23 November 2011

Art Music and Me

I’ve nothing to do with art, music or creativity in any form. We’ve been strangers to each other for the past 3 decades! The only relationship we share is one of deep envy & great awe.

For instance, I can’t interpret paintings. I only see broad strokes, splash of colors & respond to their overall appeal. Whenever I’ve visited museums/galleries/exhibitions, I've walked past most exhibits, stopping briefly to exclaim “Ahh! Oh! So nice!” But, even a visually & artistically challenged person like me, has felt a strange connection. I invariably find myself standing still before a set of work that’s immediately arresting both for its simplicity & its grandeur. And when I peer closer to read the name of the painter, it’d unfailingly, yes unfailingly, turn out to be Raja Ravi Varma. It’s incredible. There is something about his work that touches my heart. The portraits are so “alive” even after 100 years. I can’t move away from them. I stand & soak in the experience. I admire him, although I hardly understand the technicalities of color/stroke/canvass/ lighting.

Rahet Fateh Ali Khan’s voice has a similar effect on me. Why do his renditions make me yearn for more? Is it true that the test for a singer is if he can touch your soul? “Dil toh bachcha hai jee” is magical. So are S.D Burman’s compositions. They take me to another world. And I sway to Michael Jackson’s tunes every single time I listen to them. Why do certain poems make me cry? Why does listening to Akon always puts me in a happy space? Why do certain lines of a book stay on? I’m still not over Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte lived to write that one book & passed away soon after. Why does Jagjit Singh never fails to speak to my sad, weary, world-beaten soul? (I don’t listen to him when I’m happy!) Why is Shakespeare relevant even today?

Mesmerizing are the movies of Puttanna Kanagal. I can watch Ranganayaki, Edakallu Guddada Mele, & Manasa Sarovara without blinking my eyes. He dealt with the concept of the “fallen lady” almost 3 decades ago & showed the sexual frustration of a wife whose military husband is physically handicapped. Or the romance of a son with his biological mother! He was ahead of his times & it was truly the golden era of Kannada movies. These subjects were handled delicately, gracefully & intelligently. The other director who made an equally outstanding contribution to film-making is K. Balachander. I adore him.

It is said humans crave for kids because that is our only claim to immortality. It is a feeble attempt to beat death & to live on through them. I don’t think it works. It works only 1 or maximum 2 generations before or ahead of us. But artists, well, they live forever; only their bodies die, their soul lives on through the work they leave behind. It is hardly a death if a person continues to live amongst us, through his music, his voice, his captures or the written word. They don’t need progeny to transcend their existence. Does that explain their sometimes eccentric choices & aversion to set social standards? Their lives are fluid, unpredictable & beating to their own tunes. (I do know it can also be filled with great strife, pain & isolation). We mortals conform, obey, adhere because social acceptance is an intrinsic part of who we are, it defines us, it is our identity. Creative people have a purpose & meaning in life higher & beyond our understanding of the material world. Mera kya? Kamaana, khana, peena, udana, kat gayi zindagi yuhi dopal mein!


I humbly bow to all these geniuses.


I feel artists – sculptors, painters, musicians, dancers & directors – are the special children of God created with more love & passion than that He reserves for making lesser mortals like me. And in my next life, I want to be an artist. Because I want to LIVE ON.

88 comments:

  1. :( I wish I could draw or sing or write, wait, yeah write better :(

    I want to be an artist. I want someone to dedicate me a whole building in NY times square :D may be after 2 centuries or so....

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  2. "I’ve nothing to do with art, music or creativity in any form. We’ve been strangers to each other for the past 3 decades! The only relationship we share is one of deep envy & great awe."... DITTO!!

    Yes, there are certain things that move you very deeply which is sometimes difficult to fathom!

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  3. It has been more or less the same with me, with some great artists. Its just insane! :) And yeah, the body dies, the soul moves on and possesses another body (in case incarnation exists) yet it is alive simultaneously in form of music, paintings, words... :)

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  4. @Chintan: whole building in NY - lamba haath maara :)) but yes, wishhh .....

    @Shilpa: Ditto is it? haha i am not alone then :)

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  5. I agree with your post. Artists may die but their art remains forever.

