LOOKING FOR BANGALORE
This is an ongoing series - the first of what I hope will be a longer set of explorations of my own country.
When I chose to return to India after having spent two years in Spain, my main reason for coming back was to be able to draw and create visual narratives of my country - particularly the cities I have grown up in such as Kolkata, Ajmer, various parts of Assam, Bombay and Bangalore. I had the great fortune of being brought up in a home that encouraged me to travel the length and breadth of my country, and I can say with a large degree of confidence that the only state I haven’t visited yet is Jammu & Kashmir. Also, having been a ‘tea-child’ (my father worked in the tea industry) we got to see and explore a side of North East India that very few others have the opportunity to do.
However, I also fall under that category of the Indian population that doesn’t necessarily fit the description of the quintessential “Indian”. My exposure to the world started when I was very young, with my parents bringing me literature to read from across the world - and having family spread far and wide across the globe added to it. We also belong to a vastly multi-cultural family that also contributed to my rather alternative upbringing and outlook to life. In fact, one of the biggest roadblocks I have faced in my work here in India was to be told my work didn’t look “Indian” enough despite never actually having stepped out of my country for the first 24 years of my life! Even then, in the last ten years since my first trip abroad, my trips outside India have always been short holidays to visit family. My only large stint was for my Masters’ degrees where I got to live and experience another country and culture over two years. It made me realise that I belong to the vast populous of the ‘Global Citizen’, who has deep roots in India. I also realised that there are a lot of other Indians like me - fellow Global Citizens - who have very little representation in the field of literature, whether visual or narrative. And I want to be able to draw and capture the India I have grown up in and experienced - that have made me who I am in all my melting-pot glory.
So this series starts this journey to explore and capture facets of my country in order to tell it’s stories.