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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A blooming Awakened Spirit



"Bless U dear friend,Your pearl- precious thoughts invoke a refresahing joy of spirit. Your poetic persona touches the Eternal rainbows. Your sunshine spirit must be shared with other kindred spirits. Please do share your lovely thoughts ......

Viktor Vijay

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sanchi Stupa


Sanchi Stupa is a marvel of Buddhist architecture. It is located in the midst of vast green verdant plains in Madhya Pradesh in India. It has stories from the previous births of Buddha. Jatak Kathas as they are known are a great example of living for others or compassion. Buddha whether born as a deer or a bird or a human always sacrificed so others could live. The mastery of the stone carvings depict scenes from Buddha's life.

Buddhist art got enriched as I said earlier by the mixing of Greek and Indian culture of the time. Many Grecian kings did erect Buddhist emblems in their empires specially in Gandhar and Bactria.

Viktor Vijay

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greece and India--shared cultural space


Budha is depicted symbolically in Sanchi
I wonder how even wars created a cultural enrichment among civilizations. Alexander's conquest of India seen over a longer period of time gave new nuances to Indian art. Buddha was not depicted as a form till then. If you look at Sanchi Stupa in India there are only symbols to denote Buddha. But Grecian art brought a fresh expression to Indian art and Ghandhar Buddha is the sterling example of this.I wonder in today's Internet community we are intermingling arts and culture from all parts of the world and of course without wars.Today I can reach out through Internet and Facebook to my friends in Greece and can enrich myself with this one very ancient culture. and beautiful land.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Love the World


Autumn Whispers
Artist Viktor Vijay
78"X58"
Acrylic on canvas
I dont want to change the world, first I want to change the way I look at the world.
--Viktor Vijay

Flowers I Love


42"X 34"
Acrylic on canvas
Artist Viktor Vijay
In you I hold Infinity as shattered pieces of Time. Do you not combine the shattered Time in Eternal Joy. Its better to arrive in flower first than in seed.

Viktor Vijay

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Universe of Love


Artist Viktor Vijay
42"X34"
Acrylic on canvas
Where you walked you rejuvenated life, where you whispered the soul resurfaced, where you held a hand a new being sprouted. You gifted a universe of love joy compassion and peace.

The Land Eternal of Buddha


Buddha Stupa


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Buddha--Eternal Light


Eternal Chakra
Artist :Viktor Vijay
42"X34"
acrylic on canvas




Sanchi Stupa-Below cosmic blue and in green groves


India Madhy Pradesh


I circumbulate, I bow my humble bodily abode, I to your Divine essence drag my sullied deviations and O Buddha! I desire the desireless Blue of the Ether to sublimate the mortar of the material.

I do not wish to be witness to coming and going, to ups and downs, to here and there, to now and then, to love and hatred, to self and the world, to dualities. The velvet of Oneness whispered from the magical Infinite beyond evolution and vanishing is I seek.
viktor vijay



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Supplication


Supplication
Acrylic on canvas
42"X34"
Artist Viktor vijay
I shut my eyes in Supplication to see a new universe that passes through your fragrance divine!

I do not wish to vanquish Desire for you dwell on a Pedestal in there!

Viktor Vijay


Whispers-- If Rimbaud heard

Your words are but poetic pearls that flow like a cascade of sunshine. Joy to know you--deep like oceans and high like heavens.
Viktor Vijay

Ethereal Roses and Rainbows-5

Journey of an artist
I am in Vienna yet outside of its big city intensities. My house is in the outskirts of Vienna and it gives me a feeling of fulfilment when I go out to neighbouring villages, watch the farm animals in the fields, the goose and turkey swimming in the clean crystal water of the ponds, and the farmers working their golden crops. When the crops are piled back in the farmers' barns, the round rolled haystacks lying in the close cropped fields make me feel that some ancient Roman wheels from the past have emerged in the fields waiting for being fitted into carts. The golden plains shine in the summer pleasantness. The hills majestically look at the flourishing activities of the farmers and their families. It is such a mound of peace I feel when on Sunday I walk around the landscape, and watch anglers fishing in the streams, warm heat rising from the land as sun bakes it softly, and in the distance village church bells chime in the glory of the eternal.
contd...
Viktor vijay

