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Winding Lanes - when paintings are more than reflections

It was a hot day. The sunrays were too fierce but unable to enter in these narrow lanes. Webbed with wires and flanked by tall buildings these mysterious lifelines of Banaras have a secret world inside them. Life flows with its full energy and vivacity in these mysterious lanes. The secret world of these labyrinths always fascinates her. In cool and restful passages of these shadowy lanes she finds solace.But that day the lane resembled her inner restlessness.

It was Monday, the day of Shiva- the deity of this city. It seemed like the whole world has gathered in this narrow serpentine. The crowd was choking her. She took long steps and came out of the lane towards a nearby ghat. Stepping down the stone stairs she felt relieved. Her legs were aching and she was too tired to climb those steep stairs. So she stopped at the eighth stair and sat on it. She dropped her hand in her bag for water bottle and remembered that she left it on kitchen table while packing Aayeshi's lunch box. She swallowed her saliva and closed her eyes. Cute little Aayeshi's sad face danced in front of her.

Aayeshi is her three years old daughter. Today was the first day of her school. For the first time her little angle was going to face the outer world alone. Since last week she was preparing herself to send Aayeshi to school. But in spite of a weeklong practice she was nervous and stressed. Therefore after dropping her she immediately came here to wind down and relax.

She took out her drawing book and started sketching, entangled wires, tall buildings, and labyrinthine lanes. Oh! She was recreating her life. These winding lanes were mirroring her life. The web of relations, heavy duties, tall as these buildings and the twisting roles as serpentines that she has to play as a working woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter-in-law and a passionate painter. She often ends up exhausted playing these roles but deep down her satisfaction revitalizes her, the satisfaction that she hadn't lost herself in web of relations. She kept identifying herself through her paintings. She is still able to hear her inner voice. Just like these lanes that encapsulate such diversity yet able to retain their unique identity.

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