10816Fwd: [karmayog] Brushing aside pain and agony
- Jan 6, 2014
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pearl - Karmayog
Source: Hindu Business Line
Brushing aside pain and agony
“The pain, suffering and emotional turmoil apart, it was cancer that made me realise the importance of making peace with oneself in life, no matter how harsh the reality is.’’
“Cancer has been the second best thing to have happened in my life after my husband,” said artist Ruby Ahluwalia, with a disarming smile and rare candour.
“The pain, suffering and emotional turmoil apart, it was cancer that made me realise the importance of making peace with oneself in life, no matter how harsh the reality is,’’ she said.
The reality of being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2009, coupled with a long road to recovery after undergoing chemotherapy, and finally emerging triumphant in her fight against cancer - the journey of Ahluwalia’s catharsis and self-realisation has been translated onto the canvas. An exhibition titled “Towards Satori” is being held at the Artists Centre art gallery in Mumbai.
“Satori is a Japanese word referring to the experience of awakening or enlightenment. My 10 paintings under this theme, capture the range of emotions I experienced while undergoing chemotherapy. I used to paint one canvas after each treatment session, and soon the overwhelming feelings of depression, pain and contemplation gave way to enlightenment, acceptance and peace,” said Ruby.
Ruby, who works as the Chief Accounts Officer with the Western Railway, does not believe in drawing on the canvas before painting it. “I feel if I paint directly, my emotions flow more freely onto the canvas. If I draw, I feel one has already expressed the emotion, and filling colours is a mere task left to be fulfilled,” she explains.
Going forward, she plans to take these 10 paintings depicting her experience to various cancer hospitals where her non-government organisation (NGO) Sanjeevani has established a centre.
These include Chennai, Bhopal, Kolkata, Jaipur, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
Formed in 2012, the aim of the NGO is to reach out to cancer patients by providing counselling and emotional support and handholding through its network of support groups that comprise cancer survivors themselves.
To raise funds for rehabilitation of cancer patients, the NGO also hosts a virtual art gallery called ‘Art For Cause’ where artists can showcase their creations by pledging a small part of the sales proceeds as donation for the cause.
“By showcasing these works, I want to encourage other cancer fighters, survivors to use their latent talents, be it art, music or pottery to ward of depression, which is so integral when one is diagnosed with cancer. I also want to instil the message that there is a life beyond cancer. No experience in life, good or bad should go to waste, when it can be channelised positively instead,” she signs off.