Rudrapur

Rudrapur, is a city in Uttarkhand (uttara-northern, khand-land). The city is located in the fertile Terai region of northern India that is crisscrossed by rivers which flow from the Himalayas. On a clear day the Kumaon ranges of Himalayas can be sighted like a misty dream.

My husband lives in an apartment that oversees a  mustard field. A railway line runs along the apartment block and on the other side stretches sugarcane fields and  woods filled with poplar trees.

mustard

It was winter in Rudrapur when I visited, and I took long walks to keep myself warm during the day. I left home soon after breakfast and came back  for lunch, went out again till late evening to ramble through fields and visit villages tucked behind woods and  paddy fields. This became my routine everyday.

There was hectic activity in the fields. It was harvest time for sugarcane and green peas. Tractors were loaded with harvested sugarcanes and the pea plants were hurled to the backs of bicycles and tricycles. The peas were shelled overnight and taken to the market the next day morning.

rudrapur photo 3

rudrapur photo 1

I walked past farmsteads that grew wheat.  Poplar trees formed boundaries to farms and villages.

rudrapur photo 4

Poplars are deciduous trees and were bare, their thin fingers pointing to the sky.

rudrapur photo 2

I sat at the edge of the woods and painted these trees.

rudrapur 1

It was my second day outdoors. A young man rode past on his bicycle, he came back.
‘I saw you near Fauji Matkota yesterday,’ he said.
I showed him the painting from the previous day. He was curious to know about me, why I had walked so far.
‘It is cold inside the house, and it is warm and beautiful out here.’
He nodded as he looked at my other paintings from the sketch book. He showed me the water color painting of the sea.
‘Where is this place?’
‘Near Chennai. Have you heard of Madras?’
He flipped through the pages in the book, looked at the paintings from my travels. As if he finally discerned what I do with my time, he pointed ahead.
‘Come to my village Burrarani tomorrow, there are beautiful fields that you can paint.’

We chatted for a while, he told me that he owned a tractor and lent his services during harvest time. He brought my attention to the poplars, showed that the trees were planted in perfect rows.
‘I run my tractor between the trees where wheat paddy is grown.’

poplars 1

The next day I went to Burrarani, and painted a paddy field and the poplars that stretched beyond. I did not meet the young man. He told me the previous day that he had a job in a tinkering shed in Rudrapur when there was no work for him in the farm.

rudrapur photo 5

rudrapur f

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Munnar

We were at crossroads as a family when we planned this holiday in Munnar. My husband had taken a new assignment in Uttarkand, I had to stay back in Chennai to take care of my ailing mother-in-law, and my son who had just then completed college was on the verge of a new phase of life. It was a difficult decision we made to function as a long distance family, and the more we thought about it the more desolate we felt. That was when we thought a holiday would help.

A year later and after many visits to the picturesque Uttarkand, I am posting these paintings from my visit to Munnar.

 

 

 

Every Day In May – 1

I am planning to sketch my way through May, the way I poemed my way through April. I propose to look at objects as play of light and darkness. I plan to sketch with pencils and charcoal, paint in monochrome with pastel and water colours. There is a prompt for each day, that could be interpreted and represented in any manner, in any style that one wants. What is important is the discipline, and the urge to explore.

acrylic tube

food

fig tree

curtains

Kandaghat Thereabouts

I spent a week in summer, about six months ago, in Kandaghat. Based there, I visited Shimla, Mashobra, Tattapani and Narkanda. It was a relaxed holiday, I painted through the trip sitting at these sites for several hours while my family and my brother’s family trekked and explored around.

It is important in art journalling to write the impressions soon after a trip. This blog comes six months after I made the trip, experiences fresh and significant at that time, have receded from memory. All that I have to share are these paintings. 

kandaghat 1

Kandaghat

Mashobra

Mashobra

Tattapani

River Sutlej in Tattapani

Narkanda

Narkanda

nectarines and cherries

Nectarines and Cherries from Shimla

words

photo (13) copy

The office boy is from a small village near Tirunelveli. He cannot read a word of English.
I am received every day by the words he leaves at my table, from the calendar that he sets for me. Today it is, “Spend not a moment on regret. Our journey is made richer by all that has come before.”