I in Togetherness- Week 17 to 24

‘I’ in Togetherness: A series of 52 photos in 52 weeks to understand the Journey of a couple together and as Individuals. The I in Togetherness. They are known as Jey couple together and as Mee and Jey individually. Here are the photos and Text from week 17 to 24

Week 17 : SHOESweek17

Mee: MEE & JEY have same feet size. 5 or 36-7 size. While MEE prefers wearing shoes   over sandals, it is always a win-win situation for JEY who, inaugurates her as well as his own shoes. In fact Jey is really fond of shoes of different colors and matches it with his dresses. While Mee is more comfortable wearing same shoe for almost all dresses and occasions. To do away the guilt of buying many shoes for himself, Jey also buys Mee a few good shoes. Though Jey buys cheap shoes, he buys Mee expensive shoes which she stores in cartons and often forgets to wear them on special occasions.
When Mee had just started to know Jey, she used to make a lot of fun about his tiny girly feet. Jey had one rubber slipper thathe used to wear even for his class and office both. Then perhaps he was asked to wear shoes in office and he bought his first pair of shoes that he soon lost while visiting a temple.
The shoes are important part of Mee-Jey life. Since they travel a lot and tend to venture into woods and rocks often, tough comfortable and smart shoes are necessity. They both take ample care of their shoes. In fact Mee take care of all their shoes. In this photo Jey is showing off just half of his shoes while Mee has her full stock on show. #i #identity #togetherness#travel #shoe #footware #snickers #trec #walk#sandals #couplelife #photooftheweek#photojourney #travelingcouple #artologue#newdelhi #india

Jey:  Shoes have been a fetish for Mee and Jey. How and why is a story in itself. Despite growing in different cities, we were born in the age when having more clothes and shoes were seen as a sin. Though Mee and Jey wanted to have lot of shoes but never had money to buy them. We were born in a family where not all family member wore shoes. We grew up wearing chappals of our elder brothers, mothers and use to have one shoe for school which we wore on festive days as well.
Jey decided as a youngster that whenever he will have money, he will buy lots of shoes and will take care of them. jey bought a lot of shoes from London. Dock martin and caterpillars. He even tried to buy a Johny choo once but he didn’t had enough money.
The shoe buying spree continued from black and brown to red and green. Mee bought some of her nicest sandals after marriage and controlled Jey’s fetish for shoes by talking to him., Showing him his own collection and explaining that as a kid not having one shoe doesn’t mean that Jey buy one shoe every month.
Jey has controlled his fetish now but he take care of all his shoes and treat them as friend.
Mee and Jey exchange their shoes as well. Few of them. That’s our shoe partnership.
#I #identity #togetherness #shoes#lifelessons #poverty #brandshoe#colorfulshoe #shoelife #meeandjey#jeycouple #mee&jey #travellingcouple#everydayart #growingtogether #artcouple#artologue #fetish #shoefetish

Week 18 : KITCHENweek18

Mee:  MEE & JEY do come from two different planets but they have several things in common. Both of them are the youngest in their siblings, closest to their mother (korpichhu) and their relation with kitchen & cooking was shaped by their Fathers. Mee and Jey’s fathers took keen interest in cooking fancy foods on special occasions, buying spices etc.


Mee had little interaction with actual cooking till she was married to Jey. Her mother refused to engage her youngest daughter in kitchen on daily basis as she knew girls end up working in kitchen on daily basis after marriage. Though she gave Mee freedom to watch her cook. Later Jey joined in her journey with cooking.
Mee has vivid memories of her Nani cooking with spoons made of coconut shell and stick. She has a good collection of cooking and serving spoons made of wood, metal and other materials. 

