Gifted the Sparks mandala to my friend Shobhna ❤ I remember our very first meeting in Mar 2010. From then to now, she has become a friend, a mentor, and my sister from another mother. I look forward to many more great experiences and conversations with her in the years to come.
I had started coloring this mandala during my recent flight to London. I had plans to finish it in one of the parks in London but didn’t get the opportunity to do so. I did, however, manage to spend some time at St. James’s Park one evening coloring this mandala while my friend listened to songs on my iPod. This one I dedicate to the chilly evening at St. James’s Park and the London 2015 trip. It was good to come full circle and end up in the park where I was back in 2003.
My inspiration for the shades outside the mandala came from my neighbor’s 5 year old daughter. She and I color our mandalas together. I am amazed by her natural talent for color combinations. Her colors come out really vibrant which I love. I have thought about it and I think the beauty of her work comes from her inhibition and lack of preconceived notions about how to color, which color combinations to select, where to color (e.g. within lines), etc. I, on the other hand, am all about following the rules. But I am trying to rewrite them 🙂
The name for this mandala comes from heARTwork – a project and brand from NOWPDP. Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) was founded with the vision to promote the creation of an inclusive society which values and upholds the rights of people with disabilities. It aims to provide a common platform for all disability organizations in Pakistan to come together and bring about change with impact.
heARTwork is one of the initiatives of NOWPDP. The heARTwork mission is to empower people with disabilities through promotion of their craftsmanship, thereby making them valued members of society. The project manager, Tabinda Baig, is a passionate young lady whose team of differently-abled individuals is like a family to her. I met her in a meeting, and got inspired by her passion and her team’s beautiful craft work. Check out more details about the team and the project at http://www.heartwork.org.pk The beautiful craft work from heARTwork can be found at http://www.heartwork.org.pk/pages/our-products.html
Mirror, mirror on the wall..
To me, this mandala looks like a circular mirror that mirrors the image of another circular mirror, which reflects a light blue rectangular mirror, which reflects the image of a dark blue rectangular mirror, which itself reflects a red rectangular mirror. Mirror image, indeed.
In hindsight, it also takes me to Jorge Luis Borges‘ short story The Library of Babel..and Lewis Carroll‘s Through a Looking-Glass.. and, last but not least, Jostein Gaarder‘s Through a Glass, Darkly.
Crazy stories. Just like this seemingly simple image.
Sometimes, I look at my reflection in the mirror and wonder if I am the real person or the reflection. Or maybe both? Depends on which side of the mirror you are at.
Summers in Karachi are synonymous with Koel‘s sweet songs and cool evening breeze. I LOVE koel’s coo-coo. While I was coloring this mandala, a koel was perched on a tree near our apartment house, going coo coo. When I finished coloring this mandala, I decided to name it ‘Koel’s Song’ as that was the background music to this mandala. I call this koel ‘our resident koel‘ 🙂
Some additional comments about Koel: This bird has been commonly used as a metaphor in Urdu poetry. So is its lovely voice or coo-coo. There is a famous Hindi movie song (Nindiya se jagi bahar) from the equally famous movie, Hero. This song is about the awakening of spring accompanied by koel’s singing.
This one took me a lot of time..around 2.5 hours. Why? Because I was talking to my family while coloring this mandala. The colors came out quite well. I’ve noticed that happiness has been a recurring theme in my mandalas. A good sign, right?
I was also accompanied by my neighbor’s 5-year old daughter, Fizzoo. She graciously awarded my mandala 3 stars (as can be seen in the image below). What more can one want!
This one I colored using Dry Erasable Board Markers and regular color markers. The title comes from the book The Fifth Mountain (by Paulo Coelho) that I was re-reading at the time when I colored this mandala. As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it is my most favorite book of all time. The book talks about the unavoidable and the growth.
The idea of the unavoidable in one’s life and the possibility of growth as a result is quite powerful. It is unavoidable for the flower to leave the state of a seed. But this unavoidable results in its growth into a beautiful flower. I am a risk averse person (on most occasions). Given a chance, I’d avoid taking any risks as it may lead to change inevitably. However, sometimes, risk and change are unavoidable. The only option, or the best option, in such a case is to accept the unavoidable and use it for growth – personal, professional, family, community, etc.
Equipped with my new marker set, I started coloring this mandala. Started with the inner ring colored in green, followed by the next ring of beads (red & blue). The finished product surprised me as I wasn’t expecting this mandala to turn out so good. I felt happy at seeing the fruits of my labor . Sometimes, when you least expect, life surprises you.. pleasantly. What made this mandala even more interesting was the fact that my neighbor’s daughter was with me making her own pics. We shared the markers and enjoyed each other’s company. Maybe that is why I chose the colors I chose, and the mandala ended up the way it did.