I'm not much of a "day" person and I watch events like Mother's Day, Father's Day etc. come and go with cool dispassion. To me it is like asking the writer of an epic to write a haiku and compress all the feelings of a lifetime into a few hours of the day. I just can't seem to rustle up emotions on demand.
What I can do however, is spend hours thinking of certain landmark events, and relive them at will and preferably spread over days.... unchained by any social obligation to send out pop-up singing cards or bunches of flowers with eloquent messages.
With the recent Mother's Day acting as a trigger, I pulled out Anant's drawing books and ephemeral art work that we retained over the years and had look at them.
It's amazing to see the progression in his thought process, and the details that emerged in these drawings over time. What's particularly astonishing for us is the sketches of the birds that literally seem to sneak into a lot of the pictures. Considering that he has a very keen interest in birds even now, and photographs them at every opportunity, this does sort of seem like a foundation of sorts.
If life was perfect and I'd been more efficient, all these drawings would have been date-marked at the very least. While the drawings in the books are a little more clear in their chronology ( with the year at least), the loose sheets are somewhat less organised, and I'm only able to judge whether he had begun writing or not.
There are plenty of online resources on archiving children's art work and although I did occasionally take a peek at them, I wasn't hugely successful implementing the ideas. One of the reasons for this was the habit he had of taking sheets of paper and doodling and sketching as and when the mood came over him...and usually while I was busy with something else. So it was up to me to basically sift through a whole pile of drawings whenever possible, retain some of the masterpieces and harden my heart while putting the rest in the ...I can't even bring myself to say it...you know where.
I belong to the school of allowing kids to be kids and not going on forever about clearing up stuff - so usually paper and crayons and pencils were always at hand in the living room. In hindsight, I feel that an easy enough method to date the pictures might have been to keep a stack of blank sheets with at least the month and year written at the back. The other way might have been to ask the child to put the drawings into a folder which has a certain period marked on it.
Now that I start thinking about this, it's actually becoming quite crystal clear. I could have even asked my printer to get me a date seal. And made it into some kind of game that he stamp each of the drawings with the date seal. No wait a minute, let me hold myself in. The truth is that it's easy enough to get all practical now that he's ten - it wasn't so easy to get a second of breathing space when he was much younger. I think life was a blur and I went around with a rather wild look in my eyes wondering what was next on the list of gazillion things I had to do in a day. So I guess we'll have to run with what we have. And the best part about it...it doesn't really matter when exactly Anant drew any of these at all....it doesn't in the least affect our enjoyment of them after all these years.These drawings were done roughly when he was between 3-8 years of age.
|Le Chat. My favourite and probably inspired by...|
|..by this papier-mache cat I made years ago and on which he painted the face. It's got a bit rundown over the years, yet, I haven't had the heart to re-paper it because I'll miss that expression.|
|A bit of colour|
|A sense of proportion? 1|
|A sense of proportion?? 2|
|An attempt at a Bawa-esque Krishna painting? Even before he saw a Bawa|
|Custom-made quirkiness (I told him what I wanted and he delivered) Lollipops growing in pots, sweeties on trees, aliens, nursery rhyme characters...|
|And finally the young man as a toddler.|
OK, maybe something has emerged after all...
In the first millisecond
I saw you,
I realised the
A work in progress could