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Dialogue

The soul caressing sun-warmed winds that I follow may lead me to lands peopled by such as you. You who takes the light of the heavens and bestows it back to those on the earth. Life is a constant search for Rainbows and likes of you always mix the colours of life (so I feel ) that new rainbows are created on earth that we can touch them and find the flow of eternal Joy
"Le soleil a noirci la flamme des bougies;Ainsi, toujours vainqueur, ton fantôme est pareil,Ame resplendissante, à l'immortel soleil!"

— Charles Baudelaire

Bloom forever,

Viktor




Austrian Landscapes

Gustav Klimt known more for his art deocrativ portraiture also excelled in landscapes. He developed a small strokes technique that is regarded as more of telescopic focus on the landscape.I saw one very beautiful sun bathed landscape in Gallery Etienne in New York. Attersee Lake in Austria had Klimt's Studio where he painted many beautiful landscapes in lovely summer and autumn light. Mr Ronald Lauder should be thanked for his love of fin de siecle Austrian art that he has created in beautiful building The Neu Galerie in New York. The Museum has a large body of erotic drawings from Egon Schiele. The most expensive painting by Klimt a portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that was for long in Belvedere Museum in Vienna reverted back to the family and was acquired by Lauder and is proudly housed in Neue Galerie.Long time in Austria and Germany has etched a joy in the summer-autumn landscapes that I always relish. Klimt was one such votary. My autumn series incidentally was also born in Austria in Salzburg. Staying in the atelier of my friend Eva Mazzucco I worked a splash and dots technique did abstracts in 2003-2004.

Viktor Vijay



Ethereal Roses and Rainbows-4

Journey of an Artist

After a short journey by local train, crossing Donau I arrived home. My street is known after the beautiful mohnblumen trees that line my locality. My house has trees in the garden, an exotic palm, and bunch of bamboos that I planted and with good care nurtured them that they are now tall and their beautiful knife-leaves sway and sing in the wind, making me feel that I am in exotic Oriental landscape. Creepers climb the boundary wall in ecstasy, and flower with ethereal fragrance in the season. In the centre is a small natural pond where fishes play. Now in the spring May flowers bloom as they do in the forests near my house.
From a tall old oak tree trunk I shaped a large table. On this table surrounded by the chirping birds, nectar greedy butterflies and fragrant wind I have my dinner. My friends also like to stay out in the garden and enjoy coffee, and good Austrian wines from warm south and chat long hours in the night. When I walk out of the house, in ten minutes I am in the neighbourhood of small hills, which emit fine fragrance of the woods. I enjoy walking up the hills talking to the trees and plants the way I did as a child in Styria. My joys in life are many, but one I treasure more is to watch the sun depart in its crimson glow behind the hills to rest after long day's work.

In my neighbourhood lives an artist who paints sun kissed sweet landscapes of the eternal land of Austria. Sometimes we meet either in his garden or mine and share some wine and the happenings in our respective fields of art.

Contd...

Viktor Vijay

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life is a beauty and a joy

Its God's grace and soul's desire,

Wait not for another but for

one you know,YOURSELF!
In the kind dreamy eyes I see

a thousand rainbows and blue sea!
the soft whispering light on your face

is the charm of a fresh Mona Lisa's grace

Viktor Vijay

Be a Damien Hirst of soul and not of diamonds. Only then you can create great art!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"ETHEREAL ROSES AND RAINBOWS-III Instalment
JOURNEY OF AN ARTIST
I met Elena first time in a small café mostly frequented by artists. I had gone there with a colleague. I had not been very long in Vienna. The small café is very popular with artists who struggle to balance their creative world with the material. My colleague knew Elena. She introduced me to her. She came from a small town called Zilina in north-western Slovakia, very close to Tatras. When I heard ‘Tatras’ a chord stuck in me; my mother and father had met in Polish Tatras and it held a special magic for me. Elena is a photojournalist. She is tall, lanky and with very intense brown eyes. The café owner has special affection for art and artists. The walls of café are full of paintings, drawings, and photos, gifts from artists who frequent the place and have sweet bonhomie with the owner. The artists hunger is satiated by the fresh strudels, and delicious Viennese cakes. I find the owner on his desk with his well-groomed beard and a smile for all the artists, known to him by name. The artists relax by his good coffee, meditating or in the midst of heated art discussions, their faces hidden partly by the thick blue smoke from their cigarettes. It often reminds me of Picasso’s card players wrapped in thick smoke. This is a magical world –faces vanish and emerge constantly from the smoke screen. Life is lived here with intensity oblivious to the routine run of daily grind.

