'Nekiḻci : Moments of transformation', acrylic and ink on canvas, 2016, (4ft by 6ft)
Notes for Painting (Figure 10): 9th April 2016, Bandipur, The ficus
Somewhere along the curve, further away from the roads, a ficus tree stands in the fields adjoining the forest. In a self-contained circle it rules the landscape with simple elegant ease. I am mesmerised when I watch it and wonder what made it fashion itself like that. The hanging roots are of varying length, but they appear like rain or waterfall; the tree’s shape is like a rhythmic song reminiscent of water. I am drawn to it like I am drawn to the rain-catcher. It rises in perfect cylindrical geometry and yet breaks with that in the organic flow of its branches and roots, of its million leaves dancing in the wind. This tree is a song, but of such extraordinary stillness that it appears to anchor all the land around it, as well as the sky. It finds a way to draw me in too. Even as I have always wondered about the architecture of trees, this time, when I look at this particular ficus tree, I get the feeling, perhaps an insight, that these fine beings are extraordinarily conscious of their own form and craft themselves diligently. In trees, I begin to sense a consciousness that as humans we do not understand and have no tools to measure. But I would hedge my bets on the trees and say that it wasn’t just land, sun, water, and other resources that shaped its form, but a conscious process by which the tree crafted itself in that space.
Notes for Painting (Figure 10): 30th January 2016, Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
The pochard sleeps content in still water
The water sleeps content in the stillness of the reflection.
The common pochard sleeps on a still lake and I feel rested.
The black-headed ibis fly. The marsh shifts, air lightens. Another imperceptible shift; space and time alter instantaneously. Why be stuck in human space-time when an ibis can cleverly alter it?
The old heron rests in the forest ... I watch him through the lacework of leaves and branches. He is old and I age with him in simple resonance. I walk away, but the ageing stays ... as restful stillness.