Each Night put Kashmir in your Dreams: Nilima Sheikh
Duration: 01:00:13; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 198.037; Saturation: 0.235; Lightness: 0.265; Volume: 0.172; Cuts per Minute: 2.092; Words per Minute: 95.102
Summary: Spread over a year (2010-2011) with one lecture a month, the CoLab-Goethe visual art series focused on practitioners who look at both ‘reconstruction’ and the ‘historical turn’ from the perspective of contemporary artistic practice: the revisions and re-readings that take place when images, works or events from the past circulate in a changing set of configurations; the lectures on architecture attempt to look at the radical shift in the imagining of the public space and the notion of spatial equity, and the questions thus raised.
Nilima Shaikh studied history at Delhi University, going on to MS University where she studied at the Faculty of Painting, and, in fact, taught at the Faculty between 1977 and 1981. Nilima started exhibiting her work in 1969 and has had 12 solo exhibitions. She has participated in several artists' camps and residencies, both in India and outside the country. Her research on Pichwais of Nathdwara was supported by the National Handloom and Handicraft Museum, and her interest in theatre has led her to design theatre sets for several productions, and she has also illustrated books for children and written essays for journals and artbooks. Here, Nilima speaks about 'Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams' which are nine painted scrolls that are tapestries of stories which construct the many histories of Kashmir. Nilima's is a personally woven history of Kashmir that she melds together with fragments of medieval, historical, religious, mythical and fictional accounts.
Thank you all for coming this evening. This is the third in our series of the CoLab-Goethe Lecture series which is being jointly organized by the Goethe-Institut, CoLab and in collaboration with the Venkatappa Art Gallery, and a very special welcome to Nilima Sheikh. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Nilima. Nilima, in fact, studied History at Delhi University, and then she went on to the M.S. University where she studied at the Faculty of Painting, and, in fact, taught at the Faculty between 1977 and 1981. I think those were the really exciting times in Baroda, when the University had a cosmopolitan character about it, and I think a lot of artists, teachers became legends in their own lifetime. Nilima started exhibiting her work in 1969 and has had 12 solo exhibitions. She has participated in several others but I'm not going to make a list of them because it's too exhaustive, but just to name a few. She had the exhibition, 'Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams', which opened at the Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi this year and at Chemould Gallery as well. She also had another exhibition in Delhi last year which was called 'Drawing Trails'. And I must mention another exhibition which was called 'Horn Please' which I co-curated in Berne in 2007, in which I had two of Nilima's works which was 'When Champa Grew Up' which was made in 1984, and then two of the works from the series that she is going to speak about now. Nilima has participated in several artists' camps and residencies, both in India and outside the country. Her research on Pichwais of Nathdwara was supported by the National Handloom and Handicraft Museum, and her interest in theatre has led her to design theatre sets for several productions, and she has also illustrated books for children and written essays for journals and artbooks. So, this evening, Nilima will be speaking about 'Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams' which are nine painted scrolls which are tapestries of stories which construct the many histories of Kashmir. And hers is a personally woven history of Kashmir that she melds together with fragments of medieval, historical, religious, mythical and fictional accounts. So, without further ado, let me welcome Nilima Sheikh.
Thank you, Suman, thank you Urvi, for this wonderful opportunity. Also, I would like to thank the Director of Venkatappa Art Gallery. It's really a pleasure being here in a place where I had visited so many years ago, and just continue to visit every time I've been here. You'll have to pardon me because I'm just recovering from a sore throat; so, if I'm inaudible at any time, please let me know.
I'm going to be showing you slides and I'll talk along with it and, whenever there are any questions, you can interrupt me in between, or ask me later, whichever way it works out.
During this last decade, I have tried to find a pictorial language which would help me work with aspects of the histories of north India.
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In 2001, two circumstances led to my attempt to image some aspects of the partition of Punjab: the publication of Urvashi Butalia's, 'The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India' in 1998, and an opportunity to exhibit with a Pakistani artist. Butalia's landmark publication opened my eyes to several aspects of the Partition; the issue was the logistics of translating discursive text into visual language. I knew I could only notate some of these by attempting to inscribe them with the stains of other kinds of histories, of painting and lore, while contextualising them with excerpts of the text. I felt the need to take up Butalia's initiative to rethink while remembering, even while being warned by Sontag, perhaps too much value is ascribed to memory, not enough to thinking. Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relationship we have with the dead. So, the belief that remembering is an ethical act is deep in our nature's resumes(?).