Mee’s loves for spices, flavours and aroma is bequeathed by her father who used to have his own stock of spices from every place he travelled in the world. So Mee’s cooking is purely instinct based and her definition of Good Food is ‘Colorful Aromatic’ soulful food. #i #identity #photooftheday#photooftheweek #photojourney #artistic#artistcouple #artforall #foodart #food#travelingcouple #travel #artologue #cooking#loveforcooking #spices #indianspices #tasteofindia#art #india #newdelhi
Jey: Cooking is something Mee and Jey were not very fond of but in the journey called life, they learned to survive and cook. Good food. Being the youngest kid in the family Jey never cooked before he came to Delhi for his education.
Later when he started living alone in hostels, rooms and with room partners he learnt cooking and mastered the art cooking curry. In London Jey cooked ate and survived with his roommates.
The most humbling experience came after marriage when he learnt that Mee can only make paranthe and his answer was…I didn’t marry you for your cooking. Mee hated cooking but slowly they learnt. Jey taught her to make curry and Mee learnt different kind of cuisines….any which has colors. Strange enough the food of Mee expresses in color. Her philosophy of food is..if it looks good, colorful it will taste good.
We are still not cooking fan but Mee can make some very Intersting breakfasts and her parathas are good. Jey has taken the responsibility of cleaning utensils and he cooks only in the weekends. The cooking together has taught us many things.whether you like it or not. No one likes to be in the kitchen all day cooking same stuff everyday.
Experimentation is the key to survive a kitchen. We love cooking occasionally. Lot of people say and its true that cooking can be a stress buster. Not for Jey..he likes good food but avoid cooking. Mee loves cooking once in a while for the rest of days we cook to eat. #I#togetherness#food#kitchen#dailylife#meeandjey#kitchenart#lifeleasons#travellingcouple#artcouple#cooking#foodcolors#kitchenlife#kitchnutensils#artlife#laerningabtfood#lifelearnings.
 Mee: Mee & Jey do not fall in the religious category of people. They are spiritually inclined in their own ways. Mee traces her spiritual inspiration from her Baba and Nana (maternal and paternal grandfathers) who were disciple of an enlightened Gurudev.
The first spiritual instruction that Mee received from her Baba was that Purity is a mental concept that has little to do with bathing and food. So till today Mee prays to her Gods as and when she feels like. Since she feels hungry soon after waking up, she eats stomach full before even bathing and praying just like her Baba. Even Jey does the same but he is very particular about bathing. 

Second lesson was that God is an ‘internal matter’ . It meant God lives inside our heart and is an extremely personal affair which has nothing to do with other people’s perspective of God and place of worship. Thus her image and nature of bond with her God is multifaceted. Mee loves her God, shares all her secrets, forbidden joys, dreams, fears and also fights like a daughter with her Motherly Gods when she gets angry with life situations.

