Memory Trigger 21: Question.

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”
~ Chinese proverb

Recently, there have been some evenings when my daughter in love Manjiree has been asking a lot of questions about our past about which she does not know anything. Her questions have covered mostly Ranjan’s background and about our relatives that she has met. A natural tendency to get to know about her husband’s background.

During one such session she asked me very searching questions about her late mother in law, Urmeela and I suppose that she was not satisfied with my answers for she suddenly appeared a couple of days ago and asked me to go to a link online that she helped me key in.

Lo and behold. this is what I saw appearing on my computer’s screen:

“Artists like Dasrath Kumari Mathur and Urmila Shaw could not be very active in their careers after marriage. “Urmila Shaw was the best painter in our group”, says Fatima recalling her college days in Hyderabad.

Urmila was a Christian and belonged to a middle class family. She had been active in the professional field right from her student days at the local college. She was appreciated for her work by almost everyone known to her, particularly Vidya Bhushan, her teacher. Like him she also went to the erstwhile Yugoslavia to learn mural techniques. She and Usha Shankar worked on the Ajanta mural project, assigned to Vidya Bhushan by the Lalit Kala Academy. Urmila’s family and that of Vidya Bhushan’s were friends.

Urmila was in Hyderabad until the late 70s. She went to Bombay after marriage. Later she settled down in Pune and still lives there. She continued to paint for a long time following her marriage. Urmila and Usha were friends. Usha began to study FineArts after marriage. Her husband encouraged her in her creative pursuits. She had a fascination to experiment with various media, such as, oils, acrylic and egg tempera.”

Every name in the narrative was known to me as I had met and spent time with all of them and had even visited all of them at their homes, and had also attended their exhibitions on occasion. All except Fatima sadly are no more.

That Fatima, a formidable personality considered her as the best in their group came as a complete surprise to me. That Vidhya Bhushan thought very highly of her was known to me, but Fatima’s praise came as a very pleasant surprise. Incidentally, she is very much in Pune and is quite active in the art world.

The reason for the title of this post is that I have been googling for many things for many years but had never found this particular passage till now. On asking Manjiree how she found it, she enigmatically replied that she asked google the right questions!

22 thoughts on “Memory Trigger 21: Question.”

  1. wow, wow & wow – others have surpassed anything I would like to say – has your daughter in love, located any of the historic “artwork” she created… or have you got some hidden away deep in a archival box, or even on the walls of your home.

    1. There are some works on our walls at home and quite a few on the walls of my family and friends. Manjiree has seen some of them. Apart from these, there are none left as well before she died, Urmeela set fire to those that were in our collection but which in her opinion were not up to her standards.

  2. Rummy,

    Your daughter in love is very wise, indeed; and a blessing in your life. In this post, I got to meet your wife a little more: I didn’t know she was Christian, and I didn’t know she has studied in Europe (these are fascinating details). You had and still have a very rich life, my friend. Beautiful existence (including being an Urban Legend – having fled from a second floor flat because of a husband lol).

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    1. Urmeela was fourth generation Christian. Her great grand father had converted to Christianity. Yes, we had a rich life and saw a lot of places together besides all the places that we had before we got married. I also agree that I continue to have a rich life. I am blessed indeed.

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