deferred live

Today is only yesterday's tomorrow.                                                                   

TTL :: Time To Live


“Tonight’s sale was a triumph,” commented Christopher Burge, Honorary Chairman of Christie’s and the evening’s auctioneer. “One extraordinary price after another was set. The market is hungry for spectacular impressionist works as the smashing results for paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne and Monet indicate The sale was a shot in the arm for the impressionist market.”  
Property from a Private American Collection, a superb group of paintings and sculpture brilliantly chosen over the course of just a few years, realized $41,566,400 and was 77% sold. The ensemble included the most eye-catching painting of the season, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s La blanchisseuse which was offered with a pre-sale estimate of $20 – 25 million. Recently returned from the Chicago exhibit ‘Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre’ where La Blanchisseuse took center stage, it again became a focal point tonight when it was acquired by an anonymous buyer for $22,416,000, setting a new world auction record for the artist.

Title: La Blanchisseuse
Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec [ 1864 – 1901 ]
Date: 1884 – 88
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 93 × 75 cm [ 36.6 × 29.5 in ]

Price Realized: $22,416,000
Estimate: $20,000,000 – $25,000,000

Sale Information
1 November 2005
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

December 8th, 2012 at 3:23 am

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Burn this commercial

August 2nd, 2012 at 9:10 pm

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L’art pour l’art


Perhaps art, then, can be produced as the product of this intense transferal – perhaps art was the unshed tear, the brush stroke that evolved from the same speck of tension and energy as the tear and was put into form rather than into the evaporative liquid. Scattered Shadows by John Howard Griffin. Page 194.

Alone – empty – destitute. This awful emptiness. The tears pricked at her eyes, flowed slowly down her cheeks. Grief, she thought, grief for John. Remembering, remembering – his voice, sharp with pain: If I were dead, the first thing you’d do, with the tears streaming down your face, would be to start modelling some damn mourning woman or some figure of grief.… Grief… A veiled figure – its outline barely perceptible – Alabaster. And suddenly bitterness came over her full tide! … She thought, “I belong not to myself, but to something outside me. I cannot grieve for my dead. Instead I must take my grief and make it into a figure of alabaster…”
Exhibit No. 58. ‘Grief’. Alabaster. Miss Henrietta SavernakeThe Hollow by Agatha Christie. Last Page.

March 5th, 2012 at 3:38 am

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Art of Procrastination

Two days back I was in the washroom and somehow felt obliged to read all the fine prints that accompany all the toiletries. I thought someone took the trouble to jot down the “how to use”, “ingredients”, etcetera and it seemed only fair that I should read them once. I mean read them properly, starting from the first sentence and crawling my way down. It did seem like crawling, you know how scarce is the real estate of back-space. There was another reason for doing this, apart from the benign writer-reader relationship. Immediately after the bath, I was to sit with the priest for the ceremony which would put my father’s soul to eternal peace. I was not feeling too enthusiastic about the prospect of muttering incomprehensible Sanskrit for two hours, under the public gaze. And so I was trying to procrastinate. And what better way to do that than to read the fine print at the back of the hand-wash soap!

Purified water, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Stearate, Fragrance, Triclosan, PVP/Dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer, Citric Acid, Methyl-chloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil.

It should not take much to visualize the predicament I led myself into. This is the same person who till the other day pronounced Thames with an extra t and a thud! Thhaemes. The same person who has his tongue knotted in twists and turns trying to pronounce the new wave of cinema, bout de souffle ! Who takes Louis Malle literally and says Mal-le. So what began as a mean to procrastinate, started taking the shape of an embarrassment. And midway through Cocoamidopropyl Betaine I remembered you.

And I am certain I blushed a little, since you were constantly at it, without really being audible. So I tried more and hence I fumbled more. And I was smiling and I looked up to meet your eyes and say, “Ok then! Let me hear You try!”. And at that point I met my eyes and remembered the priest, the caterer, the huge garlands and everything else. I stopped procrastinating.

July 3rd, 2010 at 10:10 am

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Always on my mind

12th June came and went away, not much unlike any other day. It is now one year without my father. And five months without you. Every now and then I think of you both and an inexplicable sadness and sense of guilt come upon me. The guilt is more associated with the memories of my father and the sadness is of you. At night, at around 3, or in mid noon at around 3; if I happen to remember my father I inevitably feel a sense of guilt. Because if it is at night then I am awake and if it is the mid noon then I am prostrate on the floor of my room with cigarettes and ash tray unhidden beside me. So the guilt. It would not have been so if he was alive.

I am missing you terribly now. Don’t know how else to write it, or if at all I should write it. But you don’t believe in “moner jor” et all [ and rightly so, at times it does reek of the amateur ]. The greatest irony of my life will be this. Just when I started to feel the redundancy of the words, I need them the most. The other day I was thinking about the day when I wrote 26 scenarios for you, right from the letter A to the last Z, one idea per greetings card!

For all it is worth, I love you.

post scriptum, 23rd June 2010

I was using “a sense of guilt”. I don’t think I chose the right expression. It is not guilt, when I think of my father. It is like a sense of letting him down, from his perspective. I am sure he deserved better, specially so when his son had all the promise and flair of a successful citizen. This is no sarcasm that I am employing, I am being my objective best.

Thinking in the shoes of my father, his expectations were really very reasonable and justified. I have never seen a more honest man than him. He was tossed and thrown from posting to posting by the Indian Railways, because he refused to sway to the tune of corruption. Once when I was a kid of 4 years, he was even beaten up and held at a gun point. But never ever did I see him being bitter about the organization, he was so proud to be a part of it. I am citing this part of him to elucidate his mind, his thought process. His expectations were not typical Bengali.

A man as he was, he still could not let go the ego of ownership, as far as his son is concerned. I am sure he never had the remotest inkling about this thing, about this inherent “ego of ownership”. And I must also accept that he tried his best to fight this ego, without really knowing that he is at war with himself. He did great when I did not want to walk the corporate path. But even he was unable to accept the imminent end of his progeny.

I could sense the time of final confrontation. It was on the cards. For he had started to mention the “marriage” thing, and the frequency of these mentions was increasing. His frustration was also starting to show, he could rationalize all my subversive ways and even could bring himself to support me; but the death of his blood line was too much, even for him. Here the ego refused to go away.

It will be wise to review the dictionary meaning of the word ego, to ward off any trivialization.

Ego is that one of the three parts of a person’s psychic apparatus that mediates consciously between the drives of the id and the realities of the external physical and social environment, by integrating perceptions of the external world and organizing the reactions to it. Id is that part of a person’s psyche which is the unconscious source of impulses seeking gratification or pleasure; the impulses are usually modified by the ego.

So I do not suffer from a sense of guilt when I think about my father. I just become sad realizing that I was not the one who resonated and “cooperated” with his ego. This is the price of being an individual. And I think I am also sad because I could not tell him my mind. Maybe he deserved to know more than my cursory retreat every time he broached the topic of marriage. I lacked the courage for my conviction and was always happy to push the “revealing” to another day. So it is not guilt, it is the feeling that I could not tell the truth to the man whom I admired most in my life.

Always on My Mind is an American country music song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson, originally recorded by Brenda Lee. Reference

I first heard this song in the Highwaymen Live DVD, sung by Willie Nelson, in his characteristic nasal tone.

June 19th, 2010 at 9:52 am

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