination is called illusion and is more real because it is not touched by external forces. The Magus again is based in a beautiful island of Greece. The description of the landscape and the flora and fauna is so poetic in this novel that the spirit of the land touches you deep. The indeterminate end of the novel has a mystical aura. It is about the space occupied by the human imagination that creates great poetry, literature, paintings and sculptures. It poses questions about time. Time as you perceive in the moment or the past which you invent all the time. Fowels teases our rational logical mind and posits a world full of metaphysical, mystical nuances. What is real? The world of appearances or the one that emerges as a beautiful poem when you watch a scintillating sun set in the lovely Greek island I had a similar experiences many times including one in Istanbul when I saw the sun go down in Murmara Sea behind Blue Mosque. These are the stuff of spiritual experiences. My paintings and my literary writings have drawn robustly from such experiences. My ‘Journey of an Artist’ states, “It was the Shangri La of soul—never ageing or changing. This is what I inherited from my mother—‘what exists inside remains constant, forever fresh, and young.’ Outside, mechanical time brings about physical changes and decay but the spiritual, inner time is forever the same.”
These writings I have been adding regularly in my Literary Blog—

I reckon that the beauty of your lovely Greece is many times over when you see it with the eyes of a creative soul.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

JOURNEY OF AN ARTIST--Roses and Rainbows-2

It was a beautiful land—rolling hills, sensuous, fragrant valleys, exquisite sunsets, white winters, warm summers, scintillating springs and brown ochre romantic autumns. It was a land where love grew in the form of fragrant linden flowers; flowing brooks, singing canaries, jingling bells, nature composed music—as cows grazed in the lush meadows and virginal winds kissed endearingly every blade of grass, every flower in bloom and every leaf of tree.
It was in this fecund land that I was born to my mother. In the nature's nursery here, my childhood was nursed. It was here that I played with squirrels and birds, collected wild flowers, raced with the winds, watched fishes gambol in streams, and learnt my lessons about colours from changing seasons. In winters by the stove, my mother would tell me tales of gypsy kings and her clan and far off lands from where they were forced to flee, many centuries back. That land, she told me was in Asia and called Hindustan. It was a magical land and all gypsy tribes belonged to it. In her haunting, lilting voice, she would sing songs of yore while cooking or putting me to sleep. The songs were about brave kings and wars they fought, about lovers whose love could find no fulfilment, or about the land of ancestors, which overflowed with honey and riches. There was nostalgia, soft pain, and suffering. The tales celebrated the pain for the lost land. The reality of the land existed only in imagination. Imagination fed further imagination over centuries of exile and the land existed more as a feeling, as a thought, as an ideal in the hearts and minds of the people than as a reality out there. The changes in the external world did not affect, the land was safe from all dangers, as it existed inside the people. It was the Shangri La of soul—never ageing or changing. This is what I inherited from my mother—‘what exists inside remains constant, forever fresh, and young.’ Outside, mechanical time brings about physical changes and decay but the spiritual, inner time is forever the same. This is the eternal white lotus of soul. Much later, I would discover the roots of these thoughts in India.
From my mother I learnt to view things in a different magical way. She told that it is not the expanse but the core, the essence of things that we should understand and appreciate. The expanse creates illusions and is the cause of much of unhappiness in the world. The external world must collapse back in our inner kernel of being as a totality, as an infinite iota. We must first learn to open inside—outside will open automatically. My mother and Mother Nature were my teacher, guide, and friend. I would interact with stars as one does with a friend; fairies from my mother’s tales would descend from heavenly heights to play with me, the trees and flowers understood
when I would talk to them and in turn I would relish what they told me.

Journey of an artist--1 Roses and Rainbows


I was born in southern part of Austria in the province of Styria. My parents named me Petra. My mother was a gypsy from Poland and father Austrian. Father was a sailor who met my mother while holidaying in Tatras in south-eastern Poland. He saw her in a village pub where farmers gathered after the day’s work in fields. Carefree laughter floated in the pristine mountain land; over glasses of beer tales from grandfathers’ time would be recounted, heroics from Polish wars remembered and the rustic beauty of this sun-kissed and wind swept hardy landscape would reflect in the faces of these simple folks. It was here that my father fell in love. He saw her in the pub enjoying her beer with some friends. He went over to her and asked her name. But she laughed; she laughed with her radiant eyes and her dark hair floated in the fresh mountain air. She was dressed in vibrant, colourful clothes, as is the custom with gypsies all over Europe. She carried in her the freedom of bohemian winds and cascading music of mountain rivers flowing from Tatras. Rather my mother was the sensuous, heady wind that blew across valleys, forests, houses and barns, villages and vales. She was freedom itself. It was this overflowing being of my mother that my father found so enchanting and different from what a settled life breeds in a person with permanent weight of attachment to people and places. It is the freedom from the fear of tomorrow when a person moves all the time, every moment every day is free and fresh as the first dewdrops in the morning. Life is a renewal every moment. He married my mother in the village church and celebrated marriage feast with the villagers. My father returned from his vacation with his bride. He settled her in the beautiful valley in Styria where he had a house, which he inherited from his grandfather’s brother. The house was built with logs and wood from the forest around the house. My father also owned the forest; being part of his inheritance. The house was an old one and had beautiful, carved front door with strange images and symbols. Inside the living room on walls were hanging wooden icons, landscape paintings, and old sea maps from the Habsburg period. My grandfather was also a sailor and Austria had a seaport then in Trieste. Lace curtains covered the windows, which women knitted with their own hands as was common in these parts. There were four chairs and a large sofa covered with bearskins and a heavy carved walnut table. Bookshelf stood in one corner stacked with old, yellowed, and yellowing books. There were two large comfortable bedrooms on first floor, furnished with spacious comfortable wooden beds. The bedrooms had a fantastic view of the forest and the valley. Rising sun would bathe the valley in soft crimson yellow, the birds would soar, singing; thus the chaste morning would herald a dew-fresh new day. The kitchen was large and comfortable. A big wood-fired stove, erected in the middle helped circulate warm air in the harsh winter. A mahogany dining table stood closer to the wall surrounded by eight chairs. It was here that my mother baked her first fresh bread after her marriage and cooked for her husband and for us later when I arrived.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Behind the facade of high logic you hide a high aesthetics and poetics of a cascading soul. You always climb the mountain to see the most beautiful melange of orange, crimson and yellow of a sun-set. I just relished river flow of your thought-feelings"
I found the orange warmth of the sensuous sun in her eyes sweet. She was akin to a model of Modigliani and had whispering softness in her demeanour.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sun I sing to your Glory
Size 66"X60"
Acrylic on canvas

Monday, March 9, 2009

Life has whispered its sweet secrets to me, of happiness amidst darkness, of soft fragrant winds among blizzards, of serenity among typhoons, of the rainbows among grey days, of blooming roses among acidic volcanoes, of love in the seasons of hatred, of eternal in the ephemeral, of resurgent soul in the diminishing body.


Give me the music ; the Song will flow from me!

Spring Eternal
acrylic on canvas

White Lotus of Peace

acrylic on canvas



Joy within

acrylic on canvas




Charcoal on paper



song of Joy
charcoal on paper