Third was that this universe comprises of Positive & Negative energy and we have to choose one of it to feed on. But with time she realized that there are gradations of Positive and Negative energies and it takes good deal of (spiritual) experience to understand the difference. #i #identity #togetherness#photojourney #photooftheweek #artist #art #artforall#spiritualjourney #travel #travelingcouple#grandparents #positive #negative #energy#jeycouple #artologue #india
Jey: Spiritualism is one of the common themes which bonds mee and Jey a lot. Though their different backgrounds and understanding of the spiritualism is still growing but they agree on many aspects of nature, meditation and Karma.
Jey was born in a brahmin family but brought up in a tribal background so for him nature especially small mountains and jungle signifies mystique and spiritualism. He believes in the magic of nature. Going to a temple is part of culture not Dharma or religion believes Jey. Mee believes in rituals till they do not hurt her or her surroundings or any one.
They meditate as meditation brings their inner peace. Mee an ardent reader of mythology and Jey a faithful believer of Karma bring their synergy together via meditation.
Mee at times paints in her meditative phase . No mantra…no rituals..the connection to the world…the Brahma is inside and they try and aspire to connect to that brahma, nature or whatever name you give it. Meditation is like a ritual. If you practice dance then you put the attire , play the music and then get in the groove. Mee and Jey have that kind of rigour for meditation.
In the chaos called world. Meditation helps them making sense of what they are who they are. For Jey who tries to follow the teachings of Maharshi Raman..always asks this question to himself in the meditative phase…Who am I.
One can argue about the rituals but actually to realise Nirakaar, one starts with sakaar….and so the props of meditation. Those who have realized the nirakar, they live in perpetual meditation through their work. Whatever their work is.
Week 20 : SWIMMING
Mee :  Mee did not know swimming till 3years back but she always felt a strange calling from water everytime she was on beaches, bridges and on river banks. This could be because Mee lived her early years close to river Ganga. But this used to freak out Jey who was afraid of water’s overpowering tendency and did not know swimming either. Mee used say that she belongs to Water and can hear a strange familiar sound at evening at peaceful beaches. Realizing her love/ obsession for water, Jey coaxed Mee to learn swimming. Mee felt at ease in water and was swimming the full length of Olympic size pool in less than 10 days. 
Next summer Mee cajoled Jey to learn swimming and in fact thought him swimming in 2 weeks. While Mee is better at rhythmic free style, back stroke, diving, back flip and rotating under water, Jey always leaves her behind when it comes to swimming under water. Mee swims like a fish and Jey like a snake. By the time Mee covers a few feets, Jey swims far ahead of her and flaunts her thin frame. Sometimes thin frames are better than fleshy ones. #i #identity#togetherness #photojourney #photooftheweek#travel #travelingcouple #artforlife #artforall#artologue #india #jeycouple
Swimming is one of those things mee and Jey always wanted to learn. Mee is a water animal. Whenever Mee use to see water she almost jumped in it despite the fact that she couldn’t swim. To save mee from drowning, mee and Jey decided to learn swimming. Strangely mee still has this fascination for water to the almost suicidal level. Jey traces this tendency to her name meenakshi which may have come from meen which is fish…..and also her artworks in which fish was a prominent motiff in the initial days.
Mee is flexible like a fish most of the times and in swimming she took the water literally like a fish. She learnt swimming in just 4 days and later taught Jey to swim who was a bit scared of the water in the beginning.
Jey treats swimming as a life saving skill. For Mee it is life. Though Jey swims faster than mee but Mee swims longer than Jey. Whenever they are in stress they jump in the pool and came out refreshed. Water taught us many things and one of them was let the water take care of you. Have faith on water it will let you swim. Have faith on life you will excel.

#life#skills #swimming #swimsuit#meeandjey #jeycouple #artcouple#travellingcouple #swim #water #sea#dress #lifelessons

Week 21 : FEAR


Mee: Fear is so fearsome that we tend not to acknowledge it in public for two reasons. First that it is our greatest fear and by talking about it weight invite it into our lives. Secondly our fears are our weakness that not many are courageous enough to share with others for the simple reason that we wear a cloak of strengths, happiness, success to intimidate others and feel superior to others. 

Mee & Jey have their own fears. Though Mee is scared of what harm people can cause her, her greatest fear is of ‘getting lost in time and space’. Being the youngest and most asocial person, she loved her books, sketch books and dreamy world. She barely ventured out of her house until she fell in love with travel freak Jey. Once traveling alone she missed her train and got stranded in the most notorious area in Bihar on a winter evening. She still feel a the chill about not knowing anybody and people ogling her. She used to have nightmares of being in a place she has never been to and trying to ask her way out in a language that others can’t hear or understand. But over past few years travels for Artologue has helped her overcome her greatest fear. 

Jey’s too has his own set of fearss but his greatest fear is rooted in his (worst phase of) past. In his teenage his family suffered acute financial crisis which they somehow managed to overcome. Later in his early 20s, he lived homeless, foodless and almost penny less (thank god he always had Friends) for two months in Munirka and JNU. His greatest fear is of being poor ‘again’.
For this week Mee and Jey decided to embrace their worst fears and by doing so their fears are falling apart in the light of day and in full public gaze. #i#identity #togetherness #artist #artistcouple#photooftheweek #travelingcouple #travel #fear#greatestfear #photojourney #poverty #map #lost#poor #lonelyness #artologue #artforlife #artforall

Jey:  Mee and Jey have their own set of fears. Mee is scared of being alone in a place or feeling lost somewhere. Despite travelling she is still coping up with this fear. Though in last four years Mee has started travelling alone in Delhi but she is still a bit edgy if she has to venture in an unknown area. The fear of unknown.

