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A painter and poet too!

V.P. Singh paints every day, every hue attracts him. He is about to complete a book of poems too.

Photo: Sandeep Saxena.

THE LATEST: V.P. Singh at the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in New Delhi.

WHO SAYS natural devastations don't affect politicians? They do, especially if a politician has the heart of a poet and the skills of a painter. Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh's latest watercolour works and drawings, displayed at the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in New Delhi this week, narrate the distressing story of tsunami, deforestation, trauma of Indian women living in unfavourable circumstances and even pangs of lost love.

Titled "Random Impulses", many of his works are aptly accompanied with lines from his poems. For instance, one of his works showing a paper boat in a river reads, "Suddenly still afloat, I found my childhood paper boat, It beckoned, `Come, it is time to go". Similarly, an intense woman's image reads, "Jag ne mujhe jalaya apni roshni ke liye, main to jala tere kajal ke liye... " It contains a few sketches that he attempted while travelling in a train. His works on tsunami is interspersed with images of those unaffected living their lives happily. At one place the water is creating havoc, and at another, it is used for the pleasure of bathing.

More women

Interestingly, most of his works invariably end up having the image of a woman, sometimes brooding, sometimes staring at the moon, at times, dancing and at times, simply longing and waiting. Says the poet-painter laughing, "Half of my works are on women. Even God might have made half the women in the world." And for the first time, Singh has used roller in his works. His creations now are more abstract and less realism. "It's a journey. These forms are coming very naturally to me these days. Ab aankh band karta hoon to dhundali aik tasweer ubhar jati hai (a blurred image appears when I close my eyes)."

Singh is not among those who think there is anything wrong with the younger generation doing abstract painting without understanding the nuances of realism. "Art is not logic. It's not expression of ideas but feelings. So if they can express themselves better through abstract works, let them do. If they aren't genuine, they won't sustain for long."

Singh's take on digital art too is noteworthy, "I don't think digital art is manipulative. On canvas you use a brush, in digital, you use a mouse. Both ways, you are creating. Look at photography; it is all technical, mechanical, chemicals are used in it also. But it is gaining currency as an art form only because it is creative." Singh's next works are drawings. And Delhi's Aryan Art Gallery is going to display his retrospective works soon.

What else?

"I am on the verge of completing a book of poems in English," he says.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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