This brings to my mind the wonderful old man with Tolstoy-beard who would stay on a bench by Stefanplatz bus station just opposite the Mozart candy store named after great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It looked very funny to me to have turned the great artist into an advertisement to sell chocolates. Everyday the old man could be seen established in his seat, while people hurried up and down obliviously trying to accomplish unknown missions of their routine life. The non-fecund actions of this accursed humanity made them go round and round in a circle like the beast turning the Persian-wheel. While humanity milled around this Tolstoy, he would be engrossed in his love. Around him, surrounding him and on him would be a loving group of wild pigeons, cooing to him affectionately and snuggling close to him open heartedly. They would eat out of his hands the food he brought for them everyday. May be his existence did not register with many of the people who routinely crossed this street everyday, or may be they thought of him as and old crank. Well it did not matter what people thought of him or if he did not exist for them. It was an indictment of contemporary civilization. Human life has become much mechanical-time propelled. As a result, the feelings, which are the finer silk web of human meaning and essence, have ceased to exist. Elena and I would often watch this wonderful specimen of humanity. Elena photographed our Tolstoy and published a moving image in a Viennese journal. People ran after newer models of limousines; they no longer ran after butterflies in the forest. I remember how returning from school I would chase butterflies. They settled on flowers and as I advanced stealthily, they would flutter away. It did not matter if I could catch them; I was delighted to observe their beautiful, designer wings and their intensity while drinking nectar from the fragrant wild flowers. When I pass through crowded streets of Vienna, I still look for my childhood butterflies. May be one day I will find them and would whisper to them once again as I used to as a child.

Elena had been telling me about her last assignment covering a war in Africa. How something changed permanently in her soul when she observed so much futility and hatred among humans who have but a temporary stay on earth. That is the story of human civilization all through the ages. We have finished our coffee and after paying the bill, we walk out on the street. It is early evening and the light is still good but beautifully soft. Aimlessly we move in the city feeling the warmth of flourishing life. The neon lights are slowly taking over as we take a promenade by the Danube. The reflected city in the Danube water looks like a genie emerging from the lamp. The eternal river of Europe, its fertile soil, its life sustaining water sustained humans and animals alike for thousands of years. It has become symbolic of confluence of people and cultures. A collage of large humanity finding its moorings in Vienna of eternal Danube; Asia, Africa, Latin America with myriad cultural cameos come to fertilize the social and cultural landscape of Vienna. This humanity carries a memory of the golden land from where they self-exiled like the gypsies, to which they probably would never return. Nevertheless, the land would continue to flourish in their soul and small icons unfurl fragrant memories and exist side by side their life in Vienna. On their visits back to the land of their past they bring tokens of cultural memory to sustain them in their exile—an exile of voluntary choice. Humans create webs of memory to fall back on, whether its separation from the beloved person or from the land of their forefathers. This is the beauty of human resilience. To eliminate this missing, this lack, this absence, this unwilled silence they create a new reality in the recesses of their souls. This is the fountain of all creativity—to bridge the lack, the missing by inner dynamism; the writers, the poets, the painters, actors, singers etc. use this angst to live and to create flowers of extreme beauty. Eternal Vienna, the forever city for arts as also for the exiles! However, all artists are exiles, self-exiles. Their search for precious pearls makes them cast their nets wider, deeper, and in distant lands of their souls. The city taught me a lot about humans, humanity, art, artists, freedom, and suffocation. You always take some character of the city you live in for long, in your own personality. I have become a mini Vienna in part of my being—with its idiosyncrasies, moods, frivolities, and its rainbow coloured cultural cameos. When I move away from the city, stronger it asserts its fragrance in me, but remains imperceptible, taken for granted presence, in its dazzling lights when I dine with it everyday. It is as if when in Vienna, I ask for Turkish coffee and when in Istanbul, Viennese coffee. Yes, it feels tastier!

