Saturday, June 25, 2016




                    In Kashmir, there used to be a street dentist Baldev Singh who belonged to the Sikligar community. He had also informed us that his community used to manufacture weapons for Khalsa fighters during Mughal rule. Later, I came to know that Sikligar Sikhs were poor, landless and illiterate. They were something like Gadia- Lohaars or a gipsy type community that had origins in Rajasthan, wherefrom they moved to MP, UP, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and some other states. Most of them converted to Sikhism during the period of tenth  Sikh Guru.

Since last so many years, some families from this community had taken up other vocations while some continued with the activity of weapon making. Baldev Singh and his son ( Pappu ) would do business from the footpath in Srinagar city. Baldev Singh would sit mostly near Naaz cinema. While the father claimed to be a dentist, the son would be seen on a bicycle sharpening knives and scissors.

After the new Amira Kadal bridge was built, the old bridge was not demolished for some years. It was a market of ramshackle shops selling cheap goods. In this market, you could buy a caged parrot, ready-made garments, locks, sandals, cheap toothpaste, combs, toothbrushes, used clothes, perfumes, cheap cosmetics, cloth, dry fruits, shoes, pens, electric goods, cassettes, lighters, torches, imitation jewellery, Saande ka teil( lizard oil) and so many so-called ‘Sex Power’  tonics and herbs. Some pickpockets were also active on this bridge market.

To cross this bridge, one had to push his way through a crowded and narrow passage. Pappu had shifted to a spot on this old bridge and was seen paddling the bicycle kept on a stand. He kept himself busy sharpening a knife or a scissor to create centrifugal sparks from the rotating wheel fitted to the bicycle. This was done to attract attention and customers. He also sold self-made knives that appeared to be sharp razors. Sometimes, I would see Pappu near Palladium cinema. Sometimes near ‘ Little Sons’ petrol pump or sometimes inside KMDA bus stand. I had opened his account at Amirakadal branch of our bank. He would save also. Both father and son would move to plains in December every year and return to Kashmir sometime around early May of the succeeding year. Both father and son had picked up some Kashmiri words. They would bring these words into their conversation with Kashmiri customers.

One close friend of mine would always look for Baldev Singh as and when we went to Tagore Hall or Jawahar Nagar. He would say:-

‘ Valaa taam karov shogul .’  or ‘Come let us go for some entertainment .’
He would force me or other friends to go via Naaz cinema and if Baldev Singh was there, he would ask us to visit him. We would be guided to keep a hand on the cheek and make a frowny face so as to give an impression of a genuine toothache. Once Baldev Singh was allowed to inspect the gums, he would declare:-

‘ Yeh to maamla khatam hai.Koyee baat nahin . Nikaale ga dandh . Concession karega .Nahin aayega rath ( blood). Pataa nahin chalega . Koyee dard nahin hoga. Pakh sa beh  ( Come and sit ).  Dekho Baldev Singh ka 'Daste Shifa'  .’  meaning  ‘These teeth are all gone. Don’t worry. I shall do the extraction. You will get a concession. No bleeding. You will not come to know what I did. No pain at all. Come dear sit. see Baldev Singh's  hand that heals .’

It was a skill to free yourself from Baldev Singh. Our friend would guide us to say:-

‘ I have no money this time. ’
‘ Sardar Ji I will come tomorrow. Will You be at the same spot? Are you sure you are coming tomorrow ?’

Sometimes we would engage Baldev Singh in secondary talks like seeking the price of dentures, fillings and crowns supposedly meant for parents. Simple fun was intended. Gargling with Detol or Savalon and washing face was a must after freeing yourself from the drama at Baldev Singh’s footpath shop.
Baldev Singh was not a fool as our friend understood. He had come to understand that his time was being wasted. He repaid this in his own style.

And One day Baldev Singh actually extracted the tooth of a friend who had no problem at all and who also tried to make fun of him at the suggestion of our common friend. As time passed, this extraction cleared the road for further extraction of some more teeth that caught the painful infection. Trouble that had been invited.

