Mumbai Diaries: Conversation, Celebration, Art

Hello Everybody,

I’ve had a busy last four days which is a good thing since we are still under lockdown and because of the cyclone Tauktae which hit Mumbai on the 17th of May, we have been locked indoors. This time I mean it literally. With a wind speed of 40-55 kmph, we had to close all windows and doors to stop them from rattling and banging shut. The wind howled all day through the spaces in the glass and the window frame which is invisible to naked eyes. We experienced Mumbai’s first severe cyclone since 1948.

Thankfully, the destruction caused by it was much lesser than what could have been- Around 13 people were killed and around 120 people working on a barge that went adrift were rescued. Compound walls collapsed and the sea lashed the Gateway of India. Its a huge loss that a number of trees were uprooted by the wind. I hate it when these life-givers that take years to grow are cut or fall because of the elements. Also, a lot many people living near the sea lost their homes. They had been evacuated so there were no loss of lives but I’m not sure how the government compensates them for their losses.

So while the cyclone has passed from Mumbai to Gujarat, there are many out there whose lives like the trees have been uprooted and yet they must find a way to plant themselves again.

https://www.dw.com/en/india-combs-sea-after-barge-sinks-in-deadly-cyclone/a-57563963

May 17th, the day the cyclone hit Mumbai was my younger daughter’s birthday. The only good thing that came out of the cyclone is that it provided us a respite from the heat. Considering the fact that this May was the hottest May Mumbai had experienced in ten years, we were delighted with the unexpected cool clime.

We celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a chocolate cake with fresh cream- which I got custom-made for her (thankfully there are some things that are still doable despite the pandemic). Other than the fact that her name had a missing letter, the cake was perfect by all standards.

The birthday girl had her last exam for the year in the morning. Her elder sister made breakfast for her- mango, chia pudding and mommy made her favorite food -butter chicken with roti, watermelon juice and mango cream dessert.

After lunch we watched the movie ‘Blind Side.’ I highly recommend it for those who haven’t watched it. Its based on a true story and every character is simply a good human being- its light on the heart. The positivity in the movie is something we need to remind ourselves more of these days to keep our spirits up.

In the evening she had con-calls with her friends where they played online games like ‘Scribble,’ and then she took loads of photographs like a normal teen- her daddy at her beck and call – was her very own personal photographer . All in all it was a good celebration and I’m grateful for it.

With the ongoing pandemic, I’m determined more than ever that we celebrate every moment that life gives us. Last week a classmate of mine passed away in Delhi after being on the ventilator for three weeks. I hadn’t communicated much with her but after she passed away, I checked her Fb page and noticed that she had celebrated every big and small event during the last 12 months. And I thought to myself, ‘I’m glad she was happy and the family did not waste the time they had together.’

Anyway what kept me truly busy though was my attempt at painting flowers. I struggled so much. Those delightful creations that I absolutely love kept me on my toes.

Below, I’ve shared all my attempts at painting them.

The failed attempts-

The practice-

The final – a long way to go before I’m able to depict what I see in my mind’s eye but I’m letting go for now- I get that the practice looks much better than the final. It is a ray of hope.

Coming to Covid (because no discussion these days is complete without a discussion on Covid or the vaccine status)- the cases this week have fallen drastically in Mumbai so that’s good. The credit goes to Iqbal Singh Chahal for his efficient managing of the situation. To read what Mumbai did to tackle the crisis you can click on the link below-

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/iqbal-singh-chahal-maharashtra-covid-cases-bmc-oxygen-vaccine-shortage-second-wave-7308663/

That’s all from my side this week. Do drop in a line on how your week’s been in the comments below or just let me know what you think of the painting. I wish you’ll well. Stay safe!

