Letter from New Delhi
Leafing through this coffee table book, The Mystic and Her Colours, is an intense experience. And what’s more, a deeply spiritual one.
As you run your fingers over its gold embossed title, you feel the energy of the artist Pratiksha Apurv that pervades throughout this volume of her paintings with her commentary on each of her creations.
“In my painting, I have tried to explain the flowering of the state of bliss through the Sanskrit text that says don’t be anguished about the past and avoid any thought about the future. Existence known only one tense – present,” says Pratiksha Apurv as she lives in the moment
Before you see and read about these paintings, you are pleasantly surprised by the message penned by no less than the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi who writes, “Over the years, her column in the ‘Speaking Tree’ has tried to take us inwards into our consciousness along the path of spiritual search. Guided by the eternal wisdom of her uncle Osho, she writes meditatively to help strike a balance between the outer and inner worlds. Her writings are simple yet profound, give us a peek into the divine and nudge us to awaken our state of being.
“I congratulate her for bringing out the timeless essence of art in her writing. I hope that this book, like her paintings, will delight the reader,” wrote PM Modi.
Big smiles as the well-known movie director Vishal Bharadwaj, left, and his wife singer Rekha Bharadwaj, right, launch ‘The Mystic and Her Colours’ by Pratiksha Apurv, centre
It’s so beautiful that as soon as you handle this book, you get a feeling of peace and devotion. As you turn the pages and take in the serene paintings, you fall into meditation.
Leafing through the book, you embark on a spiritual safari. You gaze on the spiritual landscape in her paintings and you glide over her text that explains her art. Effortlessly, she provides the background and describes each and every feature because every element has a deeper meaning in the overall imagery.
As the niece of the enlightened master Osho, spirituality is in her DNA. Growing up in this mystical family, she was initiated when she was only eleven and spent her youth in the Pune commune. This Buddhfield was the most vibrant during that period when the master was at his highest energy. She was with Osho until he returned to India in 1985.
She moved to Delhi and worked as a fashion designer for 15 years.
Despite the outstanding success of her studio and label, she moved on to painting and her creativity just flowed in mystical art. Without any formal training in fashion designing nor in fine art, she has been a stunning success in both these creative fields.
Working only at her eye-level in her studio, Pratiksha Apurv applies a colour she has already seen in her no-mind with the final painting. “I’m not here, then painting just happens,” she says
What is her secret? One, her introspective nature that focuses her totally on the work at hand so that every task becomes meditation. Second, her sense of colours and how to use them subtly to make a graceful impact.
This playful attitude to colours came into play when the first dummy of this book was sent to her and she saw that the colours printed were not the ones she had used. She was not satisfied with the gold on the cover and the colours of her paintings had changed dramatically. So, she went to the printers and suggested how to mix different colours to get the correct shades. When the printers changed the mix, they were surprised and she was delighted. They asked, “How do you know so much about printing?” She replied, “I don’t know about printing but I know how to mix colors to get the right shades.”
“Our life is like a circle without a centre and we go on living on the circumference, that is our five senses. Move to the centre to discover the bliss,” says Pratiksha Apurv about this image of the sense of touch depicting the sensuous feeling on holding a delicate fabric
Pratiksha took a keen interest in its production starting with its design. Once she saw the first design, she suggested changes but was opposed. So, she suggested some minor changes and then more until it was re-designed. At the end, everyone agreed that it looked much, much better. She selected the paper, Mont Blanc 160 gsm and the smart bookmark with an Osho quote, “Creativity is the fragrance of individual freedom.”
Painting after painting entices your imagination and provokes you to find the hidden meanings. It’s impossible to look and read it from cover to cover. It has to be savored over time so that its messages sink in. A treasure for art aficionados and seekers.
The Mystic and Her Colours by Pratiksha Apurv, Publisher Times of India, Price Rs 1499
Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades and now lives in New Delhi
* Published in print edition on 19 October 2018