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  6. outstanding. i m glad that i m following ur blog now.

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  7. Yes there is something truly magical about artists..Even I would like to have atleast a little bit of that. Actually perhaps way more than a little :)
    Tc

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  8. Ravi Varma and Fateh Ali Khan.. always have mesmerized me with their work.. but the movie maker i am yet to see his work .. will try if they are available online :) :)

    you r so rite in saying that artists live on because of their work even ages after they are gone.. let it be literature, science or any form of expressions..

    and about you.. did anybody tell you that your writings will be cherished even after you are gone.. i am sure you will live on :) :) :)

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  9. Oh and btw.. noticed that page change.. luvvuuu the colours on it :) :) :)

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  10. @Shreya: thank you Shreya, welcome to my space

    @debajyoti: thank you so much

    @Rahul: true this is one greed worth having

    @Sunita: haaaiiii! choo liya na dil ko! :)

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  11. To be able to appriciate good art itself is a blessing ..and u have it...

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  12. I bow with you to all these geniuses.
    I've been associated with art and craft at some point of my life. Today, I repent for loosing it all on the rush to make a career.
    BTW, one thing I can never do is dance. In fact it was my dance instructor who gave up & not me :D.

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  13. Let me join you in your respects session.
    I believe in something different Sujatha. Isn't artist a huge category? Everyone on this planet is an artist. When you love someone in the way they like, ike for ex. Sathya. That is an art. You word your blogs as easy as the flow of water in the river. That is an art.
    Madam, So, take this *bow* YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

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  14. Btw, Good theme change. Maybe the pages header colors can be looked into again.. what say?

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  15. You certainly have shown your creative side with this post- the way you weave your words and ideas together to create a master piece here is wonderful!!! You are an artist of words- and the page is your canvas.

    Seriously this was a great post- got me from the start and kept me glued to the screen throughout. You made me come to know these artists even though I don't know them- you made me want to know more about them and their work!

    Superb!!

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  16. i feel most artists get more recognition after they die,when thyre alive people still dont take them seriously enough to consider them geniuses

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  17. @ashok: aww! thanks

    @Leo: oh pls do get back to it all once again. for our sakes at least.
    as for your dance instructor, wonder what he went through to do that!!!! :)))

    @Sahana: ayoooo! yane helali? sooo pleased!! haha thanks ri

    header colors - don't know how to do it :(
    this template i uploaded by following a blogger's instruction on his page :)
    rest of the changes how to do dont know :)

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  18. @Anjuli: that's a huge compliment thank you so much Connie. today is going to be one wonderful day :))

    @Joel: yes in lots of cases that has happened. thanks for pointing it out. it'd be so nice if it'd happen when they are alive, if they'd savor the adulation & feel the impact of their work

    @magic: thank you :)

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  19. I agree with your take that they live forever. We love them after they are gone, generations after generations...

    Great post to acknowledge art...

    And, cheers to the artist in you:)

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  20. @Saru: thank you Saru, yes theirs is a life that survives many generations

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  21. Firstly: U've gt a lovely blog :)
    Many thanks 4 stopping by n giving me the way to land here !!

    Secondly: I just loved the way u've have presented your thoughts.

    Looking forward 4 more posts :)
    definitely following u !!

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  22. PS: the first paragraph was WOW :)

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  23. I also feel the same that one lives forever because of one's deeds not progeny...and that is true of people in any field..artists touch our hearts, so they are remembered fondly,otherwise can we evr forget.Gandhiji,APJ Kalam,Eintein.....

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  24. When it comes to art and paintings, I am clueless. But music, yes I love Rahet Fateh Ali Khan and Yesudas songs. I love our own SPB too :)

    BTW liked the change in your template :D

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  25. You are already an artist because you weave and sculpt words in your blog like how no one can (except published authors). And you get better with every post! Blogging is a form of art and we can aspire to live through our words, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Destination Infinity

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  26. @Jyoti: thank you Jyoti for your lovely words. m so glad you liked your first visit here :)

    @Renu: thanks Renu yes artists do touch our hearts in many ways

    @Prasanna: true, very true - SPB is a masterpiece!

    @Destination: that's so encouraging.thank you very much. all smiles!

