Expressions

Heartfulness eMagazine|April 2020

Expressions
In this delightful interview, BHAMINI SHREE shares her journey of expression through painting – both Madhubani folk art and abstract painting – with MEGHANA ANAND. Through art, gradually she was able to manage her depression, expand her self-expression, and also develop her art as a career.
MEGHANA ANAND

Q: Hi Bhamini. Tell us about yourself. How did your journey with art begin?

When I was in grade 8 or 9, I was diagnosed with depression. After that I started doodling. Then, one fine day when nothing was working out and I had a lot in my head and could not express it at all, my mom gave me a canvas and colors and said, “Whatever comes to your mind, start painting.” And that is how I started. I learnt Bihari Madhubani painting from my aunt. She taught me the basics and I became interested in that. That is one part.

The other part is that I have always been very vocal about what I think is right and wrong. All of us have our own understanding of what is right and wrong, and there are no fixed parameters, which is why it’s a mess. I was very vocal about women’s rights, freedom, being liberated, the equality of all genders – and I was spiritual more than religious. Right now I don’t follow any religion; I am a spiritual person. So that is what I started expressing through my art.

Later I did an MBA. I thought I would never be able to pursue art as a career; that I wouldn’t be able to meet ends. How was I going to live on my own, unless I had some other form of support? The truth, according to me, is that you can’t. That’s how the condition of art is in our country right now – it’s not recognized.

So I told myself, “Okay, let’s see what happens!” I did my MBA, and took a job in Hyderabad. I was still emotionally and mentally not well, and I just couldn’t express myself. In the corporate space, every day was a challenge, and I would wait to go home and paint whatever was in my head. There was so much I wanted to express.

I am not good at expressing myself in words, and that was creating a lot of hindrance, because in the corporate sphere you have to behave in a certain way. It was a pressure, so I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was also passionate about fashion design, so I planned my own online boutique. That’s how I started a life as an entrepreneur.

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April 2020