I’m Opening My Diary For You!

So, I said I carry music in my veins, which I do. I said I love gardening, which I do. I said I love being a couch potato & watch television without a break, which I do. I said I love photography, which I do. But you know what, there’s more to everyone and yes, there’s more to me. There are a number of things which I did or still do or will do apart from the ones mentioned above.

I’m more than sure we’ve all had our share of alone time or ‘own’ time, where you take a 360 degree view of everything around you, you spend a minute & then repeat the same, you don’t see a thing move, no movement, all steady. You look at the floor, it’s clean, the fans on the ceiling are sparkling, the windows, um, well, the house help did her bit a few days back. The cupboards are arranged. The kitchen is insect-free & the containers are exactly where they belong. No grocery to order either, so you turn.  Here comes your book cabinet, you quietly escape as the book you started reading is still waiting for you to finish and you politely talk to the book and say,  “Today doesn’t seem to be the day, I’ll come back, cross my heart’’. You come to your bedroom and no, you are neither weary enough to take a nap & nor so ebullient enough to grab your bag & go shopping. You have a sip of water, and open the drawer thinking perhaps it needs some work, and indeed, it does!

Once the cleaning begins, your hand reaches out to an old diary, a secret one may be. You remove the settled dust on it, can’t wait to open, and there, the smile comes, the eyes sparkle, forget the bed, forget the cushion, you just sit on the floor & start flipping the pages. Some words from the dictionary with meanings written right opposite, some phone numbers, some random names you can’t recollect, some recipes scribbled with a pencil, some Ayurveda remedy for some allergy, some faded ATM slips, a faded restaurant bill, some appointments, some grocery items, a to-do list, and some sketches, wait sketches? Yes, of course you sketched. Don’t believe yourself? Please do. I did too.

I was going through the same cycle last week. After making a quick visit to Delhi minus the husband & plus the infant. I took rest for a couple of days. The trip was badly planned, didn’t get too much sleep and the early morning flight added to my fury. The daughter threw up twice on the road and I was left with smelly clothes along with a pinch of embarrassment, but that happens with kids, so I’m cool. We returned safely, husband joined us the same evening, a good end to the two-day hectic trip. Now, coming back to the cycle, I caught hold of my old diary a few days back & thought of sharing it with all of you. I had sketched and I know I’m not at all good at it. It was done with a pen on a tiny diary, imagine! So, please blame yourselves if I don’t match your expectations. Also, I modified it with a not-so-close-friend of mine, ‘Technology’, to make it look at least presentable and not blurry on a public platform. So, here you go!

I remember my drawing teacher making a white swan on the green board. For the first time ever she used colored chalk. All the students in the class were fascinated by this new development. I even bought a box myself the same day after school. It was the second grade.

My parents had the similar sort in our old home. An oval-shaped full length mirror with bronze flowers as the borders. I grew up looking at myself several times each day in this old-fashioned mirror. We never covered it. The veil that you see in the sketch is my imagination of a bride leaving her veil on the mirror, right after the wedding ceremony, to spend the night with her soul mate. There’s always a story hidden behind a picture?

Not as scary as you might think it is. Me, my sister & brother watched a lot of “Scooby-Doo” cartoons & movies together. Somehow the haunted castles & the trees stayed fresh in my memory. This is the one where the branches would become the gigantic monster arms. It’s making laugh though.

I guess this one speaks for itself. It’s my state of mind, baffled one time, puzzled the other, disoriented too! So, what to do?

This one was done when I committed to myself to not get bothered of all those who don’t matter to me, my family or my work for that matter. It’s not very often one would see the very valuable organ in good use. (Talking of the mouth here). I’m immune to all the gossip & bad mouthing.

On our recent trip to Hong Kong, Macau & China, we had the chance to go to the incredible Ocean Park. It has the most amazing rides, an outstanding water & fire show, a stupendous aquarium, memorable performances, numerous outlets to eat & hot air balloon rides and much more. This one will always remind me of the good times we had there. I’m definitely going back.

My daughter took fancy to this bird when she was not even 10 months. The Penguin walk made her laugh and even roll on the floor at times. She was crawling then and now that she runs, she tries hard to imitate me well enough to make me roll on the floor. This one was for her when she fell ill sometime back.

My first visit to Vrindavan last year. I observed that Lord Krishna can be without his flute, his cow, his Chakra, but never without the Peacock feather. I could be wrong, but somehow this asset always struck my mind. May be it’s my love for birds or  may be that the colors of the feather are so striking that the image never left my mind. A place full of madness & immense faith.

Many years back, during the renovation, I accidentally put my feet over the wet cement. My feet, my memorabilia, my permanence. Perfect with this one is a song by Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Ekla Chalo Re’.
If they answer not to thy call walk alone,
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.