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(?) is the reason why I painted the way that I did. When I saw the long wall dropping down from the third floor building, and the curvilinear staircase going up in front of it, It seemed to me a viable architectural site for an extension of the theatric Asiatic scroll. I enjoy the options that a scroll offers, of revealing as much of itself that its spacial situation encourages and viewing depth permits. Also, its transience, the option of being a visitor. Apart from the long and narrow dimensions offered by the space, the irregular curvilinear stairs brought to my mind the bends of the river.
But it made me think of walking up and down them would mimic a journey along a mountain river, now visible, now round a bend, sometimes close enough to touch, at other times, revealing something of its play. The river has stayed with me, multiplying sometimes, offering its banks to record histories of separation, offering passage from one time to another, one land to another. The pictorialisation of the river in all my large works since has been aided substantially by the stencils made by the family of Vishnu Prasad Jadia, the reputed Sanjhi artists of Mathura who traditionally design and cut paper stencils. I'm deeply indebted to their cooperation for making available a wide range of their traditional repertoire and, whenever I wanted to intervene, improvising along with me. More than that, for offering the fluency of their language, their view of the world, to help me structure mine.
Painters of scrolls in Asia engaged with words, oral or written, sometimes both. Image and word, written on some, effect a contingency which need not impinge upon their autonomies, opening up, rather than curtailing, the dynamics of finding meaning. Singer Madan Gopal Singh's rendition of 16th century songs attributed to the Sufi poet, Shah Hussain, started the process of my visualising what I wanted to paint on my river. So I planned with the calligrapher, Sumant Jaikishan, how to position and render the text.
This set of works on paper in 2002-2003 forded a niche to work my way into Kashmir. I had planned a bigger, more ambitious project, wanting to refer to the various historical and contemporary accounts of Kashmir, to try and put together configurations to rework my diverse and, often, fairly confused feelings on Kashmir. For various reasons, the work seemed suddenly too big and formidable, and I realised that it would take me a few years to evolve anything proportionate to the ambitions of my project. So, I decided, for the time, to focus on the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, the Kashmiri poet who died in the US, shortly before I started working on the series. The exhibition was titled 'The Country Without a Post Office'. After Shahid wrote his poems written in 1991-1995, and I allowed myself to be led by the hand, so to speak, to enter the complicated present and past of Kashmir.
This, also, gave me a chance to develop my art as illustration, something I'd been trying to do for quite a while now. I, sometimes, try to illustrate passages of the poem, per se. But there is a back and forth between images that come out of passages of other poems. So, there is a repetition of motif and a certain amount of overlap.
These titles are all coming out of the poetry itself. And I go into a fair amount of details because I think that's the way I work, the process of somewhat additives; so the details would actually help to structure the work.
The interest in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali was not confined to his eloquence, nor to the excitement of his emigration (?) of the visual. More than the visual clues, it is Shahid's concern with investing his right in language with a weight and memory of his other languages, Urdu and Kashmiri, with which I find parallels. To investigate the form and linguistic calibrations of other loved poetic traditions and, in my case, of other visual resources, other loved art histories, has been the project. The task is made to interiorise and to hone these other histories into the fabric of my language till that weight transforms into fruits.
I can identify with Shahid's desire to translate and invent out of historical stereotypes, to devise containers which would transform an urgent anguish and invest it with memory and resonance contained in traditional forms. His voice devises a plural and repetitive address to bear his passion. As some (?), an argument which will be co-opted for our case. Yet, there are cases where repeated exposure toward shocks saddens, appalls, does not use up the full cartridge of response. Habituation is not automatically; for him it is, obey different rules than real life. Representations of the crucifix do not become banal to believers, if they really are believers. This is even more true of stage performances. Performances with Ajusshi Norang (?), perhaps the best known narrative in all of Japanese culture, can be counted on to make a Japanese audience sob when Lord Pesang admires the beauty of cherry blossoms on his way to where he must commit seppuku. They sob each time, no matter how often they have followed the history. Pathos in the form of narrative does not wear out.
I presented these works mounted on the Gaatha brocade, taking cues from the 'thangka', for alternate ways of rating, also to upfront Kashmir's Buddhist past. The Gaatha brocade was, and is, developed in Benaras in response to Kashmiri and Tibetan patronage. We often think of Kashmir as just a Hindu-Muslim bind, and forget that Kashmir, introduced to Buddhism by Ashoka in the 3rd century, became the hub of Buddhist traffic. After 'The Country Without a Post Office', a variety on and from Kashmir had started entering my work. The beautiful village of Pachigam still exists. It's inspired by an account in 'Shalimar the Clown' of the destruction of the Bhand village which invokes planetary devils. More so, because it is in everyone's self-search of an artist's or a writer's role in the representation of immense tragedy.
