Welcome to another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Ginger.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

Please do listen to this song while reading the lyrics.

(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Everywhere you want I always go
I always give in because, babe, you know
You just say so cause you give me that
Feeling inside that I know must be right
It’s the singer not the song

It’s not the way you give in willingly
Others do it without thrilling me
Giving me that same old feeling inside that I
Know I must be right
It’s the singer not the song

The same old places and the same old songs
We’ve been going there for much too long
There’s something wrong and it gives me that feeling
Inside that I know I must be right
It’s the singer not the song
It’s the singer not the song
It’s the singer not the song

For me, it was the Artist, not her Art. Despite having known her for 48 years and having been married to her for forty of them, I know nothing about Art. Urmeela and her remarkable teacher, told me early on that if it appealed to me, it was good art and if not, it was not good art FOR ME. I was comfortable with that, just as I am now too. My home now has a few of Urmeela’s paintings, one of which is shown above,  and batiks as well as, a much cherished etching of a great artist friend of ours. Just four years ago, one fine day, Urmeela decided that no useful purpose will be served by keeping all her old works and arranged for a grand bonfire in our garden. When I asked her why she wished to do that, she said that the best of her works were already in good collections and on the walls of her home. The rest needed to be destroyed so that she could create afresh. That she was not able to, is a poignant part of my life’s story.

“The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world.”

“The artist is the one who communicates myth for today. But he has to be an artist who understands mythology and humanity and isn’t simply a sociologist with a program for you.”

“The real artist is the one who has learned to recognize and to render what Joyce has called the “radiance” of all things, as an epiphany or showing forth of their truth.”

– Joseph Campbell, in his book “The Power Of Myth.”

Urmeela succeeded in performing that function admirably. Her art reminds me of her. She is now my myth, her works, what few are left, radiate many things. I am comfortable with that.

The Laughing Buddha Etc,.

When I had written about my favourite chair, there were many requests for a full photograph of the painting behind the chair, an Ajanta copy on egg tempera painted by Urmeela. It is a scene of Buddha as a child with his mother, a very popular scene copied by many artists here.

The painted copy is reproduced here:

There is another heavy weight mascot that has traveled with us all over the subcontinent since 1975. Urmeela brought it into our home in Kerala where we were posted at that time. That is, this statuette:

He is supposed to be Kubera, the Lord of wealth.

Conrad had mentioned that he has got a mascot too in the form of a laughing Buddha. So do we. He was brought in by our then daughter in law Leena in 2001. He continues to laugh and here he is:

So, we have here,

1. Buddha depicted here as the child symbolizing his enlightenment. En Lightenment meaning in this context, dropping off all superimposed values, ideas, knowledge etc and reverting to the state of mind that is pure. For Ranjan and me, this is Urmeela’s gift to remind us to be like that.
2. Lord Kubera, who blesses us with wealth and all good things in life. In this context, he also is responsible for health, progeny etc which are all considered to be wealth in our system, and
3. Laughing Buddha, symbolizing laughter, joy and happiness.

Yes, we are blessed.

Favourtie Chair.

A photograph that was very popular among our friends and relatives was this:

This photograph was taken in 1985 just before I went in for my surgery for the first hip replacement. The photographer was my friend and brother in law, who alas is no more. The painting behind us is an Ajanta Cave copy, still with us. It is among the best made by Urmeela and many collectors tried to buy it off her, but she simply wanted it for her own satisfaction.

You will also see a vase of flowers behind Urmeela. This was her passion. She loved to have flowers in the house and would buy them whenever she ventured out till we moved to Pune where she set up her own garden. This particular photograph was taken when we were living in a large flat, apartment for my American friends, in Bombay, and though we had a common garden, flowers had to be bought regularly. Needlessly to say, after the garden came into her life, the vases dried up unless someone brought a bouquet of flowers as a peace offering!

In the photograph, I have a glass of rum and water in my hand. That was my favourite drink then. We had a lot of restrictions on imports and good whisky was hard to come by, though I would manage to get a local malt now and then. The photographer and friend cum brother in law, was my drinking buddy and gave me my nickname Rummy that has lasted for nearly forty eight years.

The Chair that I am sitting on is my favourite. It was made specially for me by a dear friend of mine, Kashi, who was at that time stationed in Kanpur. He had one exactly like this, and if my memory serves me right it was an inherited heirloom. The one that I got from him is just a copy. Without me on it, it looks like this:


This type of chair is generally called an easy chair here in India, and is favoured mostly by retired elderly persons. A variation of the design is with extendable arms that tuck under the top arm rests. When extended by a swivel movement, one can stretch one’s legs on top and it is total bliss! It has a canvass hammock slung between its frames and believe me, it is the most comfortable to sit on. By adjusting the rear frame’s tilt, the seat can either recline or be in an upright position and it is a boon when I want to sleep in the garden in the winter afternoons. It is light to carry and can be folded and stored away in an unobtrusive corner when not in use, but I keep it permanently near a lamp so that I can read whenever the mood takes me. The same lamp that you see on the top photograph continues to do service even today.

What triggered this post was a request after many years, for a copy of the photograph from a friend who had seen us like we appear on it here. I could not very well let the opportunity go without blogging about it, now that I can scan old photographs!

How about you? Any favourite chair or piece of furniture that has been with you for many years and continues to give great comfort even now?