I am 72 years old from Hindu family of north India settled in Hyderabad. I am an atheist in literal sense. Yet I have absorbed a good deal of mystical, symbolic and ethereal overtones from my culture as well as an over-view of other religions. I believe that too narrow a commitment to one's own religion often leads to denial of, and antipathy to, other religions. I believe in a universal 'religion of man-in-nature' that transcends the narrow limits of physical world (fragmented, distorted, and self-centred) into the world of sublime -- pervasive realm of beauty, love, social-good; and the eternal energy of creation, progression and destruction.
I was fond of painting from childhood. I was encouraged by famous artist Sudhir Khastagir of Lucknow to join Kalabhavan (Fine Arts College) at Tagore's university at Santiniketan. I joined Kalabhavan in 1951 but after three months I was shifted to graduate school due to family compulsions. "As an artist you will starve" my father said. While at Santiniketan from 1951 to 1957 first as a student and then as a schoolteacher, I was closely associated with Kalabhavan as a part-time student. I was close to Ramkinker and did many paintings and sculptures at the young age. Only few of those works remain with me now.
I lost touch with art after entering a long academic career in social science. After studying literature (M.A., Visva Bharati) and anthropology (M.A., Ph.D. at Lucknow University), I specialised in Medical Sociology abroad (D.Sc. Johns Hopkins University). I spent time whole-heartedly for research and teaching at five different universities including Johns Hopkins University and Howard University. I was in USA for 6 years and returned to Banaras Hindu University in 1976. I shifted to Central University, Hyderabad from BHU in 1979. I retired as Professor of sociology in 1994.
The highlight of my academic career was to study and promote the folk culture and practices of ordinary villagers - first in the field of health, hygiene and sanitation, and then in the field of forestry and watershed development. Understanding the richness and limitations of folk culture, and then facilitating development through active and direct participation of primary stakeholders, was my obsession. Despite a lot of lip service and private appreciation of participatory development, this is totally against the mainstream of administration and professions in India. Except for small-scale glimpses of the potential and possibilities of such an approach, particularly when working with voluntary agencies, I was a lone crusader and failed to get support of institutions, administrators & professionals in my mission. But for few close friends and colleagues who worked with me and understood me (or did they?), it was an exciting battle.
Getting back to my private world of fine art was a healing consolation for my aging self.
An exoposure to the works of great variety of digital artist on the internet, including
Ingrid Kamerbeek has opened my eyes to the vast arena of cyber-art. They have encouraged me. I have visited digital art sites on the Internet and I am overwhelmed by the variety, depth and complexity of the digital art today. I am still learning and exploring the possibilities of the digital medium. What I have done so far is nothing but a beginning.
Here again perhaps I am up against the mainstream by choosing the digital medium and calling myself an 'artist'. What matters is that I thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. It fills my life with a sense of fulfilment. It has charged the lonely life of an aged widower.
Like all artists I like to share and learn what others have to say. During last one year I have displayed my works in a number of art related web sites. It is time I have my own website.