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Sniffing gluten but not tasting. Painting with oils. Yellow. Green. Sienna. Words for colors. Words from a bygone romance-infused era. Spending time with Dad. Not exactly providing care to him as a patient, the doctors do that better. But wanting to do more. Unsure of what.

Who sits in a cafe and paints? I guess it must be a regular sight in the Western World. But India? I’m concerned the cafe owner might tack on a notice saying, “Painting not allowed.” That would be in addition to the “Interviews and meetings not allowed.” notice that was put up sometime last month.

Are you an artist? Kids ask me as I squeeze out the yellow and green oils to paper and dip the brush into my color worms. Anyone can be an artist, I tell them. A bit of color is what one needs, in the case of a painter. Then paint away. They talk amongst eachother,

“Have you met an artist before?”
“I have.”
“No. Like a real artist. An artist artist.”
“Ummm…”
“She’s like a real artist. I met a real artist today.”

I feel my impostor syndrome rearing its hydra head.

An adult walks up to and unabashedly asks to see the rest of my sketchbook. I show. “Are you an artist?”
“Anyone can be an artist,” I say, aware of the kids overhearing this conversation.
“That’s not true. Not everyone can paint.”
I cringe internally.
“Maybe. But we are all, still, artists in our own way.”

Everyone smiles. I exchange numbers with the adult. They decorate interiors, and like my art. Commerce. Capitalism. I enjoy that as much as I enjoy art.

The myth of the starving artist has no place in my life. Monetize everything. Have fun doing it. That is art too.

“I’m going to be an artist when I grow up.”
“Should we get you some paints?”
“Yes please.”

The kids leave. Wave goodbye.

My job here is done.

For now.

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( P.S. : I’m sorry I’ve been off the grid and missing from the blog for 2-3 weeks now. After the break in Ranikhet, I came back to my father having to be admitted to the hospital. After spending a week there, he’s back home but then I needed a week to reset my brain. A lot has happened in these three weeks. I’ve been painting regularly – I post sometimes on my Instagram main feed and my Instagram stories. I’ve even added a shop section where I’m beginning to list some of the art that is available for purchase. I’m starting to get back on my gym-wagon. I’m starting to say yes to meetings and some events. September went by in a blur. I’m only now getting a chance to look at the DSLR photographs from Ranikhet. Expect updates soonish. Thank you for consistently coming back to my blog. )

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