How a child imbibes? Continuous exposure to a variety of Books, situations, contexts, events and happenings, and interesting intense interactions that Mallika has regularly with Indira and occasionally with me (!#$%? disappointed with myself) leads to her expressions.. MALLIKAMAGINATIONS
Each of these MALLIKAMAGINATIONS has a story behind (my versions…entwined with Mallikas now!)
Mallika just finished a wonderful illustrative book, Gulliver’s Travels, that she had borrowed from British Council library. So in the first of the two illustrations, the imprint is significant.
[In Tamil, Appa is for Father. She lovingly calls me Appu]
Mallika exclaimed, “Appu you are just like Gulliver. You vanish for days on end and comeback for a few hours. Gulliver at least stays for five months. Yes, you are better in the sense that Gulliver does not turn up for 18 years!!”
That is Mallika in between Appu and Ammu, welcoming Appu back. Can you spot the fetus in Indira’s womb? Even Gulliver had a daughter and when he went to land of yahoos and hhyyooooomnnnhs his wife was pregnant!!
Then the Gulliver’s influence goes to creating an imaginary continent, with many countries marked, and with three different creatures – Indian, Nipoan – without hair, eyeballs over eyebrows, and inverted nose and mouth; Libcanoan with limbs interchanged (legs for arms and arms for legs) and twisted head.
I was in Delhi for half a day, it was on 23rd Jan, the last day of India Art Summit. Mallika, Indira and I went to have a quick visit along with Nandu, Mallika’s cousin. They had a gala time running from one gallery to another, one artists work to the other, going beneath the installations, peeping through a few. The trip to the art summit had a competitor in a pet show, that they had visited previous day. Mallika and Anandita were very angry that we preferred to go to Art Summit first over the pet show. They got the message from one of her friends that in the pet show on the last day, there were hardly any pets!! so they were not that disappointed finally…
When I came home for a few hours, after my sojourn to Gujarat and Haryana, on Jan 28th, I found two installations. While there is a distinct influence of Art Summit and Jan 26th on the ‘tricolor balloon’ installation that was a collaborative work of Nandu (Anandita) and Maagu (Mallika). The other had the influence of the cartoon shows on television..
Mallika loves being with Nandu, her cousin, Miku her friend, and many more of her class mates. She loves being with Raagini and her doggy – Sakhi. Mallika has been insisting of having a brother or sister, who can be her playmate, at her beck-and-call. Now she is very excited about her would be playmate – Indira and I are expecting our second baby in May.
So her interactions and explorations have given birth to these expressions – “How you are formed?”
“Boy Vs Girl. It started with a race when the Xs, Ys ran. I was a girl because an X won the race. My parents wanted a girl. They were happy that I was one”
and “Life is a Race”.
‘Life is a Race’ is Mallika’s interpretation of life – a baby metamorphosing into a girl, then a teenager, adulthood and aged. On death the soul becomes a star to be reborn!!
It is unimaginable how a child gets influenced by the environment that she is in, the books that she reads and also the interactions that we have. Thanks to Indira, a lot is happening.