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  27. boy that was some deep stuff. agree with you on rahet fateh ali khan and jagjit singh. u missed kishore da.he is my FAVORITE :) not much of a reader or art guy. i cant even see why would some1 take the pains to paint it when i can take the snap of it

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  28. Wow such a depth in the writing. Hmm Puttanna Kanagal and his movies - out of the world. He was definitely far ahead of his times. And yeah I try to understand what the artist is trying to convey, but most of the times I fail.

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  29. @Nona: thanks

    @maniac: snap it i/o paint it?!! haha you r funny

    @Ashwini: hey you are a gifted artist yourself what with all the glass paintings & craft work you do & the poems too

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  30. Absolutely true.. :)

    But, I think..it is not that they were created by God with more Love and passion and more creative. (Though it is an easier thing to say for us mortals :P )

    I think, the 'geniuses' realized that there is more to life than just being accepted by society and khana, peena.. They chose to ignore the stereotypical society and instead moved forward to make their own world and create something that..which satisfies his/her own self first and not worrying about getting approval from others..

    And I think, this particular ideology can be adopted and followed by anyone willing...but for that..we just have to listen to our own calling...looking within ourselves...and one who can do that..is a true 'genius' )

    Have you listened to the opening musical score of the film Dead Man Walking..its by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan?...soulful :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6hzDm8VwV8

    you may like it :)

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  31. I love any form of creativity :) I can't sing. But I love music.. Any form :) I love the effect it has on me :D
    But I can paint. :D

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  32. @Kunal: yes correct they sure have that realization. that's what i meant when i wrote:
    "Creative people have a purpose & meaning in life higher & beyond our understanding of the material world. ........their aversion to set social standards? Their lives are fluid, unpredictable & beating to their own tunes".

    no, haven't listened to that track. will do so now. thanks for the link

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  33. @Kunal: thanks a ton for the link. yes i liked it

    @Philo: you are blessed :)
    hey do keep a tab on your dashboard for my comments on your older posts. i am reading your posts from 2008-09!!

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  34. I agree. Artists make an impact not only in their times, but even across generations to come. I think it's something people from every generation can always connect to, despite the evolving culture. Wish I were an artist!

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  35. I wish i can do anything good.. It seems I cant do anything.
    Our nation is full of such lovely artists who have done a lot and are good role models ..


    Thanks for sharing this one

    Bikram's

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  36. @Ashwini: true, irrespective of the culture & time.

    @Bikram: yes,we do have a great pool of talented artists

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  37. Art is a kind of a relation between God and the artist....The less the artist does it, the more it becomes effective; that's why we say, "Great writers script only once in their lives but they continue to live on forever"
    LONG LIVE THE CREATIVE IMMORTALS WHO ARE BORN OF GOD'S WILL

    From: www.sriramnivas.com

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  38. @Sriram: dont know why but the last line felt like being said by a King :)) & i was smiling at it

    yes true it's a spiritual connect

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  39. I share the same relationship with art :). I cannot call myself a connoisseur but I do enjoy good music and paintings without understanding the nitty-gritties.

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  40. Art can be defined as the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the senses in simple words a work which is pleasing to eye/ear/heart.Artists are Gods chosen ones who are blessed with special talent.In my view apart from singers/painters/musicians/writers/film makers engineers/mathematicians/chefs too should be considered as artist as they too create beautiful products.My fav artist are

    Kumar Gandharva:For last 15 years i must have heard his kabir bhajans thousands of times.He was one of the best classical singer.

    Lata Mangeshkar:Lucky to born and live in the same era in which she lives.No doubt Pakistanis say that they have or can have everything that India has except for Tajmahal and Lata.

    Ilayaraja:In my view he is true genuis.His soulful creations have mesmerised me,with due respect to all other musicians no one has even come remotely near to him.

    Ramanujam:Strange but i find his work artistic.He played with numbers so beautifully,he reached zenith of mathematics inspite of abject poverty.

    On personal level i find my wifes cooking artistic.She makes worlds best biryani.

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  41. My cultural ignorance is revealed here...was not aware of these geniuses..will try and learn more about em...i am desperately searchin for some inspiration...

