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My Artistic Pursuits

About Chandra B. Rasaily

Chandra B. Rasaily is a painter, sculptor, singer, writer (poetry in Hindi and English), cartoonist, mediator, teacher. He likes reading and listening J.Krishnamurti, Osho, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta Maharaj. He believes, spiritual elevation is the only way for the real joy of living.

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That was a day at Jhoola Mussoorie when sun was kissing the west horizon and was about to create a grey hue around. I was there on my portrait- spree of summers.

Waiting for someone to drop in for a portrait… that was more for the relish of the eyes so far female portraiture was concerned, than for money. I was sitting on a folding chair, an easel in front with paper and another folding chair waited in front for a model.

Yes, there appeared a large man clad in dhoti­-kurta, perhaps a Lala from somewhere. Maybe Mathura. He wanted a portrait. What I was charging for a portrait was fine with him. But his weight would have certainly broken my chair. To avoiding offending him by stating the real cause I fabricated an excuse saying I was tired and wanted a break for tea. He agreed for this and I shot off from there. I leisurely returned after fifteen minutes hoping he’ll be gone by then. But he was very well waiting for my return.  I was forced to divulge the real reason that my stool was too fragile to sustain his weight and I did not want to lose it. But he persisted and requested that I make his standing portrait. I too had to stand up to make it. The portrait came up nice. The Lalaji paid for the portrait and went away happily.

With darkness approaching I shifted my paraphernalia under the lamp-post waiting for more takers. Suddenly I again saw the Lalaji coming back towards me. I was scared a bit with the apprehension that the Lalaji might ask his money back citing one or the other excuse, having repented the deal. But I was proved wrong. He only requested that Imake a cap on the head of the portrait. I added the cap. I was happy seeing him going away with his wish fulfilled. He did not return.
That was a time I stayed in a dharamshala in Library area. The room I occupied was near a temple. I never like visiting temples except for its architecture and I did not visit this temple either. Exhausted after the daylong toil of portrait-making, I entered the room after dinner. But the sleep was fitful. I dreamt of snakes.. After I woke up, a priest of the temple confronted me and asked me to visit the temple upstairs, maybe in the hope of some offerings. I reluctantly went upstairs and entered the hall of the temple. To my amazement it was the temple of Naagraja (Snake King, Waasuki ) and a huge Naagraja statue was vividly showing up just in front. It was just incredible but a truth corroborating my snake dream through the night without my knowing that it was a temple of Snake. It was a miracle to say.

I used to take assignments of portrait-making in hotel-rooms too. I went to hotel Hakman on invitation of a young girl for a portrait. I insisted for the side pose of the girl that was giving a better look for a portrait. She agreed. I did the portrait and it came up very well. The girl was happy. For money, she went inside with the portrait. I heard a lady inside, the mother perhaps, saying the artist shouldn’t be paid in full because he has drawn only half of the face. Deeply hurt on hearing this, I picked up my bag and rushed down the ramp. I found the girl running after me requesting me to take the money. Not to cause distress to the young girl I accepted the money, which was the full amount.

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