I’d come to Oman on an unintended sabbatical of sorts. It was December 2001 and soon found myself diving with a friend who had a diving company. I learned how to dive, and spent several hours cut away from the faster pace of the ad world in New Delhi. The sunshine from Oman was a newer kind of light to my eyes, juxtaposed against open water expanses and the endless Rocky Mountains of Oman, Muscat. mostly in a totally secluded diving spot called Dimaniyat Islands. It could be as if I were in a fortress, or a fort of rest. The canvas of my mind was being reshaped in a way, and what I was relearning from this new friend Abdul was about the religion of Islam.
There was something in the lunar landscape of this city, which seemed to have survived the millennium of changes and upheavals and remained to be what it was for perhaps a couple of thousand year. The landscape and the feelings it generated prompted me consider taking up painting, which I was very font of till my teens arrived and too many other distractions distanced me from it.
Like Picasso said, “Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”, It was a challenge full of darkness. But then somethings are destined to happen and they do in their own sweet time.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh.