Aptly described as ” England’s Rose” by Elton John, princess Diana oozed charm and her effervescence effected people all around the globe. It was as if she carried with her a magic wand and waved it to mesmerize people. Beautiful, attractive, stylish – are the words that best describe her. Diana emerged on the world scene as a teenager and transformed into an elegant woman through the years. All through the years, she maintained her grace and poise under tremendous public scrutiny.
Diana is my favourite princess of all times. I admired her greatly. I was enthused by her unique beauty and her fashion sense. I would wait for her to come up on the television screen and enliven it with her loveliness and her liveliness. Then the day came when I mourned her death. But her appeal was such that even death could not erase her memory from my heart and mind.
The eternal and sublime love story of the Hindu God, Krishna and his childhood sweetheart, Radha still mesmerizes many. It has formed to be the subject of painting for long and still inspires many. The depiction of love between the two can be seen in the paintings below.
Women form the topic of paintings for artists from all over the world. They have inspired painters through generations to explore and depict the many aspects of a woman’s life. Women find expression in their paintings as lovers, mothers, dancers, musicians,painters. Women can be seen in paintings doing various chores of daily life. These paintings are so powerful that they very aptly bring out the various moods of it’s characters and deftly portrays the moments that these characters inhabit. Life is infused into each of the paintings through a mix of colours .
There are sensual , seductive and sombre paintings of women. Then there are the paintings illustrating the female form. There are nude and semi nude paintings which show women in an evocative or in an erotic state. Whatever the topic these paintings depict; they are a treat to the eye. They please as well as inspire.
The days always pass by so quickly like winged birds whose fleeting glimpses we get before they vanish into the woods. But the days seem to go so slowly when I wait for my loved one to come by. The waiting, the anticipation is sometimes sweet; sometimes it rises to a crescendo and creates a pool which surges with emotions which are painful because of a sense of desperation. Then I want the wait to be over. So that my constricted heart finds it’s release.
My loved one is mired in problems which emerged from his past. He wants an end to them. He says I have to wait longer for us to be united. He also gives me the option to leave. An option which my mind rejects and my heart cringes from. My heart staggers from the very echo it creates. I don’t take it but tell him unequivocally that I will wait for the problems to disappear. That I will wait for the love he will give me. I know that his love will be strong enough to bestow upon me a sense of being secure and absolutely loved.
“The Painted Veil “, a novel by William Somerset Maugham is etched in my memory. It was the first novel that I ever read. I had stealthily taken the book from the collection of articles that my father carefully stored in a trunk. I was studying in the eight standard at the time. I was fascinated by the book. It was my first journey into the world that the adults inhabited. Till then, my world was full of the Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys of the world.
The story revolves around Kitty Garstin and her husband Walter Fane . Their marriage hits troubled waters from the beginning . For though Walter Fane married Kitty for love, Kitty was not in the least in love with him. She hastily married him for the simple reason that her youth was fading away and she did not want her younger sister to upstage her by marrying first . Walter was a bacteriologist and was posted in Hongkong. Kitty accompanied her husband to Hongkong after their marriage . The two were varied in their characters. While Kitty was beautiful and lively, Walter was unassuming and awkward. While in Hongkong, Kitty starts an affair with the suave and charming but the much married, Charles Townsend . After the discovery of the affair by her husband, Kitty had to accept her husband’s proposal and accompany him to mainland China and into the heart of a cholera epidemic. Walter had offered his services for the management of the epidemic . At this point of her life, Kitty undergoes a great transformation of character from being a shallow, selfish woman to a more compassionate and understanding individual. The change in her is brought about by being a witness to the woes of people and the benevolence of certain other people.
When I read the book for the first time, I enjoyed reading the book but could hardly grasp the flow of the character’s lives. It was as if the complexities were hidden from me. But in recent times, when I read the book again, the many layers of the characters revealed themselves. They appealed to my senses and I could delve into them with a lot more understanding and pleasure.
A rose plant in full bloom is a treat to the eyes. I behold these plants everyday in my garden. They bring such joy to me. Rose is my favourite and my most loved flower. The prickly,thorny plant appeal to my senses as no other does. I planted roses of different colours in my front garden. There are white, pink and red rose plants which I planted a year ago. They are in full bloom now. As I see them now, I feel as if I have nurtured a child and it has grown up to be an adult. It’s a beautiful feeling. So serene, so calm.
A rose is a predominant object in my life . I wear clothes with rose prints on them. I hang paintings of roses in my house . I take bouquets of roses for the bride in a wedding. I decorate my flower vases with the roses from my garden. My whatsapp profile picture is of a rose. The profile picture of my blog are a bunch of roses. I mostly carry a handkerchief with roses on it. And I have been inspired by this lovely flower to write this post. I dedicate it to the rose- not just a flower but an almost indispensable part of my life. I hope it’s beauty remains a part of my life forever.