Please tell me if you know any place better than your own home. I love those white fences in front covered with climbers. Would love a combination of purple & pink on white.

My father has a huge inclination towards drawing, sketching and painting. He could never do justice to his passion as he took the responsibility on his shoulders for the family at a very early age. But the recurrence of one of his favorite pieces of art in our drawing books has left a remarkable impact on my memory. He drew this tree in almost every drawing book that all of us had. He would color it  differently ofttimes. And I, can never match that. For my father!

Freedom, space, music, respect, understanding, appreciation, equality, dancing, caring, and sharing are some of the key ingredients to love. That’s my key to love!

This is perhaps the oldest of the lot. Done a couple of years ago. I wanted to draw a perfect sketch of just the face of a Female Human and I could never get it right. I did this, and something clicked, something happened inside me, it shook me, it spoke to me, reached out to me, it gave me power, it gave me a boost, I felt healthier, I felt collected and ready for the world. This Female Human is perfect for me, and there is absolutely nothing hormonal about her.

It was the toughest blog so far, it took me time to collect all the sketches and put my honest thoughts across. This will always be an out of the ordinary post for me. I cherished every word I wrote. I will do more sketches and will also try to advance my skill. I now feel light after letting myself go. It’s great to have all of you around. I’m thankful that you share your time with me. I can hardly voice my feelings toward each of you.
Hope you enjoyed!

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About Neha Mendiratta Khullar

Photographer learning photography. Age: 29 From Mumbai, India. Blogger. Gardener. Singer out-of-practice. Sketcher out-of-practice. Dancer never-out-of-practice. Overtly Optimistic. Passionate Creativity Lover. Irregular Chef. Excellent Host. Not Your ‘Best’ Friend. Quick Learner. Movie Buff. Mush Queen. Family Gal. Lazy Wife. Crazy Mommy. Highly Observant. Respect First, Age Later. Respect First, Love Later. Heart First, Head Later. Day Dreamer, NO, ‘A Dreamer’. Won’t follow your rules. Don’t follow mine. Oh! I have none. FREEDOM. Never Jealous. Not my Trait. Most Loyal. My Trait. Love Giving Surprises. As secured as one can be. Favorite Number: 9 Intuitive Like No Other. Can See Your soul. Opinionated. Mostly Silent but my Head is not. Mostly Detached. Hyperactive Head at Night. Swear by work ethics but with a pinch of fun. My best work comes at the last-minute. Loading….loading…loading…please look up after some time for more.
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17 Responses to I’m Opening My Diary For You!

  1. Vanika says:

    Wow!!!I think this post is beautiful..the sketches are simple …yet complicated…all have something wonderful, inspirational, warm and rustic about them..its kind of like “modern-ancient ” art!;) i like it very much..im glad to see you open your heart and mind to everyone..plus you could always have an alternate profession as a modern artist..eh??what do you think??

    • Thank you! You’ve always been so gracious. I’m thinking a lot of career options out of this activity, the dreamer never sleeps, right? On a more serious note, I have a couple of ideas but just don’t want to speed up. I’m here for a reason and just enjoying the slow ride for now. Thanks again for giving my art a name, ‘modern-ancient’, love that!

  2. Pankaj says:

    Hi Neha,

    This is your best blog.. Truly You!!!
    Written beautifully, every word in its place!!! Beautiful sketches.. Wonderfuly sequenced.. Great article.. Such a pleasure to read!!!

    Keep writing…

    • Many thanks, Pankaj! This blog entry took a lot of time, patience, hard work and even a visit to the doctor. I’m so glad to see a brilliant response. It’s all worth it. So good to see you here, keep visiting.

  3. MegAM says:

    What an awesome post! Amazing pictures too! These pictures should be kept in some E picture gallery and I’m sure you will receive some credits from there as well. Thanking you for opening your diary for us:)

  4. Thanks for following my blog and giving me a reason to stop by and say hi! This is a beautiful post. You are clearly talented, and I look forward to seeing more of what you’re up to.

  5. Beautifully written. Loved reading all your thoughts, you have collected and put your memories in their really well. Look forward to more.

  6. sunaina says:

    hi neha ….this is an awesome blog…the sketches are really beautiful …all of them are very inspirational…i lik it very much…your memories r expressed in a nice manner…keep it up girl….

  7. So nice to meet you, Neha! Namaste!

    • Namaste to you!

      How nice to see someone greeting me the Indian way. I only do it when I meet elders in the family. which isn’t very often. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts through your blog. Inspirational!

      Love,

      NMK

  8. Aerotica says:

    Great Going! Loved this one!

  9. When I go out to my garden, I take my camera with me so I can take pictures of the flowers, the wildlife, the sun, the moon, the stars………………..

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