Exile, even temporary has it own nostalgic fragrance. Some years back I travelled to Poland, where in the musical city of Krakow, I met a poet from India, who had arrived dusty-time back in Poland to study engineering. On way to earn his degree in engineering, he also earned the love of a sunshine-bright Polish girl. He married her and raised a happy family. He invited me to visit his family. In the house, I saw a small Ganesha sculpture, pictures of Indian gods, sandalwood incense, an old map of his city in India and music from his growing up period in India. He had a daily ritual of offering incense to gods. He told me that he was not particularly religious but as a child, he used to observe his mother worship everyday and light incense. He indulged in this ritual not from force of faith but because it brought him the pleasant nostalgic feeling for his childhood. He played for me Indian songs he grew up with in India; they were like memory tracks for him. There were different happenings associated with different songs. Joy and sorrows were etched on the chronology of songs as he listened to them. Memories of the time flooded him as he had raced to adulthood from his child's world. His autobiography was written in music and songs. He narrated to me the incidents related to some songs. For example when his younger sister was born, a particular song had become popular and he would listen to it on radio. I realized… we are all exiles in one way or the other. Our exiles help us to fashion from shadows of past the most beautiful sunshine landscapes. Upasak – for that was the name of the poet—presented to me a collection of his poems. When I read the poems soft as the fluffy clouds, shiny as the sun-kissed dewdrops and beautiful as a little baby, my heart cries. It cries for Upasak’s beautiful soul that travels to his Indian abode collecting fragrance of blooming mustard flowers, of wet earth in Monsoon rains or the aroma of lentils cooked by his mother and a thousand other fragrances, aromas, colours, tastes and sights. That meeting changed something in me. I did not realize what or in what way. I understood better the tales of gypsy kings and the lost lands of honey and happiness that my mother talked about in her magical tales of yore.

After a pleasant walk by Donau— Danube for you—I kissed Elena goodnight and departed towards home. Home to where we belong.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ETHEREAL ROSE AND RAINBOWS--II INSTALMENT

My father spent long periods on sea and brought for me beautiful gifts of toys and dolls from far off lands, which I did not know about. He would narrate mesmerizing tales of people from cultures so different and wonderful. I related to my father’s tales the way I did to my mother’s—with awe and wonder. They were real for me. They are real for children, for the children do not distinguish between apparent-reality and inner-reality of the world from where all the magic of imagination cascades.

From his travels, my father brought another gift. It was his cooking recipes from different lands. He loved to cook food from different parts of the world. His recipes were exotic and his dishes exuded strong aroma. When I think of my father, there is always an association of aroma and taste of food and his apron-clad image in the kitchen. He brought condiments, herbs, and spices from those far away lands. I recall he would often make a salad with pumpkinseed oil. Pumpkin oil dressing for kidney bean salads is a specialty of the culinary culture of Styria. Father’s love for different cultures mixed with his love for his land; this was so as far as his interest in food was concerned.

Sometimes we would go out to a small town not far from home to buy provisions. One shop in particular I remember. A Turkish family ran it. The old proprietor was large and moustachioed; his two sons assisted him in the shop. Sometimes his wife would also come to the shop. She had a large scarf tied to her head. She had a daughter of my age. She would talk to me in German and with her mother in Turkish. I was awed that she could talk something I did not understand. I would be welcomed along with my parents. The old man would talk to me and offer some candy. He would talk to my father about his journeys. They would also talk about Turkey; my father had travelled to Turkey many times, was quite familiar with the culture of the country, its food, and especially famous Turkish kebabs. The old Turk came from the Mediterranean region of Turkey, which had a history from as early as eight century B.C. when Hittites civilization flourished in the region known for long as Asia Minor. It was during World War-I that his father fought alongside Germany and later settled in Austria. Sometimes Ahmed Bey –the old Turk would visit his relatives in Anatolian region. His ancestral village was not far from Side, which was a scenic port in ancient Pamphylia. He would tell my father how the whole region is replete with ancient ruins and its rich heritage over thousands of years of wonderful history. Sometimes he would play haunting Anatolian music. I really liked the music and especially the sound of string instrument called Balma. I wonder how even as exiles we bring rich cultural tradition and enrich other cultures. All through human history society and civilization was enriched through such intercourse.