I wish I had that actual passage of Salman Rushdie because it would have explained more clearly what I meant, but I don't have it here.
The next set of works is from an exhibition which I called 'Drawing Trails', which I did between 2008 and 2009, two years ago.
This is an imaginary portrait of Rishi Shah, a maverick rishi, even as rishis go, whose eccentricities did not encourage pilgrims, so he spent his time with animals and planting trees. Kashmir has a long tradition of syncretic rishis from the 14th century onwards, which combine the local understanding of ascetic philosophy with Islam from Central Asia introduced to Kashmir by Shah Akhtar. A seminal figure of this Kashmiri Sufism in that day, Noor-ud-din Noorani or Nund Rishi and several others, who were unconventional searchers whose poetry is woven into the fabric of Kashmiri society.
This is a detail, it's a motif I've ascribed often to the picnic ethic of the Kashmiri communities, much more so than what it is for other places.
I have again returned to that theme of the Rushdie text of the destruction of the Bhand community; done another version of it here.
This is another from the same series.
From 2003, apart from the works on paper, I've been working on an ongoing series on Kashmir which tries to take on ways of undoing the fixity of boundaries, using a scale and lots of extension that require other kinds of experiential relationships.
These are canvas scrolls, more in the nature of Pichwais, which are 10 feet high and 6 feet wide. The texture sources I have used not only inform the painted image but are often inscribed within. 'Valley' is a work inspired by an amazing embroidered map shawl I saw which laid out the map of Srinagar. There are four such known map shawls from the midst 19th century, each about 4 x 4.5 metres, intended for presentations to various dignitaries. The earliest, perhaps, was commissioned as a gift for Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819, which took the embroiderer, Ghulam Muhammad Kuru , 37 years to complete, so it never got given as it was intended to. 'Valley' imparts(?) the value of Kashmir for me. Retracing travel routes and quoting familiar favourite sites, weaving in and out as embroidery does. The use of the Sanjhi stencils facilitated this desire for visual enumeration. The Sanjhi worked for me as structure and surface, motif, proliferation, and as palimpsest(?).
Apart from the poetry and the text inscribed to the front of my free hanging canvas, I have selected texts extracted from historical accounts, tales and fables, fiction and journalism, and contemporary histories to stencil on the reverse of each work. This is the reverse of 'Valley'. I won't be showing you any more because it is a bit tedious to see it this way, but they were a very important part of the work that I have done.
The line from Agha Shahid Ali's 'I See Kashmir from New Delhi at Midnight'- "Each night put Kashmir in your dreams", is what gives the whole series its name. When I started the series, I was certain about only four of the panels, and I initially exhibited these works under the general working title 'Firdaus', but all along, I knew that the logic of the work would demand many more. Working with the idea of opening up interwoven overlapping visualities, or ways of seeing, necessitated that a form would multiply.
The figure in the red background is a reference to the Bhand Pather form of improvisatory theatre traditions, which has been somewhat in jeopardy during the last two decades.
This work is also trying to upfront the Buddhist past of Kashmir, and the relationship with Central Asian pictorial traditions.
For instance, this is a quotation from a Persian painting of the Kalil-e-Badina.
A map of the city comes back. There are references to Persian paintings as well here, the (?) in the arcade.
This is also about what Agha Shahid Ali has also mentioned in this poem that I refer to here, about Pashmina and the several myths about Pashmina, actually, that continue to circulate.
I call this 'Farewell' after a poem of Agha Shahid Ali by the same name.
I had never seen a Bhand performance when I painted 'Farewells' but constructed my own Bhand performance, taking references from either Persian paintings, or from my own work. I did two guardians on either side from a tradition of painting, from a 13th century painter called Siyah Qalem whom I have admired for a long time.
The painting inscribed with Agha Shahid Ali's 'Son et Lumiere in Shalimar Gardens' is an attempt to garner histories, written and oral. You know, for some reason, I was stuck with a title for this, and I kept thinking that I am trying to do the histories of Kashmir, but it's really more like potted histories, so at one time, I was thinking of calling it 'Potted Histories'. And then, I found this poem, I said that it works for me, then there's the title.