Jey has never been scared of new places. His fear is poverty. In his own words ‘I don’t want to be poor ever again in my life.’ poverty taught him many lessons but left a scar on his soul. Jey still looks dishevelled if he has to go to the places where he had spent his worst nightmares.

Recently in Mumbai he got visibly uncomfortable crossing the shanties where he had lived for a while. Jey doesn’t hate poverty or poors but he doesn’t want to be poor again.

Being poor is not a great experience when everyone avoids you or people do not start their dinner till you leave their house. It is not amazing to walk down 10 kilometers to get a full meal and then walk back just to feel hungry again. It is definitely not great to eat the dirty poori sabzi in front of temples with hundreds of beggars and feel ashamed of oneself. One may say it teaches u a lot but Jey had enough of those lessons and he doesn’t want to go down the lane again.

Though Jey never forgets his bad days but for sure he doesn’t want to be there again.
#poverty #fear#loneliness #map #city #lost#jeycouple #meeandjey #lifelessons #poor#food #travellingcouple #identity#togetherness #I

Week 22 : CLEANLINESSweek22

Mee: After marriage the division of domestic chores tend to complicate ‘power’ equations at home. Brooming, dusting, mopping, washing dishes, and bathroom remains an ever incomplete job especially for couples who don’t have domestic help.
Mee and Jey prefer not to have domestic helps for two reasons: first that they travel too much and second that weekends are time when they decide to do things together. On weekends the idea of practicing ‘cleaning domestic space’ was devised to help them connect to each other’s daily routines, problems and spend sometime together as just two equals. This also breaks the monotony in their life.
In the process of cleaning Mee & Jey also keep discarding unwanted elements from their ‘life in Togetherness’. #i #identity #domestic
#dailylook #dailyart #couple #equationathome #artist#artologue #photojourney #photooftheweek#cleanliness #photoproject #artistcouple #newdelhi

JeyCleaning is something Mee and Jey have different views about. Mee is more about cleaning the house once in a while. Jey is a terrorist in terms of cleanliness. He can start cleaning at any point of time in a day. Some days he had cleaned the house at midnight because he found some specs of dust near the bed. 

They devised a way out and now weekends are the cleaning time. The dusting will be done by Jey and mopping will be done by Mee.
Most of the weekends we end up cleaning, arranging books, dusting the house and feeling awesome. Cleaning the house tires one but it never made us unhappy. It feels good when you sit on a clean floor. We don’t have much furniture in the house so a clean floor is our best place to eat, sit, write, make art, feel attached to mother earth.

The different point of views about cleaning came from different backgrounds.Mee realized that Jey comes from tribal background where they lived extremely clean. May be Jey ‘s fanaticism came from there. Mee lived in a big joint family so one can’t be too touchy about cleanliness.

They devised a way out. Mee still smiles when she sees Jey removing the hairs all the time in house and you know both of us have long hairs. Imagine Jey removing even a small hair from his moustache to outside the house even at 1 am in the night.
Mee has adjusted to it and loves Jey for his defects. Jey has adjusted Mee’s approach of cleaning the house on weekends.. And Yes Mee is finicky about clean bathrooms.

#I #Togethernss #Identity #cleanliness#wiping #mopping #lifelessons #triballife#adjustments #weekends #jeycouple#brooms #wipers #travel #house#photipriject #photojourney #colorfullife

Week 23:  GADGETSweek23

Mee: Mee & Jey connect to technology differently and use technology to connect differently. While Mee has a tech savvy brother so she did not bother much about technical where- how’s but Jey had to learn every bit on his own. Mee considers technology as necessity while Jey is an obsessed (an)user. Mee is a Nokia customer but Jey is ‘oldest-frequent’ customer. It is intriguing that though they live together their orientation towards technology and for that matter technical gadgets remain least affected by each other’s orientation. 