I imbibed all the interactions between father and Ahmed Bey subconsciously. Later in life, they would fuel my interest in the lovely land and music of Turkey. Meanwhile I was happy to have such outings to the town, for they presented new vistas to my life and existence. After finishing shopping usually, we would dine in traditional inns known as Buchenshenken, relishing local delicacies of roast pork, smoked sausages, cheese, the special verhakert— minced meat and sausage spread, and the usual snitzels. While I inevitably had juice, my parents washed down the delicious dishes with schicher, the famous wine from Schilderland in western Styria.

*
Time flowed like the water in Mur. I am in Vienna, enjoying coffee with Elena in Café Central. I like to come here. It is the custom of the restaurant to serve brown nut cookies with coffee. This custom goes back to half a century. The building housing the Café has a long history, as is the case with all of Vienna. It is more than a hundred year old and served at different times as a warehouse and bank; the façade is beautiful and invites you to enter the building. Arches create dainty waves in the main hall of the restaurant, the ceiling is cupola shaped, and polished ornate pillars divide the space. Large windows admit Viennese daylight freely. From high ceiling hang lamps by long chains to be effective for customers to see each other in the soft light. Just as you enter, by the main door there is a reclining sculpture of a famous Viennese writer who fancied this restaurant and was a regular here. The owners installed his sculpture to make him a guest—through day and night. The writer is now permanently reclining in a chair by the entrance and appraises every visitor to the restaurant. It is so surrealistic that you may think some one real is in the chair. I also like the waiters here; they are handsome, suave and very polite. The one serving us has wide forehead and light, dreamy eyes. He could be a poet in the making and may be one day will have a sculpture dedicated to his memory. Some of the waiters can have with you discussion on latest in art, literature, opera and music. It is a city of culture-dreamers.
cONITNUED....

Monday, March 9, 2009

artreveal.blogspot.com

"I create Rainbows from the White purity of the Infinite"
victor0vijay@gmail.com










The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Size:34"X42"
Acrylic on canvas
$4500 each
Status:available






Fragrance of Autumn-1
The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Size:58"X78"
Acrylic on canvas
$11000
Status:available
FRAGRANCE OF AUTUMN
A very long time back I lived and painted on an old boat anchored on Danube near Black sea in Romania. It was autumn and the landscape was a passionate rust, crimson and yellow ochre. It was magical to say the least. I was in communion with the landscape. At other times I would breathe in the autumn landscapes of Europe in Finland, Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and Poland, Styria in Austria, Alpine Piedmonte in Italy, France, and Hungry.The senses are seduced by the proliferating warm colours as the leaves turn from cool green to life red, rust, brick, yellow-ochre, brown colours. Something happens to soul, it starts to sing, is inundates by a dazzling warmth and pleasantness. Autumn used as a metaphor run to life as well as death. Poets often use the negative metaphor but for visual artists autumn is the great celebration of the festival of colours of joy. By a quirky association I relate the red beard of Vincent Van Gogh in his famous self portrait (1887) to the red of autumn.But is not the autumn the surfeit of rejuvenation. Do we not talk of the birth death rebirth cycle? Is the Resurrection of Jesus not an emblem of continuity of life and hope? So why be afraid of death? Paul Laurence Dunbar looks at autumn as a celebration and reason of joy—The earth is just so full of fun
It really can't contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don't talk to me of solemn days
In autumn's time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Viktor Vijay
Labels:


