Shrink's Views

ramblings of an unknown psychiatrist

After 10 years: Meeting an old friend

Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on May 27, 2010

Old street

I had a long break from painting, as I usually do. In between my paintings, my paints dry up or worse- get lost! I painted this after about a year. I came to Baripada for a day to meet my old friends at Graham Staines Memorial Hospital. On the day I was to leave, there was a cyclone waiting to strike the coastal India. I cancelled my tickets. I had some extra time to spend. I was reminded of last summer, when I spent few nights painting as I remained awake, helping nursing sisters monitor sick patients. I could not resist the idea of buying new set of water-colour paints, brushes, pallet and paper. I bought the stuff.

I had another reason to paint. I met my old school friend before coming to Baripada in Gurgaon. He and I were buddies.We lived in same neighborhood. We played together. We often traveled to school together. We both enjoyed art. We went to art competitions together. We shared our colors, even when we competed with each other. Our lives parted when we joined college. He took economics and I medicine. We met once in a while till he completed graduation. Then he moved to Gurgaon. This was about 10 years ago. I lost touch with him. He had no email ID, was not on Facebook or Orkut.

I found his brother on Facebook few months ago. Then I got their mobile numbers. I established links again. I had to go to Pilani this May to submit a thesis. On my way back to Delhi, I thought I would visit my old friend. I had another friend travelling with me. After alerting my old buddy over mobile, we landed in his house at 3.30 am. His brother was there working on his foreign assignment at that time! My buddy was to come any moment after his night job at a call center.

He came. We hugged. We ate Chicken kababs and bread for breakfast at 5.00 am. We enjoyed the day, chatting and reminiscing our past. We went to a mall and enjoyed  a movie that evening. We also shopped. We ate stuff, that I could never choose to afford like food at KFC etc. As we prepared to leave my buddy was busy giving out stuff from his home. He gave clothes and accessories as gifts and was eager to give more. I could not beat his attitude at giving. All he said was ” God has given all these blessings. I am just sharing those blessings”. I noted he did not say I would get more if I give more. He said I give because God has given me more.

I must say I really enjoyed meeting him after 10 years. There is no way I can pay him back for the fun we had. I decided to give him something that he would value more than what money can buy-a work of art done by me. He should love it. He has not been pursuing art for many years too. A gift like that could inspire him to take up art in his free time. He was a terrific sketch artist in school days. I admired him as much as I was jealous of his originality and boldness in expressing himself in large black backgrounds. May be he would start that again.

This painting is made to be gifted to him. I have framed it now. It is quite nice in a frame. It would remind him of visit to his place for a long time. I also realized one more thing in my visit. You hardly need to impress an old friend. Old friends love you anyway. They only hope you did not change. My buddy did change…He became much better. He started believing in God. He loved more. He shared more. He is wonderful. May God bless him more.

A note on this painting:

Title: Old street

Medium: Water colors on Handmade paper

Size: 19 X 33 cm

Date: 23rd May 2010

Duration of Painting: About 6 hours

The whitish dots that appear on the darker areas of the painting are artifacts due to the use of flash. They do not appear in the real painting.


12 Responses to “After 10 years: Meeting an old friend”

  1. Shubha Shridharan said

    “As I said I am speechless looking at the painting. Do you remember Madhubala maam? She must be so proud if she gets to see this! Great job D. Lovely article too. Though I am struggling to place who this friend is. Do I know this person? I have washed out memory as part of my post pregnancy syndrome!!! ”

    Posted on Facebook

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Thanks Shubs. There are not many who like my work so much so to take prints to frame it like you! Thanks for your encouragement. Who knows I might come to catch up with you when you are in Pune! 🙂

      Of course I would love to meet your parents when I go to Pune next time.Likely in October 2010.You might get one like this passed to you through them. 🙂 I would be happy with my work showcased in your house in Netherlands.

      Btw I sent few painting pics to KVCLRI principal’s email, thanking Ms Madhubala for the encouragement she gave with A1 V V Good etc and the impositions she gave “I ll bring my art book regularly”. Principal never replied! 😦

      Coming to our friend in the post…Of course you know who this is…Ravindran Peter Haridasan. He did his XII in Vana Vani with me. Then he did his BA in economics in Loyola College, Madras. He has been with Genpact, Gurgaon for the past 10 years.He still has no proper personal email ID.He is on Facebook though as ” Ravi Haridasan”.

    • Jayaprakash said

      Very good Dheeraj, I am discovering new Dheeraj every day.
      Keep it up.

  2. sebind said

    Nice work Dheeraj…both the painting and the way you were responded to your meeting your friend…you wanted to thank him for the beautiful moments you shared…your painting reflects the joy you were feeling…aren’t all real works of art snap shorts of beautiful moments?…whether drawn, or written or sung?…a beautiful moment becomes the inspiration for another….Congrats…Keep it up

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Thanks Sebind.
      One can’t say it better than what you have said“Aren’t all real works of art snap shorts of beautiful moments?…whether drawn, or written or sung?”
      I agree with you 100%.

  3. krithika said

    Hey Dheeraj,

    Its so great to see u painting again!! and yep do agree with your views on Good ol friends!! 🙂 Am happy you were able to make out some Happy time for just yourself in your Busy Busy schedule of running from place to place either helping ppl or giviing/attending lectures etc.

    And its awesome to get back in touch with ol friends!! it feels real good inside! 🙂 Am sure ur buddy would be really happy wen u gift him this painting!

    keep sharing your paintings and thoughts!! 🙂

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Thanks Krity for the encouragement.
      Yes my buddy is very happy.It is amazing to notice that we are more happy finding the ‘person’ than things. Things do add beauty…but only in the context of ones shared with.Isn’t it?
      I do take time out to catch up with people.It is not easy to take extra leave, loose pay etc, but I think it is fine. Not that catching up with people gives you any returns, it could add to your costs!!! But I think it makes life more meaningful. It helps our friends. Let us not forget it is enjoyable.
      Looking forward to catch up with you when you are back in India 🙂 ( in a restaurant where you pay and I pray 🙂 )

  4. Peter said

    Hey Dheeru bhai , . . Excellent write up. . . and Xcellent paiting too . . Life is B E A Utiful , . let your light shine before men so that they will glorify the lord Jesus Christ Only.

  5. nina said

    hi dheeraj,
    beautiful painting!lively colours!!

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Thanks for the appreciation Nina.
      I have gone through your blog MD. I never thought you shot them till I read few comments! 🙂 Your compositions are good. You have a wide range of interest in photo objects. Also a nice sense of balance.
      I am now inspired to start a photo blog myself 🙂

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