There is a very popular lore in Kashmir about the Umb marauder, Nebul. I think he is from the 6th century, and there's a story about him that he used to love the sound of elephants when they were hurled down the mountains, and this becomes like a proverb for the ultimate cruelty in Kashmir.
Most references from various places I have used an image actually of Humayun, to stand in for a portrait of Zain-ul-Abidin, who was the great king, what they call the Bud Shah of Kashmir who gave 50 years of, perhaps, some of the most peaceful time to the valley of Kashmir. I often do this, I make certain historical figures stand in for things because there is very little pictorial history of ul-Abidin from Kashmir; it's only of a certain kind. So I have had to cull an imagery out of many other sources.
This is, I'll tell you the story. Legend has it that the valley of Kashmir was kept submerged in water by a demon, Jal Dev, who did not allow any development, and then there's this whole account of how many gods tried to vanquish this demon. After many unsuccessful attempts by various divinities, Parvati (Sati) manages to vanquish it by burning a mountain in it. The mountain, then named Har Parvat, borders the Dal Lake in Srinagar.
This is a work that I've called 'Dying Dreaming', and I've tried to weave the lore and folktales from Kashmir into a tapestry along with contemporary text and images.
An extract from Salman Rushdie's 'Shalimar the Clown', extensive across the breadth of this painting which is in the middle of it.
The reference of the birds and the girl flying into the air is from a poem by Sheikh Noor-ud-din, or Nund Rishi alternatively, about a poor girl who used all the crates she earned carrying water up to her village, only to feed the birds.
Interchangeability of text, image and partial (?) arts, what I am dealing with most in this painting, to reposition the question of what is central and what is extension.
This is the Rushdie text which I have included in the red area of the painting.
I come back again to the other passage from 'Shalimar the Clown' that I've used quite often. This work also acknowledges my deep admiration of the cave paintings of Dunhuang in Central Asia, which is, perhaps, one of the least known, art historically least known set of great works outside China. They are known now quite well in China, but outside they are not very well-known. I've had the privilege of being able to go and see these paintings a couple of times. Even before I had seen the paintings, actually, when I had managed to get a book of the works, they have inspired me for a long time.
Sources here range from Italian painters like Giotto and Fra Angelico to certain aspects of dance traditions and published photographs.
Construction site was begun soon after a visit to Srinagar for a workshop organised by the INTACH, Jammu and Kashmir Chapter, where I spent time seeing the city with young architects, minutely tried to repair and restore a beautiful city ravaged by decay and destruction, wrought equally by neglect, abandonment, violation and property sharks.
The great 15th century Persian painter, Behzad, whose amazing building scenes from the Zafarnama in Khamsa Nizami alternate with the famous scene of preparing graves for a funeral. These have, in some senses, been the guiding angel through this work specifically, but even many of the others.
This is an image of the exhibition display in Bombay when I showed the work. It's not an apparently good image, but I just wanted to keep it there because, in a sense, that's somewhere where I started with the idea of having these multiple paintings alternated with each other. In a way, what I would like to point out in the end that this series is no tribute to the Kashmiri artism. They teach me to see no contradiction between precision and proliferation. Visual enumeration may not be an antagonist to economy, nor the use of stereotype to invention. Now, more than ever before, it is crucial to look for ways to release the understanding of the past from the politics of reduction.
I'll be happy to answer any queries.
Questions from audience:
Q1. Your work is absolutely amazing. Basically, I'm a landscape design historian. So I was just looking at the trees that you've painted and the lakes. And I found it fascinating that your choice for painting the trees was specific or you were just putting in a tree? Because you are showing the trees very often at different cultural spaces. That's number 1. And number 2, that you have a beautiful lake or a pond which is always eight-size. Did you use those particular issues? And I'm wondering whether is it just because that's the only piece you were using, or do you have a .....?
A. The octagonal lake area stands in for me, it's like a private code, for Verinag which is the source of the river Jhelum, which is really the artery of the valley of Kashmir. It starts at a point not far from Srinagar, and there Jehangir had built around it and made it into a lake.
Q. So that is the one that you are painting. Then the other thing if found is looking at your paintings individually, first, and then that final, when you saw it at the end, has a very different...
A. It was not quite adequate the way that I have been able to show that, bur short of walking through it, or having a film that walked through it.