Cheers

Smitha

P.S. I worked some more on the painting;) Now I am definitely letting it go 🙂

21 comments

  1. I’m happy that you managed to celebrate despite what was going on outside, and also to create beautiful things. Glad to know that the numbers are going down, here’s hoping some of your restrictions will ease soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too Andrea. I know if it carries on during the school holidays, our patience will be tested. It’s OK so far since the girls are busy with school and college.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful cake and beautiful family!! Belated Birthday wishes to your daughter!
    I am glad to know how you kept busy with such creativity and joy during these times of cyclone and pandemic. Very Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A belated Happy Birthday to Akansha and the cake was awesome, Smitha. Yes our cyclone was terrible. Here in South Mumbai too there was chaos, we had a tree falling near my building and feel so sad for them, I had tears in my eyes, so many they say almost 3000 trees of years gone by have also fallen. Who knows when our BMC will open their eyes and grow more trees and trim the ones that are there. Great to know our Mumbai is doing good with the Corona virus and may be other parts of India too recover faster. A beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kamal for the birthday wishes. The cake was delicious.
      I can only imagine how bad it was in South Mumbai. Was thinking of you. 3000 trees! That’s huge and it’s terrible. Every monsoon this happens and nobody does a thing about it. Its dangerous too for people. Hope your apartment was fine. Is it sea-facing?
      Mumbai has done a great job and hopefully in 3 weeks time we will have vaccines supplied so more people will be vaccinated. Thank you Kamal for reading the post so attentively.

      Like

      1. You are always welcome dear Smitha and no I stay just opposite the station at Grant road and Chowpatty is fifteen minutes away from my house. Not much damage but only our poor trees could not survive.

        Ya a commendable job done on the vaccine front. Hope they could start giving all. My husband and me too have taken the first doze now waiting for the second one. Atleast Mumbai is not that bad and is improving from covid. Smitha I just saw the movie blind side which you mentioned it was awesome, loved the love and kindness in the whole movie. Thanks a lot. Love and hugs to you. Take care and stay safe 🙏🏻🙏🏻😊🙏🏻♥️🌷

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh lovely Kamal! I’m so happy you enjoyed watching ‘Blind Side’. That’s what I liked about the movie – nobody was remotely mean.
          It’s good to know that you’re not anywhere near the sea 🙂 or else everytime it rains heavily I end up wondering how you’re doing
          You can try taking the second dose at government hospitals. They’re very clean and organized. Try the one in Parel. They’ve converted a college to a vaccine center.
          Love and hugs to you too Kamal❤🤗

          Like

          1. Thanks Smitha and yes such a clean and beautiful movie loved it. Ya will try these hospitals too but still time for me and my husband for second doze it is in June. I can tell my daughter to try for my son and her husband they are not getting anywhere. Happy Day to you. Love and lots of hugs 🤗❤️🤗❤️🤗

            Liked by 1 person

  4. A happy belated birthday to your daughter.

    For your painting, if you feel the practice pieces come out better than the finished article, it might be because by the time you reach the final piece, you’ve mentally ‘painted it’ already. Have a go at just going straight for it, with as little practise as you can. Chances are it will have a real freshness. (No guarantees, I’m afraid!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mick for your wishes. Will pass them to her.
      I’ll take your advice and give it a go after a break. My mind’s saturated with roses. That’s all I see when I close my eyes and the frustration of not being able to put it down on paper is immense. Thank you though for the tip. You may be right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel there are two types of painter. There is one type who effectively spends their life painting variations of the same picture over and over again, and the other type cannot bear to repeat a picture and must always paint something new. I’m the second type, and i find that painting practice pieces doesn’t work for me for that reason.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes…me too! I can’t imagine repeating a painting and yet I have seen some artists do the same scene from different angles, with different lighting. I supposed that’s what makes them so good. I hadn’t really thought there was a group I belonged to. Reading your comment makes me feel a lot more confident of the kind of painter I am. Thank you!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re welcome. I really found that out when I picked up a couple of commissions to repaint pictures I’d sold for another customer. Although it paid quite well, I hated doing it!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Lol…I had a similar experience when someone liked a painting I’d done on a A4 size sheet. They wanted that one and the exact same one in a bigger size …in the name of ‘exclusivity.’ It was tough and the thing is it can never be exactly the same. So, I totally get it🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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