Negotiating memories is one of the obligations of human living and with a hope to influence their bearing on the present; every individual tries to device different strategies to deal with them. Rarely one tries to kindle them without a self interested intervention. The autobiographical undercurrent of any aesthetic expression, that is why, tends to succumb to some seen or unseen agenda. Manisha Patil’s ‘Ghare Baire’ stands distinct as it is free of any such loaded stance. .
She has titled the body of her paintings ‘Ghare Baire’, that simply means the home and the world. It resonates with Tagore’s novel of the same name, and to a large extent, deals with the conflicting twin values of growing up in a progressive, westernized environment juxtaposed with a conventional upbringing, that she experienced having been born in a Maharashtrian family but raised in Calcutta, with its distinct sights and sounds, and being nurtured on Tagore’s literature and Satyajit Ray’s films. Her sensitivity towards the apparently insignificant subtleties perhaps could be attributed to these associations.
Manisha confesses that as a child she was an introvert, withdrawn into her shell and enjoyed painting for hours. The world that she curiously observed from her refuge is being reproduced on her canvasses without being judgemental. Most of these paintings are like the highlights in the life of an educated middle class family of the previous generation, the moments which in those days were fondly preserved on the celluloid films like the family excursions, foreign tours, marriages, family gatherings and needless to mention, the new additions to the family. These documents were like a treasure trove of memories not only for the family but for also the other relatives. They nurtured the warmth of relationships. Manisha supplements these moments with many more that are memorable for any child and hence engraved in her memory like the procession of Marbat- an exotic popular festival in Nagpur, the doll’s marriage and the childhood games. She almost relives, re experiences the magic moments through her painting. It is a magical realism of a different sort that is devoid of fabulism. It is a magic of the everyday life where the sense of wonder is constantly resurrected and keeps hovering in the air.
Prof. Deepak Kannal