By Kul Bushan
What is the face that you present to over 500 million users on Facebook? Does your face show a smile, a grin, a smirk or a frown? Is it a happy face, a sad face, a funny face or a bold face? Is your face made up or a cover up? When you get bored with your face on Facebook, do you change it? As your face changes with your age, do you show your face as a child, a teenager, an adult or an oldie? So what is your real face? And do you have the courage to face your real face?
Initially, Facebook users make new friends, discover old friends, classmates and colleagues; and get connected to long lost relatives. What a joy to be reunited, re-connected with childhood playmates; teenage buddies and long forgotten coworkers! Frantic exchanging of messages brings you happily up-to-date with all of them. In this first dance of friendship, everything is endless spring. You become addicted to Facebook, so much so that you can’t live without it.
But it’s not all hunky-dory being on Facebook. When you get settled, the old jealousies sprout up on seeing the so-called achievements of your contacts when they post photos of their new homes, spouses, children, cars, holidays, gifts and accolades. Can you show a bold face in the face of these feats and triumphs you cannot match? Soon with subtle — and even open — ego clashes, you face problems with these new faces on Facebook. When you cannot face it at all, you go into a severe depression. Even, suicides have been reported following sour Facebook postings and relationships.
Your old flame can surface on Facebook and trigger off new fires in your existing marriage/relationship that was plodding along. Or, an impostor with an enticing, phony face lures you into an emotional or a business relationship that wounds your emotions and/or cleans out your bank balance. The offenders are so smooth that you need to have the face to ask them a rude question. But you don’t; and so you suffer horribly. Now, do you have the guts to face the Facebook? Can you preserve your normal face in the face of these disasters? Can you face up to reality? Do you have the courage to discover your real face? Or rather, your original face?
Instead of interacting on the Facebook, do you have the nerve to ask the ultimate question, “Who am I?” Like a Zen disciple, can you ask your Master, “What is the original face?” And the Master says, “The face that you had before your parents were born.” And you start meditating on that: “What is your original face?” The Zen people say: “Find out your face, the face you had before you were born; find the face that you will again have when you are dead.” Between birth and death, what you think is your face is just temporary, accidental.
The enlightened master Osho throws a new light on your real face. Your challenge is to start discovering it with his meditations.
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Indian art market sizzling hot
Indian art market is hot. And it sizzled at the three-day India Art Summit that ended on 23 January 2010 in New Delhi. Minor Picasso and Rodin originals – at one a million dollars each – were exhibited and so were thousands of other artists, mostly Indian. The Summit touched new heights for Indian art. A total of 84 galleries, including 34 from many countries round the globe, came to exhibit. Galleries from Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Singapore, Austria and other countries staged their artworks.
About 80 per cent of the galleries sold works, valued from $500 to over a million dollars each. About ten per cent of the exhibitors sold out all they came with. Over 120,000 art lovers paid Rs 200 (about $5) to enter the exhibition. Curators, art critics and art editors took part in a full programme of events with famous names on the world of art and sculpture like Anish Kapoor and Don Graham.
India’s economic boom has not only enabled Indians to buy houses and cars, but also to purchase expensive art. High income overseas Indians are also avid investors in Indian art. Modern art from India and China is being lapped up by collectors at top auctions like Southby’s and Christie’s in the art capitals of the world like Paris, London and New York.
When stock markets were booming before 2008 crash, a Mumbai auction house sold 160 works of Indian artists for $ 15.3 million. The highest bid was for the Paris-based artist S. H. Raza, whose work titled Climat went for a mind-boggling $ 1.4 million. A painting by Tyeb Mehta fetched $ 1.10 million. Now with India’s economic boom, the colour is back into Indian art. Prices are moving up again. A painting by Maqbool Fida Husain was sold for $4.4m. Saurashtra, a massive 79x79in acrylic on canvas by Syed Haidar Raza, one of India’s veteran masters, was bought for a hammer price of $3.5m.
“This interest in art is nothing but a lifestyle change we are witnessing,” said art critic Manasij Majumdar, speaking to rediff.com. “Now young entrepreneurs and industrialists are spending a huge part of their income in buying art. Reason: art has a unique status of its own. Purchasing art is a way of saying that one has arrived in life,” said Majumdar.
* Published in print edition on 4 February 2011