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  42. Your words contains sparks, awesome post. I don't know much about art but sometimes,totally affirmative with you,some particular song lines or phrase from novel lingers for a longtime.Deciphering why? is almost impossible.

    Read your blog first time but now i am other one among many daily visitors to your blog.

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  43. This post is an ode to the world of art and the creator of this ode is a wonderful artist. And she will live on and on and on....

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  44. @Rachna: :)) some more of my kind :)

    @Vinod: Ilayaraj is phenomenal - yesss.
    i prefer Asha Bhonsle to Lata - any day
    aah! world's best biryani right at home - envy you :)

    @India's: politicians aren't inspiring you enough Mr Editor of HU ? :))
    oh you must learn about them. i am surprised you dont know them already!!! not even puttanna kanagal??? you are a kannadiga right? just asking

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  45. @Nicky: thank you so much. very encouraging to hear your words. thank you :)

    @Neeraj: oh my god! thanks a ton Neeraj

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  46. Very nice, it is like salute to the art!
    Blogging is an art too at some level - to be able to produce work which connects to people.

    Art appreciation is an equally beautiful thing.

    In my maternity break, I tried my hands at oil-painting. It was so calming. I am core-technical by education but I feel my artistic side completes me...

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  47. @Bindu: oil painting? wow. and you write poems too. you do have a commendable artistic side to you

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  48. I'm jus like that too, no not at all artistic, but artistically handicapped.
    I dont knw y we all want to be remembed after death, I mean does it matter, who knows? Even Hitler and Mossad are written about and remembered.
    I know not many people think like me, but for me I want to be liked and known by people whom I'm living with, who are somewhere in my life cycle's circle.

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  49. True, these art and music leave a legacy behind our life.. I love both the art forms you've mentioned here.

    Raja Ravi Varma is truly a legend; his paintings convey a story and has got a life to it! Especially the 'woman holding a basket of fruits'. Such a masterpiece that is! And I do like Georgia O'keeffe's paintings. The painting strokes, especially the flower patterns are fabulous. Do check it out :)

    And I can't live without music. Be it Michael Jackson, Michael Bublé, Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Carnatic geniuses MSS, Aruna Sairam etc. They truly elevate my senses...

    We have a good commonality here :) I wanted to be a carnatic singer as I adore that genre so much. But damn no one was there to teach me :)

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  50. @pooja: yup, you think differently there. as for me, i'm sure i want to be remembered after my death, either the death of this life or another, both by the living & the to be born :). But then.... if only wishes could come true :(

    @Rajesh: :) thanks

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  51. @Anand: this is the 1st time i am hearing the name Georgia O'Keeffe. will check him out. thanks
    and Michael Buble too - never heard.

    Atif Aslam - yesss

    Carnatic singing? hmm.not so much into it :(

    is it too late to learn it? i mean, i've heard people saying for dance & music,the sooner you start as in as little children the better it is because your body & voice is tender & easier to pick up things. i dont know about it though

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  52. Wow..you have captured the alien yet touching aspects of art, music not only for yourself but for remaining of us too.

    I think what makes an artist stand apart from all the others is their honesty, passion in doing whatever they do. Mona Lisa smile is a mystery to so many generations, Rahet Fateh Ali Khan songs soothes one (I also like Mohit Chauhan)

    I also find your posts also in similar category..they touch some part of your readers soul..

    Regarding kids..I feel they teach us to be patient and to look at world through different eyes. It makes me hopeful today and look forward to tomorrow..

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  53. About changing your header color , you can use design tab which is located on the right hand top side of the screen (blog home page) and you can customize the way you like it .

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  54. @Kirti: yes their honesty and passion is something that sets them apart. their dedication to their craft is unimaginabel

    i like Mohit too :)

    thanks for the nice thing you said about my posts

    kids: true, the future is that much more nicer looking forward to with them

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  55. Wow... beautifully written. :) You brought out the subconscious connect within us to art and artists wonderfully. And also the emotion and envy within us towards those magicians! A nice tribute to them! :)

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  56. I love your interpretation on art. I am a huge fan of MJ and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan -- these are some examples of talents that we forever would miss. Left a huge impact in our lives.

