My mother has two elder sisters and a brother. Many called them the ‘Mangeshkars’, citing the similarities of music and the four sisters + a brother combination! All of them are connected with music in some way or the other. The most exciting experience is to see them meet each other and get immersed in the music! My Mama is an exponent of Tabla while all the Maushi’s sing. Mama will get his Tabla and ask his sisters to share the new song/raag/bandish and this goes on and on! I have also seen them literally cry, when they hear someone sings extremely good! Even if it is a recording! For us, they are one of the finest symbols of how siblings should lead life! I tried to capture their joy in this photograph, when they came together to celebrate my eldest Maushi’s, 81st birthday!
I know that my mother had deep liking towards drawing and painting (the sketch given below is one of her old scribbles, which I had clicked using my Nokia N93). So much so, that she wanted to pursue fine arts after her matriculation. My grandparents were worried, since this course was quite expensive. In addition, if the twin sister demands the same course, it would multiply the problems (expenses). Therefore, it was decided that both will pursue Arts, and learn music too. This decision was accepted by both, however, I could realise how happy Aai was, when I decided to pursue fine arts!! It was a moment that I lived for her, which she always wanted to!!
This year, while she was visiting Mumbai, I met a campus girl, who has got an admission at NIFT, and comes from a very poor family! Her story was similar to Aai, since her father (watchman in the Institute) wasn’t able to appreciate or afford her decision to pursue art, and was keen on ANY thing else but art! Being a father of three daughters, he was going through the same dilemma, just like my grand father. I assured him about the career option, and explained the achievement of his daughter, who cleared the entrance exam to get in to the top institute in India. When they met me to clarify his apprehensions in this field, I proposed a plan. I started a small scholarship (every month) to her, not only to celebrate her achievement, but also to avoid an aspiring art student, to go away from the art! Although the amount is small, since it goes directly it to the girls account, her father is relieved of the ‘art’ expenses, which were a cause of concern for him.
I could notice, a calm glow of satisfaction on my mother’s face. She perhaps was happy for a girl, who could now pursue her own dream of becoming an artist!
(…to be continued)