Q. And all the different paintings that you've done, were they technically different cultural spaces? Sometimes, they had a very Buddhist feel, and then you go into a different culture which was, say, Mathura Sanjhi, so that's a different culture technically. So, you were dealing with several different cultures which I was starting to get a little confused, but when I then saw everything together, it was just beautiful. I want to know whether you think like that when you start painting one after the other, after the other.
A. I do tend to give myself somewhat of a project when I start each work. It's not always that it ends up exactly as I planned, not at all, in fact, because I must confess that I don't plan my work very much. Like I said, it's an additive process, I add one thing, then that leads to another and that leads to another. But, in a sense, I have given myself a project in each of the works, but there again, I'm constantly allowing other influences, other sanchari's to come into the making up of a main motif. Have I answered you? About the trees, what you said at the beginning, it's interesting.
Q. I see three different types of trees, of the linguistic tree that you had there, depending on the culture that you were choosing, of how the tree would work, several different cultures that were being seen as trees, and that I found very fascinating. Say, when you were doing paintings that would traditionally see trees from the Islamic, Persian tradition, and the way you would use the trees in a different manner. Then you would come here to, say, another culture, and then you would see them in a different manner. Technically, I felt that the culture was very strong of the tree, and it wasn't a botanical tree.
A. Yes, it was.
Q. And I agree with that, sometimes it was, when it was modern. But wonderful.
Q2. Your lecture was so rich that it's actually quite difficult to reduce oneself to one question. One question which struck my mind is, since you draw from so many sources, and poetry language is a big part of it, typography also, I was wondering how you decided on choosing the specific typography, because I was specially stunned by the gossip fracture(?) you were using which is not really traditional from that cultural area. Why did you use it and how did you use it?
A. That particular one, for instance, it is a quotation from a poem of Agha Shahid Ali where he uses the name for Kashmir, and he says at various times how Kashmir has been named differently, and that has a sense of a colonial past in India. I have to confess one thing. I did have a lot of problems with typography. You sort of got the thing, because there were, for me, two alternatives. My own writing is very bad, I've tried it out, it doesn't work. And so, I could have got them calligraphed by somebody, which is also very complicated because the person needs to have time, somebody whose style you have to like, the person has to get intuitively into the style I'm wanting. It would be a major collaboration. So, the only choice left to me was to look at the computer, for the types that I could find, and then try to see which would work where. Sometimes, the same text, I would have prepared it in several different fonts, so that I could choose which font would work where. But I'm not sure if I've solved that problem.
Q3. I wanted to return to the opening statement you made about remembrance as an ethical act and wanted to connect it to something you said a little later, that I hope I heard correctly, about how the words lead you in to an image-making act, and I wondered if there were times when you were being led to a place that you decided you did not want to go, or too horrific to consider, or when you thought that remembering would not be ethical, considering the very eclectic ways.
A. I think that's a very critical point that where one would not like to go. I think, again, the Rushdie, I wish I had it here, text would somehow, that you have choices of ways in which you want to talk about it. And I think that's the most taxing thing, then to find a way of talking about it. It's not where you've got to, so much as the way you talk about it. And that was, in a way, one of the more challenging things. And, of course, true, that there were several places that you just felt that you could not enter, that you didn't have the equipment to deal with it, to make it something that would become truthful .
Q4. Could you talk a little bit about the blocks that you've used? Were they ready-made blocks or did you design them?
A. This is a craft tradition from Mathura called the Sanjhi stencils. Originally, they were made for embellishing the temples during festivals, and they even do them on water and various things like that, it's quite an amazing thing. But I started off just cutting my own stencils and using them, because I liked this idea of repetition, doing it again and again. But, when I started the very large scroll that I showed you at the beginning, I met these people in Crafts Museum, and they were selling their things, and I thought, Oh wow!, I'd like to use some of these. That was the beginning; I bought some and I used them directly. But, by and by, I started talking to them and I became quite friendly with them. So, they would extend their thing for me, and I never actually drew for them because that would be fairly counter-productive, I think, because languages being so different, my way of doing and the way they were doing. But certainly, we shared images. I showed them images and they would tell me that they had seen it, young man, he was quite open to all this. So, then they would devise a lot for me. For instance, I can remember, when I once asked them to do... they do these immense peepul trees and things that grow around the Jamuna, but they'd never made a chinar tree. So I showed them Mughal paintings, and then he said that he'd try to think of it. He tried, he did do something and sent me, and then, a couple of days later, I got a phone-call saying, Don't use it, I'm not happy, I'm doing another one. That is the standard level of involvement they have, and it's really very gratifying. I kept urging them to.. First, they thought that they shouldn't be using my stencils for the things, but now they've begun to, and they're happy to do it. I give them a souvenir of a chinar tree or some textile, and they're happy about that.