Fragrance of Autumn-1
Dealt in splash-dot style I have developed this technique in 2003-4 while satying and working in Salzburg, Austria in my friend Eva Mazucco's atelier



Song of Eternal
Victor Vijay's artLife is a search of what is beyond, subtle, symbolic. Human imagination finds its great escalation and unfolding in Nature. Cosmos and Nature subsumes the human as an interpolation of itself. It is the holistic presence of Nature that underlies dazzling beauty that provokes human joy. The pastoral invoked the serenity of Nature but then nature unleashes more. Nature evokes awe and cosmic mysteries. Moods of Nature in its pristine glory nudge our senses into the unfamiliar domains of emotions. Nature seeds unfathomed feelings and magic.Victor Vijay is not searching for the ephemeral in Nature. His art does not capture moods of Nature rather he rejoices in the symbolism, intuitiveness and feelings that Nature distils. His paintings are not about descriptive elements of Nature. He paints the flow of feelings that emerge as you confront Nature. Thus out of the necessity of his chosen expression his art has to be abstract. He abstains from cerebral details and dwells in the feelings that lace inner happiness. He is a shepherd in the Pastoral invoking through his whispering art the romance of Eternal more like Christopher Marlowe—Come live with me and be my love,And we will all the pleasures proveThat valleys, groves, hills, and fields,Woods or steepy mountains yields.This artist does not expand on the individual, he evokes a mood of yearning, a desire to be in the comforting lap of Mother Nature. His art is not into naming, describing, it is more into feeling. Victor speaks through the enveloping silence in his paintings. Gerard Manley Hopkins is what the artist echoes—And beat upon my whorled ear,ELECTED Silence, sing to mePipe me to pastures still and beThe music that I care to hearVictor’s paintings are the poetics of the blooming soul. In them is the desire to express the inexpressible; in the moment he searches the eternal. Through his paintings he is trying not to posit Nature as a physical entity but he provokes to awaken the inner vision so that we can hear the SONG OF ETERNAL.
The Magic of Creation

we are not what we appear but what appears from us. A new way to look at art. Life is beautiful for we have a sense of beauty. it is this which is the highest form of human craving. this is nirvana or as Abrham Maslow said it is self actualization. This blogg is engendered to look for revealation of aesthetic in paintings, sculptures and kindred expressions in the contemporary, modern and historical so that we gift a heritage for future mankind.




Publication:Times of India Mumbai;Date:Sep 14, 2007;Section:Whats Hot;Page Number:52—(Viktor) Vijay Kumar is Director and Curator (India, Asia) of European Artists Association Velbert Essen Germany. He has been honoured with the best painter award by Sahitya Kala Parishad. His Medium: Vijay’s works are characterised by internal spontaneity and vibrancy. Employing the raw energy of colours—playing with light and shade, warm and cool tones, making marks like heart-rhythms—his paintings are visually fascinating and psychologically compelling. They resonate with an extraordinary force, incredible sensorial richness and intense symbolic and emotive value. His Style: Vijay’s paintings are mostly abstract and nonrepresentational. Pulsating with organic energy, his paintings like ‘Celebration’, ‘Passion Of Red’ and ‘Evolution Of Man’ captivate spectators with their spontaneity and emotional intensity