While Mee prefers slow mode of communication like email and SMS , Jey is into calls, chats, video, Skype, Snapchat, hike, live chat and what not. Mee is still slow with technology while Jey is all about technological experiments. Though not gadget freak, Jey does not like to discard old gadgets and occasionally restart/reuse them while Mee likes to take great care of old gadgets like all other old stuff.
#i #together #identity #togetherness #artologue#photooftheweek #photojourney #technology#techsavvy #techfreak #techno #couplelife #artist#art #newdelhi

JEY: Mobiles and computers have been part of Mee-Jey friendship. Jey made his first email to have a conversation with Mee as it was more convenient. Later they moved on to SMS and calls. We had spend hours on phones when we were dating.
Mee was never a big fan of mobiles and always had a simple mobile which can help her in talking. Jey had rarely seen her taking a selfie. Even now Mee carries a simple one which helps her in work. Mee doesn’t pick up phones normally and call back people when she feels like though Jey is lucky that his phones get picked up always.
In terms of laptop Mee was very clear from the beginning . She wanted a small one and later when she was introduced to the world of pads, Mee picked iPad which she bought later. So her life is a simple mobile and a pad.
On the other hand like any other boy, Jey was fascinated with mobiles and bought more than 50 mobiles till now but then Jey realized he needed mobile only to talk. His urge for mobiles went considerably down. Once he had an iPhone but now he carries a simple phone and stopped talking much on phone.
With the advent of social media, Jey went berserk on facebook but had controlled now. He himself realized the problems. Mee did had a soothing effect on him in terms of technology.
Mee and JEY still loves new technology but they have decided that it should not control their life. One reason they don’t watch TV news. TV is also restricted and mobile usage restricted at home.
Life has come full circle for Jey. He feels like a kid who get things in a controlled way and he is happy about it. #meejey#identity#Together #lifelessons#mobiles #Technology #TV #socialmedia#happiness #life #meeandjey
Mee:  It is a childhood fantasy of being able to see all and seen by none that turned Mee into a recluse over years. She was never very comfortable being watched and thus judged for how she looked or behaved. To live her fantacy of being invisible, Mee loved dressing in White. She believed that white is a color that would attract no attention and thus keep her out of other’s gaze and she could be her crazy self comfortably. This sense of being invisible gave her freedom from other’s judgemental looks helped her stay out of sheep mentality like other’s of her age.

The belief of being invisible in White also helped her stay focused about her dreams and aspirations that were never in synch with prevalent social norms. With her companion White, she carved a path to her idea of Happiness and Strength.

When Mee met Jey, she found her other self that was more adventurous and fun loving. Jey wanted to be too tiny to be noticed and thus being invisible for others. His idea of invisibility was about being able to go anywhere unstoppably. Mee & Jey keep trying to be invisible time and again by going off the social & network area.
#i #identity #superpower #invisible #togetherness#sight #vision #meejey #meeandjey #art #artist#photooftheweek #photojourney #artologue #artforall
Jey:  Being invisible was the ultimate fantasy of Jey since childhood. He dreamt about being a tiny boy of 1 inch so that he can see anything and everything. He wanted to know what is happening behind the closed doors. The memory of these dreams are still vivid and Jey can narrate long stories about those dreams. May be that’s one reason why he became journalist as car jung had said that dreams tell more about you than anything. though Jey realised that being invisible is not possible the idea remain in him, he gets excited with mummies and the idea of no one seeing him and he observing everyone.
At times it takes a toll on him and in those times Jey takes a back seat and goes into his own cocoon where he is with himself only. For Mee invisibility is all about no one disturbing her tranquillity and solitude. She is asocial in many ways but when she socialize , she is best at it but she wants to do her work and remain invisible from a lot of people. She strikes the balance between socializing and solitude.
Being invisible for Jey is a fantasy, for me it’s real and she can pull it of everyday. JEY struggles but sometimes he gets invisible and feels happy.

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