I was waiting all this while for my beloved to return to me . But then he informed me last night that he will be gone for some more time. A sudden sadness seizes me. A stinging pain sears my heart. I start to miss him all the more. It was as if this waiting for him to come back was also making my heart and mind to hold back in anticipation. Anticipating his return. It was a joy held tightly to my chest waiting to be released when he returned. It was only a few days that we had known each other and he had to go abroad. My heart had grown fonder with all the elated feelings of love for my loved one during his absence. So this desire to behold him and express all my emotions held up in my heart so far. And do the most cliched thing of rushing into his arms. Beseech him to love me in a way that it is both pain and pleasure at the same time. Search and discover in each other’s eyes the depths of the feelings perhaps unknown to us even now.
I wondered at this sudden surge of emotions which threatens to turn into a deluge and upstage me. I want better control over my emotions. I am afraid to let go of my emotions. But then I want to float away and I want to be flooded by them. It would be so good and be a source of such pleasure and utmost happiness. Well, he sang me a love song, expressing a longing for the beloved, over the phone. I was so very happy to hear it. I knew then that he felt the same way as me. It pulled at my heart strings. It made me realize that we felt the same love and longing for each other. We were on the same page. I await his return .
I recently watched the film, ” Phantom Thread “, and was filled with such love. I wondered at the weird love story the movie portrays as also the intensity of the love which the two main characters so beautifully act out. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock , a famous fashion designer who falls in love with a waitress , Alma Elson. Woodcock designs clothes for his rich clients and is obsessive, fussy and controlling . Alma is wilful and determined. Their relationship develops slowly from the time Woodcock invites Alma for dinner and she accepts. She becomes his model and muse and then his lover. The relationship hits rough waters as Alma wants more of her lover but cannot get enough of him as she finds him distant and hard to please. Reynolds Woodcock loves her but is not ready to give up on the meticulous life he has lived all these years. He opines that she disturbs and makes his life unsteady. When he decides to throw her out of his home and his life , she poisons him. His health debilitates and he becomes very weak . Alma nurses him back to health. The pliant and vulnerable Woodcock makes her happy as then he is totally dependent on her.
I loved watching the film. It was one of those movies which fill your senses and leave you wanting for more. This peculiar love between the couple is engrossing. Like Alma, we want our lover to be more attentive and perhaps more into us. The many bickerings among the couple do not diminish their love for each other. But they would return to each other after every fight to resume their love affair. It is touching to watch the couple in their quest for love from each other. As I watched the very weak and broken in health, Reynolds Woodcock become warm and open with his lover, I thought that it would be nice once in a while to be weak and vulnerable and then sink into your lover’s arms. It would be good not to act and be strong all the time but to be looked after by your lover. If Woodcock is a control freak, Alma is headstrong and this similarity between their characters creates a tension which is very compelling to watch. The love, the intensity, the riveting account of the lives of the protagonists makes this a very watchable movie.
The wedding season has begun this year like in the many years before . It would flourish this season as in previous seasons. It would seep into people’s lives and play havoc with their finances. It would set boundaries for a new couple. It would bring nearly forgotten relatives and friends together. It would sound the beginnings of many a new relationships.
People immerse themselves in the joyous celebrations during a wedding. They deck themselves in the grandest fineries . All dress up as per the fashion of the day. There is an arrogant display of wealth. People display their money to the point of shamelessness. They compete with each other over clothes and jewellery. It is strident and absolutely removed from the world outside those bedecked walls of the wedding premises. Garish presentation of wealth as poverty rages. Lavish banquets as food scarcity strikes the poor.
Families galore. Relationships galore. I see them every where. They seem perfect. They seem to flourish so effortlessly. So effortlessly do they flow. I wonder how they flow so seamlessly. People go about their work and come back to their families. It seems so natural . So simple. Love flows like a river unhindered . Love emanates from these families so flawlessly that love seems commonplace.
Are my senses so blinded that I do not perceive such closeness and love in my own familial connections. What eludes me. Why this sense of alienation from something so familiar . Something so near. Why is this nearness a source of anathema in my life. Why do I want to run away from all of it. Why this urge to recede from them . Why this feeling of necessity to run far away and establish new relationships . It’s difficult to find answers however hard I may try.
Do the answers lie somewhere in between . In between their callousness towards me and my cringing from them or my inability to connect with them on a more basic level. Here I am writing about myself and my family relationships . Whichever way it is, it’s been a burden to carry them. A burden to always act normal and cared for. Doubt seizes my mind. I fail to discern properly where it would lead me. But I am slowly but surely coming to terms with my want to sever my old ties and form new ones. I am feeling less guilty now to come out of relationships which are hollow and empty and form new, more fulfilling ties. I feel a sense of enthusiasm for new beginnings, to form new and happy memories. There is no sense of foreboding now. No doubt in my mind.But a feeling of goodness and kindness inhabits my whole being.