Q5. I found your paintings quite political. Have you thought about exhibiting them in Kashmir?
A. Very much. In fact, we were on the verge of it, through the people in the INTACH in Srinagar who have been seeing my work, and that I have all thoughts of taking the work there. Their museum in Srinagar has a new building, a new wing, and so I was exploring the possibilities of showing it there. But then, Kashmir has gone through a very troubled phase since then, it didn't seem the right time to be doing it. But I still hope I can. There are two places, actually, I'd like to take it, to Srinagar and to Lucknow.
Q. I hope Bangalore is part of that?
A. That would perhaps be easier.
Q6. My response and reflections are quite personal, actually. I, myself, am Kashmiri and, in the last 20 years, we've all gone through a lot of pain in Kashmir. I think two things that your work did for me; one was what you said about remembering, and you mentioned Urvashi Butalia's book on Partition, and another kind of memory through Shahid's poems, that when we remember, there is the possibility of some sort of pain happening; and I think the story of our Partition is that it was forgotten for a long time, that we just could not allow ourselves to remember the terrible things that had been witnessed. And, in Kashmir also, what your work has done for me is brought out, it's taking our memory back, really really far back, to a time when so much was possible then, open, and there was such a creative coming together, and that, in the last 20-25 years, has once again been reduced. So, there's a lot of pain, also, in seeing the possibility that yes, this too could happen and what it has come to. And I just wonder and fantasize why were you attracted to Kashmir, what was your personal connection with Kashmir, why Kashmir?
A. I'm not quite sure. I'm asked this question very often but, somehow, I still don't quite know the way to answer this. It's something about indebtedness; indebtedness as an individual, indebtedness in my circumstances, my class, my north Indianness, various things like that. In Hindi, you have a word for it, 'rinjhwara'. But, apart from that, I have other kinds of indebtedness, and one of them is that, as a young person, I did spent quite a lot of time in Kashmir. And, even though, like most north Indian middle-class families who had holidayed in Kashmir, people from my generation, it was seeing the land in a slightly different way because of various reasons. My family were very adventurous trekkers, and it was a time when trekking was not a very sorted out, worked out thing to do, and so we had really seen Kashmir in many many ways that most people couldn't, and I feel that, as a young person, my visual imagination got constructed there. My visual world got constructed there, and I think, for a long time, I didn't allow that to come out, because there was also a strange notion, I mean, in the kind of modernist phase of my young days as an artist, there was a guilt about beauty, and a guilt about Kashmir, about working about it's too beautiful, that's not real. It is a very vexing and complicated issue. But, I found that I was, in some ways, painting Kashmir, even though I was saying I was not. I was not actually titling it or thinking about it. Thinking into it, but I think a lot of my spatialities, my various things were coming from experiences there. And, also, from this whole thing of walking a lot in Kashmir, seeing land by walking, which is very different in the plains and very different in the mountains. These are little personal things that come in, but they don't add up to make the whole picture, but they just contribute.
I think we're all just overloaded with the richness of your talk. I was asked by Suman to give a vote of thanks, I'm not very good at that. I would like to close with some comments on the talk we just heard. I can only agree with her. I think I feel deprivated now, more than before, because I have seen the pictures there and I can only get a very very faint idea of how much it must be to see them in real. Are there any gallery people here? Can you bring them again to the NGMA?
Person from NGMA: We would love to.
Has everybody heard that? I think, for those of us who have not seen your pictures, we have got a very very detailed idea of what we could see, but I really feel frustrated that I can't see. I'm still impressed by the many sources you have drawn, even if you confess that typography is maybe not the main one, but from literature, from history, mythology. I would like to agree with what Kusum said. I was also extremely touched by the opening of possibilities actually that are there, because of the history we have. I don't know, as a foreigner, I maybe should not get too political, but I get the feeling that we have to keep talking about Kashmir. I think this is a very good way to talk about Kashmir. It's not the factions and fractions and parties, but it's about a landscape, a history, about people, about mythology, and about what was and what can be. I very much believe in the power art and culture has, and I think your work shows how powerful it can be. Thank you very much. And thanks to all, I'm not going to name, who made that evening possible. Thank you.