In the Company of Art

When I first started writing it was just something to do, to kill time that sat staring at me, mocking my uselessness in a world of busy and productive people. A bad back had put a temporary halt to my normal routine and I was at my wits’ end as to how I would get through the vacant long twenty four hours of the day, each day, each week, each month, for some months. I grew restless and then listless. And deprived of regular company, extremely lonely.

 

Then I suddenly remembered my friend Lila’s suggestion: write. It had been made soon after I had returned from a beautiful holiday in Ratnagiri and had recounted my experiences to her. My Guru, Madhuritai, had always insisted that there is a writer in me waiting to come out, but I had never really paid much heed. Where was the time anyway? But now there was more than plenty of it, and I undertook it as a project, a challenge. Picking up the pen was an achievement in itself, as was writing the first few lines. It wasn’t easy. My pages looked ugly, marred with scratches and squiggles as my mind ploughed back and forth, searching for appropriate expressions, suitable phrases, the apt words to clothe my raw and sometimes equally elusive thoughts. When my article on Konkan was complete I mailed it to Lila, relieved that it was done, but also happy that I could do it. Hurrah! After the euphoria had subsided a little I thought I could do it again. I did. I wrote. And I wrote. And Lila faithfully read it all, prodding me along, ever encouraging, ever supportive. Her mail box was soon deluged. I read some of my work to Madhuritai and she too was happy and proud like an indulgent parent.

 

That was then. Life has long since returned to its old routine and my day is happily full again. Yet I continue to write. Why? Because I just couldn’t stop. Because it is so wonderfully rewarding, so cathartic, so therapeutic and so liberating. I have found a loyal and committed friend in my computer screen. (Yes, I have graduated from paper and pen to that modern day contraption. Well done, I congratulate myself!) It has opened up a window to my mind, helping me understand my own sentiments, gather my thoughts, formalise my views, making them lucid, almost tangible. It helps me retrieve caches of dusty memories, giving me a fresh insight into my own past, where I come from, why I feel the way I do. And it never doubts my sensibilities. It takes, and it takes, without faulting, questioning, reproaching. Ever accepting.

 

Of course, what is written will be read. That is a given. It is first read by me, and so it must be true to me. It must honestly portray that bit of me that I am opening up. It must satisfy me. If it satisfies others who read it, that is a bonus. And I got plenty of such bonuses from a growing group of readers.

about_me_rohini

The first not-so-good, unfavourable feedbacks that I received made me rather grumpy and miserable. I sulked a bit. I was assailed by self-doubt. I would wonder why something that appealed to me wasn’t universally appealing. I wondered if I should change my style, change my outlook, or if I should stop writing altogether. But I changed nothing. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I still maintain that if my work appeals to me, if it is good enough for me, then it is good in itself. For, the bottom line is that I write for myself. Primarily a readership of one. And I reminded myself that I needed to be democratically liberal, that people will have different views, different perceptions, different tastes. I write from my perspective and with my integrity, my expression largely conditioned by what I have experienced, read and assimilated over the years. A feedback does not only endorse or question the veracity or appropriateness of my views and my expression, but also opens up the reader to me: her views, her reading habits, her preferences, her yardsticks of judgement. And there is enough room in this world for multitudes of those. I just needed to learn to accept that. And get along. And continue to request and welcome feedbacks, open minded.

 

Of course, the process of writing can be a lonely one. But that is true of most art. One communicates with oneself, engaged in a dialogue with one’s mind and heart and soul. All our faculties are turned inward. Excitedly hopeful about the end result yet anxious. All on one’s own. When I sing, I am all by myself, even if the room is full of people. Nobody holds my hand and guides me along. The agony over a missed note or the ecstasy over a true one are mine and mine alone. But therein lies a beautiful truth: the art itself is the artist’s true companion. True friend. True guide. I am blessed to have discovered that. And that just adds to the adage, art for art’s sake.

56 thoughts on “In the Company of Art

  1. Wonderful beginning.
    May your Art reach out to All and have the effect of the Artist.
    Good Luck my friend.
    Proud of You.
    With Best Wishes:
    Kash.

  2. I happy that you are blessed with art of words and music.Go on explore more and write for yourself and us as well

  3. Hi, rohini,all the very best to your new venture. Just now I have just subscribed your blog, will read the same after my program, 😊actually need time to digest your English. Thanks for sharing your views.

  4. Super Rohini! “The first not-so-good, unfavourable feedbacks that I received made me rather grumpy and miserable. ” I am sorry if I was one of those who caused this and glad that you pressed on regardless. As you rightly say, hum kaun hote hai? It’s yours and that’s all that matters. Art for heart’s sake. Loving it…more power to your pen.

    1. It is so important to be true and honest with self and the best comes out so easily. This is exactly what is felt after reading this beautiful article. Keep it up and all the best for your journey

  5. Rohini-
    I’ve read one of your early articles and was eagerly waiting for this.
    I love your easy style of writing. It’s like you were speaking from the heart. The words / thoughts don’t appear contrived at all.
    And what I really appreciate is the economy of words. What every artist strives for. The ability to judge what is just enough. Not too much and not too less.
    By saying that you write for yourself, your writing and art will be inseparable.
    More power to you my friend!!

  6. Rohini you are very honest and that reflects in your words. I like your writing very much.keep writing

  7. Rohini your thoughts flow like a river in spate…keep them flowing …you’re taking us along in your journey of discovery …waiting for more…

  8. Honest thoughts. Perfect word selection. I read your movie review article of Cinema ‘Hamid’.खुप छान लिहीता तुम्ही.लिहीत रहा, Best of luck, Rohini Tai.

  9. Oh! Wow, you are really gifted and you write from your heart and that is what reaches another… Dont let anything or anyone stop you, yes I am selfish I want more… and more. So proud of you my dear friend.

  10. Superb article Rohini. So well written and so true. If the creation is perfect in the eyes of the artist, then it is just that. Perfect.
    Great job. Keep them flowing. You have a very engaging style.
    Louella

    1. Your writing is candid- straight from the heart – frank and outspoken. Appreciate the attitude nd flow of thoughts.
      Continue expressing.

  11. Iam so happy for you Rohini, you are blessed with this beautiful talent. Keep following your dreams, go ahead, congratulations
    So proud of you
    Radha

  12. Superb write up!you really have a wonderful writer within,also you have a director as a companion,keep writing ✍️!
    R N

  13. Wonderful write up as usual! I love reading your articles. Your review of “Hamid” was excellent. I am looking forward to reading more!

  14. Good start is half done. English is excellent. I have to keep dictionary with me. Great writer ahead to the passionate reader

  15. Rohini Tai, u have so beautifully articulated ur emotions, that half way through, I started feeling like these were also my exact feelings… Superb write-up, which is a outcome of a creative and sensitive mind coupled with a vast vocabulary….

    Looking forward to more such envigorating blogs from u

  16. Very Good Beginning.
    Looking forward to your insights about music and other things. All the best!

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