‘‘I wanted to marry the most beautiful women and I did marry the most beautiful one in the college.’’
Sudesh Gupta loves beauty and that was his only condition for marriage. It was 1978 when background of the family mattered the most in the matters of marriage. In those times marriages were said to be the beginning of relationship between two families than two individuals.
But for Sudesh only beauty mattered. Off course his wife is one of the most good looking women we came across in the area. She still radiates her happy smiles and watches Sudesh with a lovely gaze.
Sudesh Uncle and Sareshta aunty were our host in Udhampur, two really beautiful souls who help each other in all the domestic work and gelled with each other like friends. Sudesh Uncle is a lawyer who deals mostly in matrimonial cases and loves old songs.
He sings and oten whistles songs of Mukesh and Rafi. In past few years he has developed an interest in travelling.
We reached his home on 26th June and it was Uncle’s birthday. We thought the painting would be a gift to him. He knew about our painting project and he wanted to see meenakshi’s paintings.
He picked up a very fine painting from Meenakshi’s work and asked, ‘’Is it a women’s face?’’ It was indeed. He appreciated the painting for some time. He saw other paintings and then proposed a very different idea.
He wanted us to paint the story of ‘’Yudhishthira and his faithful dog’’ from Mahabharata.
The story is that when Yudhishthira reached heaven his faithful dog, who never left his side, accompanied him to heaven. But the Dhramaraja barred the dog from entering the heaven. Yudhishthira refuses to enter without his dog. Then Dharamaraj revealed that it was Dharmaraja himself in the form of dog and he was testing Yudhishthira’s dharma toward his faithful dog.
The idea was amazing and Meenakshi started working on it. She made some sketches which we liked. Sudesh Uncle also liked them but just before the painting was to start on the wall, he changed his mind.
I think he went with his intuition. He wanted the face of the women on his wall from the face series. The love for the beauty again revealed.
Meenakshi started working on the Face. It was a complicated painting with very fine detailing so no one could join Meenakshi in her work. Sushil suggested to use the corner of the walls that worked wonder for the Face.
While Meenakshi painted the wall, Jey was always there for all possible help. Uncle, every now and then, came in to observe the progress and frequently inquired about the designs.
The corner gave a mysterious look to the Face. If you see the Face from one side the eye and part of the lips on the other side will look bigger and vice versa. If someone sits below her level, she smiles. If you stand, she stares and if one raises above her level, she frowns. The face looks in balance only if you see it from the front side of the corner.
It was interesting.
In several chit-chat sessions Sudesh Uncle told us about his politically active father and how former Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani had visited his father in their ancestral house.
He is happy with his lawyer’s work, his old songs and new found love for travel. They travel twice in a year. They have been on a European and Singapore tour and visited many places in India.
After the painting was complete, he looked happy. We didn’t ask for his reaction. They giggled and smiled for the ceremonious photos we take after finishing each painting.
We felt that we gave some beauty to the Lover of Beauty.