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  57. Wonderful tribute !I enjoy good music and art and do try to know more on the subject.Wanted to learn singing but gave up the idea many years back when i noticed that my baby cried more when i sing a lullaby for her.

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  58. Nice profile picture and a great blog makeover.Loved it !

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  59. @Kiran: yes true MJ left a huge impact & Rahat continues to entertain

    @kavita: thank you so much

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  60. @kavita: oops! your first comment had gone into the spam box! retrieved it now.

    your baby cried when you sang? haha

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  61. Not sure about the next life, but I really want to pursue classical dancing in this life.. As you side, it so much about Living and Living on!!!

    Lovely blog Sujatha!!

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  62. @Jenny: i remember in high school,i had actually written in my diary that i should learn bharathanatyam!! but didn't go on to do it.

    do pursue that classical dance form that you've been wishing for - in this life. immensely satisfying. hope you get to do it :)

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  63. I wish I could sing..that has always been my regret that I have not been blessed with a good voice.. Singing not for any fame but for myself.. Some forms of art are so relieving..like writing, painting and singing :)

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  64. I love Rahet Fateh Ali Khan's voice. I've always admired A.R.Rehman's music. Love the way it touches my heart. And most of all, one of my favorite artist is EMINEM. It's very true that artists die but are always alive in the minds and heart of the people. Beautiful post :-)

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  65. @maithili: me too :) cant sing at all.
    that's true art forms are quite relieving.

    @Aakash: thank you Aakash.
    btw, Eminem is a rare & interesting favorite

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  66. I fully agree with every word of what you have said. Interestingly carrying you comparison to achieving immortality through one's progeny, the act of creation of art is probably thousand times more pleasurable than the act of creation of progeny. I am no great artist. But I have those moments of inspiration when my writing just captures my soul and I feel some external force is working through my fingers on my keyboard and I am just an observer watching a divine act of creation. Those are moments of pure ecstacy. Then the writing is done. The moment has passed. You regret it is over and long for it to return. But you never know when it seizes you again. So if I can feel it with my limited capabilities, I can only imagine how it would have been for those great genuiuses.

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  67. @The Fool: yes it does happen that way at times, doesn't it? an inspiration, an urge to write takes over you completely, & when it is done, there is a void & a wait. true, if this is how it is with us, how much more are these geniuses moved by their passions!

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  68. Wow so nice & interesting post, thanks for sharing.

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  69. @Praveen: thank you Praveen. glad you liked the post.

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  70. Why should you wait for the next life?As such any art is associated with creativity. Even now in a way you are an artist in creating nice postings in your blog. Further it is always possible to become an artist even in this life if you practice the art with passion.

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  71. @Saibaba: yes, practice & passion is a must

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  72. You nailed it again.Yes,true artists live through ages through their creations.

    And regarding the social acceptance its very true that they do not heed any acceptance and recognition.I'm reminded of Taare Zameen par dialogue which Aamir Khan says taking Einstein,Agatha Christie etc as examples.

    Nice read.Keep up the good work.. :)

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  73. @Vishnu: thank you Vishnu

    yes, TZP had a beautiful reference to some of the most loved creative minds of our times

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  74. Every one is a artist....parents are definitely a great artists...it is just that my field is different.

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  75. Art may be esoteric or beyond comprehension at times... but the really great one will always connect...

    Raja Ravi Varma was one of those... so was SDB...

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  76. I loved this bit and I share the same sentiments.I always wished to be a painter.I alkways wonder who will remember me after im gone.When I see people pass away...after a couple of months,they are just mere memories of a good time they gave they their families.I loved this post a lot.I could relate to each and evything.

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  77. @suraj: parents as artists :)) that is a pleasant thought to live with.

    @jitaditya: you are a SDB admirer too? nice to know that

    @Suzy: thanks Suzy :)

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  78. But then you ARE an artist, Sujatha! You are a blogger:-) !

    And that was a sweet post that also carries enough food for thought.

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    1. :))) such a lovely comment that was!

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  79. Your first para, is an oxymorn. Art and your work are synonyms. I read some of your posts. The way you put your thoughts is "Symphony in Prose". Well done

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  80. You and me are already artists - We are creative writers :)

    Destination Infinity

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