Amritsar was not on our painting itinerary but we painted there. The trip to Kashmir took unexpected twists and turns. We planned to do three paintings in two weeks- one in Jammu and two in Srinagar. Instead we painted one in Amritsar and two in Udhampur.
That’s what happens in Travels. Isn’t it?
The painting in Amritsar has an interesting story. The plan was to stay overnight in Amritsar with a family to whom we were introduced through Facebook and move on the next morning. When we met Ritu in Amritsar we were not even aware of her surname. It is Ritu Arora. We came to know her family name only when we needed to mention it in this blog. Interestingly she does not even know the person who gave us her reference.
Ritu had arranged our stay in her father’s house which gave us a glimpse of the whole family. Her father Manohar Lal welcomed us warmly and took keen interest in us. He asked, ‘’What is the theme of your journey?’’
We explained a little bit about artologue and he exclaimed, ‘’ You guys are doing a wonderful thing. In this age when people don’t have time to meet each other, you are meeting people and exchanging their knowledge with yours. It’s a great thing.’’
And soon followed the flair of Punjab. Great food and lot of pressure to eat a little bit more. Ritu took us to her own house which was near by and showed us her paintings.
Oh I forgot to mention….Ritu teaches fine art in DAV college, Amritsar. She was quite interested in Artologue project and also invited a reporter from a Hindi daily to meet us.
The reporter came in the afternoon to talk to us. Actually he talked and we listened. At one point I asked him whether he is interviewing us or interrogating us?
Later he wanted me to paint something quickly…quickly means in five- ten minutes….which was impossible.
We asked the family if they wanted something in their house and they responded as if they were waiting for the offer. They gave us the freedom to draw anything near their puja room.
I started drawing a Ganesha that was to take time. Since the reporters and photographers were in hurry, we offered to send the photograph of painting once it was complete to which they readily agreed.
It took around four hours to complete and looked beautiful. Ritu, her daughter Bhavika and other kids in the family did their bit in the painting.
At night when Manohar Lal ji came, He exclaimed with joy- ‘’ I wanted something like this near our puja room. It is beautiful. Thank you both for coming to my humble home. I am very happy.’’
With those words, we left Amritsar. Though the painting was started on the reporter’s insistence, it came out quite beautifully. It was an unexpected turn of fourth trip of Artologue.
We were happy for the family that we could do something for them in return of thier love and faith in our endeavor to spread smiles with our colors.
And yes, the report came after few days. strangely the report quoted us saying things which we never said.
We had a feeling that the report will be something like this but still we thank the reporter because of whom we painted in Amritsar.