Art and Conversation- ‘Still’

Art and Conversation- ‘Still’

Finally, after 18 months, schools opened up in Mumbai. In many other cities in India, schools opened and closed several times depending on the rise and fall in covid-19 cases. But, in Mumbai, we remained shut for what seemed like forever. With online school it meant either hungry children or children vying for attention during free periods which could be pretty much at any time of the day. The flip side for me, was that the schedule I followed prior to these eighteen months went for a toss. There was just no place for it. Today, I can finally declare victory- I survived! I managed to keep my head over water and lived to tell the story. The fruit of waiting so long is both sweet and precious.

As I sit at my desk writing, the resuming of my schedule seems too good to be true. I’m no good at working without a plan and with interruptions. Despite the fact that I do everything I can to ensure my work does not suffer, I realize it’s at the cost of my internal systems. It simply doesn’t work for me. Trying to work with people with goals different of mine messes up with my head. And I’m no just talking about my children. It includes family visiting, and friends. Put them all together and you have a mad-house- in my head. So, with my daughter off at school, visiting family having left a week ago and an end to five months of drilling in the apartment above ours, it’s precious quiet. I can finally detoxify and let my internal system that probably coiled during the last few months, unwind- to return to pre-covid times- before the noise and the chaos set in resulting in an upheaval of schedules, intrusion of personal space and ‘me’ time.

During this time I struggled to keep my blog alive. I shared poems, paintings, quotes and notes on this and that but it was never from a place of complete silence. Even if I was working alone in the room, my mind was on alert – waiting to be beckoned by a knock on the door or a call or a ping. With life slowly resuming and things returning to a new normal, there’s hope that it will stay that way and we will no longer be held hostage again. Writing this post from a place of silence feels like meditation and, boy, I feel good.

Before I end this post, I’d like to share a painting I did on October 9th. Its the last painting I did and I struggled with it. It’s based on a painting I’d seen on Instagram. I messed up the paper on one side (I guess that was the first sign that I had had enough of the lockdown). However, I couldn’t bring myself to throw the paper out ( a sign that I was still ready to fight to stay afloat) , so I turned it around and painted with a vengeance, without looking at the picture. I directly applied paint to paper without sketching it out – I refused to be cowed into giving up that easily.

At the end of it, this was what came out and I was pretty pleased. It may not be the best but it is proof that the power to save you is within you. I call this painting, ‘Still’.

How are things in your country? Have things gone back to normal? How did you feel when things finally went back to normal?

Copyright@smithavishwanath’s All Rights Reserved.

12 responses to “Art and Conversation- ‘Still’”

  1. Hi Smitha, I didn’t realise that your girls had been home for all this time. My, I would have gone mad. I find the home schooling very difficult. Mine have been at home for about three months of this past academic year and that was more than enough. This are attempting to return to normal here in SA but only 17% of our population are vaccinated [through choice] and so the possibility of another covid wave still looms. The doctors are predicting early December and I hope they are wrong. I went into the office for the first time in nearly 20 months last week. It was nice to know it still exists and made me feel as if there is some purpose to my day job [it sounds weird but I was starting to feel it was all a surreal imaginary idea of mine], but I don’t think I’ll go in again for a while. I don’t need to and the other people are a distraction. I also have to drive there and back and the air conditioner bothers me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robbie. I just about managed not to go mad :). My daughter feels like you about going to school after sitting at home for so long- you know, that others are a distraction and that she is able to do more at home. There is an option here to do online classes or go to school. I’ve told her that ‘not going’ is not an option unless she’s feeling ill. Its funny you mentioned the air-con because I felt the same when we went on holiday and the hotel had the air-con switched on all the time and I worried that I had gotten used to India so much that I wouldnt ever be able to live in Dubai again. Its nice to know I’m not the only one uncomfortable with the air-con :).
      Here, they think that the third wave may not hit us. They believe they have reason to be positive. I just hope thats true and we can go back to living life without fear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Smitha, I hope you will not get another wave and I hope we won’t either. I am glad you are getting a bit of your life back now. Your daughter must go to school as she needs to socialise. My older son is quite introverted, but I insisted on his going to school. Learning to work in teams and socialise is an important life skill. I don’t like being distracted because I want to get my work done quickly and have time for other things. The office is nice for the youngsters who are still learning as they can help each other.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, Robbie. I’m ensuring she does. It’s easy for some children to get comfortable in their own space but it’s going to be difficult for them later on, when they have to like you said ‘work in teams’ or ‘socialize’. My older one is also an introvert and I’m waiting for her to begin face to face learning at Uni. Currently,she is doing it online.
          I’m certain you don’t leave any room to be distracted :). How else do you get tons of things done?🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jo, for liking it. I just didn’t want to give up on the painting. I know if I had wasted it would make it difficult to start on a new painting. I’d be terrified🙂


    • It’s wonderful that things are back to normal in Norway. It’s nice to know the picture brings back warm memories :). Thank you for dropping by. Wishing you a lovely Tuesday!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right Manja about being careful about what one wishes for. I remember last October I’d written a short poem on ‘September’ and what I wished for. Its eerie how it turned out. I don’t like going back to it and I wish I could change it and I wonder if I hadn’t wished for it, would it still happen. Thank you for reminding me to be careful. XXX

      Liked by 1 person

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