ETHEREAL ROSES AND RAINBOWS
Journey of an Artist
by Viktor vijay










CHAPTER I
I was born in southern part of Austria in the province of Styria. My parents named me Petra. My mother was a gypsy from Poland and father Austrian. Father was a sailor who met my mother while holidaying in Tatras in south-eastern Poland. He saw her in a village pub where farmers gathered after the day’s work in fields. Carefree laughter floated in the pristine mountain land; over glasses of beer tales from grandfathers’ time would be recounted, heroics from Polish wars remembered and the rustic beauty of this sun-kissed and wind swept hardy landscape would reflect in the faces of these simple folks. It was here that my father fell in love. He saw her in the pub enjoying her beer with some friends. He went over to her and asked her name. But she laughed; she laughed with her radiant eyes and her dark hair floated in the fresh mountain air. She was dressed in vibrant, colourful clothes, as is the custom with gypsies all over Europe. She carried in her the freedom of bohemian winds and cascading music of mountain rivers flowing from Tatras. Rather my mother was the sensuous, heady wind that blew across valleys, forests, houses and barns, villages and vales. She was freedom itself. It was this overflowing being of my mother that my father found so enchanting and different from what a settled life breeds in a person with permanent weight of attachment to people and places. It is the freedom from the fear of tomorrow when a person moves all the time, every moment every day is free and fresh as the first dewdrops in the morning. Life is a renewal every moment. He married my mother in the village church and celebrated marriage feast with the villagers. My father returned from his vacation with his bride. He settled her in the beautiful valley in Styria where he had a house, which he inherited from his grandfather’s brother. The house was built with logs and wood from the forest around the house. My father also owned the forest; being part of his inheritance. The house was an old one and had beautiful, carved front door with strange images and symbols. Inside the living room on walls were hanging wooden icons, landscape paintings, and old sea maps from the Habsburg period. My grandfather was also a sailor and Austria had a seaport then in Trieste. Lace curtains covered the windows, which women knitted with their own hands as was common in these parts. There were four chairs and a large sofa covered with bearskins and a heavy carved walnut table. Bookshelf stood in one corner stacked with old, yellowed, and yellowing books. There were two large comfortable bedrooms on first floor, furnished with spacious comfortable wooden beds. The bedrooms had a fantastic view of the forest and the valley. Rising sun would bathe the valley in soft crimson yellow, the birds would soar, singing; thus the chaste morning would herald a dew-fresh new day. The kitchen was large and comfortable. A big wood-fired stove, erected in the middle helped circulate warm air in the harsh winter. A mahogany dining table stood closer to the wall surrounded by eight chairs. It was here that my mother baked her first fresh bread after her marriage and cooked for her husband and for us later when I arrived.
It was a beautiful land—rolling hills, sensuous, fragrant valleys, exquisite sunsets, white winters, warm summers, scintillating springs and brown ochre romantic autumns. It was a land where love grew in the form of fragrant linden flowers; flowing brooks, singing canaries, jingling bells, nature composed music—as cows grazed in the lush meadows and virginal winds kissed endearingly every blade of grass, every flower in bloom and every leaf of tree.
It was in this fecund land that I was born to my mother. In the nature's nursery here, my childhood was nursed. It was here that I played with squirrels and birds, collected wild flowers, raced with the winds, watched fishes gambol in streams, and learnt my lessons about colours from changing seasons. In winters by the stove, my mother would tell me tales of gypsy kings and her clan and far off lands from where they were forced to flee, many centuries back. That land, she told me was in Asia and called Hindustan. It was a magical land and all gypsy tribes belonged to it. In her haunting, lilting voice, she would sing songs of yore while cooking or putting me to sleep. The songs were about brave kings and wars they fought, about lovers whose love could find no fulfilment, or about the land of ancestors, which overflowed with honey and riches. There was nostalgia, soft pain, and suffering. The tales celebrated the pain for the lost land. The reality of the land existed only in imagination. Imagination fed further imagination over centuries of exile and the land existed more as a feeling, as a thought, as an ideal in the hearts and minds of the people than as a reality out there. The changes in the external world did not affect, the land was safe from all dangers, as it existed inside the people. It was the Shangri La of soul—never ageing or changing. This is what I inherited from my mother—‘what exists inside remains constant, forever fresh, and young.’ Outside, mechanical time brings about physical changes and decay but the spiritual, inner time is forever the same. This is the eternal white lotus of soul. Much later, I would discover the roots of these thoughts in India.
From my mother I learnt to view things in a different magical way. She told that it is not the expanse but the core, the essence of things that we should understand and appreciate. The expanse creates illusions and is the cause of much of unhappiness in the world. The external world must collapse back in our inner kernel of being as a totality, as an infinite iota. We must first learn to open inside—outside will open automatically. My mother and Mother Nature were my teacher, guide, and friend. I would interact with stars as one does with a friend; fairies from my mother’s tales would descend from heavenly heights to play with me, the trees and flowers understood when I would talk to them and in turn I would relish what they told me.