And finally, this friend had to visit Dr Koul dentist from Jawahar Nagar , Srinagar for about three months to get free from Baldev Singh’s Dast e Shifa.

( Avtar Mota )

( Photo source Google ..  With Due Thanks to the uploader )

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

Thursday, June 23, 2016



GANDHI JI … Oil On Canvas 

By D Raja Segar from Sri lanka

                                                        ( D Raja segar... The Artist )
D Raja Segar ( Born 1951 ) is a respected and well known painter cum sculptor from Sri lanka .He is a master of Abstract and Figurative Art. Cubism is primarily evident in his work and accordingly many Art critics have called his work as “ Figurative Cubism “ . He also uses a technique with colours known as “ Refractive Effect of light “. His medium is Oil and Water colour . One can also see realism, impressionism, expressionism, surrealism in his work.Geometry is also abundantly evident in his Art. He draws lesser curves but more Straight lines , Intersecting lines , triangles and other geometrical shapes .
                                                ( Christ on cross by segar )
                                                 ( Ganesha  By Segar )
                                             ( Gopi Krishna By Segar )
                                                ( Horses a collage by Segar )
                                       ( In search of water by segar )
                                       ( last super by segar )
                                            ( Lonely Woman By Segar )
                             ( Mother Teresa by Segar )
  ( Mother and twins by Segar )
                    ( Music teacher by segar )
                             ( Neelambari By segar )
                  ( Rhythm of Dance  by Segar )
   ( Two tigers  By Segar )
                   ( Buddha by segar )
 ( Tree plucker  By Segar )

                            ( Stock market By Segar )

                                              ( Two Horses and women by segar )

                                           ( Prince Siddhartha by segar )
Segar’s work is easily identifiable due to the boldness of colours, fascinating combination of shapes and the complete liveliness that demands attention. You can not walk past his painting . You need to stop , look and keep thinking.

He paints Asian Women , Stories from Religion and ordinary activities of human beings mostly women . In his paintings , you find bright colours . He makes abundant use of blistering red , eye-catching blue , elegant green , pulsating orange and the luminous yellow.

Almost a self taught Artist , Initially , Segar entered the world of Art by designing Greeting cards . In sculpture he works in steel.

Segar has exhibited in many cities of Europe , USA and Australia . Apart from that he happens to be a regular visitor to India . So many admirers and well wishers , So many Buyers of his art and So many Galleries world over display his work . All this makes D. Raja Segar almost a living legend.
Brought up in poverty ,Raja Segar had to start earning at a young age . He worked as an Accounts Assistant in a Soft Drink Manufacturing company immediately after his High school examination. 
To know him and his work , I would suggest readers to go through his coffee Table Book :

“ SEGAR, Autobiography with Painting…” D Raja Segar (ISBN 978-955-44697-0-9)..

Segar was born to Hindu parents in Colombo (Sri Lanka ) who became catholic Christians later . For some time , this was a common practice in Sri Lanka with families that wanted to get admission in Good Christian schools . Segar grew up in a family that had open and liberal outlook . He remains an Atheist .
To Segar , Life had many troubles to offer . Poverty in childhood , A failed love , An attempt to commit suicide and death of his young wife Vejeyashanthinie who fell victim to Cancer .
Like Salvador Dali , He lives in a unique and specially designed house .Keeps painting and exhibiting his work which is sought after by many Buyers world over .
He is fluent in English, German, Sinhalese,and Tamil. Apart from painting , he Keeps reading literature and listening to music .Photography also remains his hobby.
As far as other contemporary Asian artists are concerned ,Segar is impressed by the works of Ganesh Pyne of India and Vincent Manansala of Philippines. He has also done some work in Pop art and Neo Surrealism.
In his Country , his work is being reproduced in T-shirts, Greeting cards, Bed sheets and Tablecloths that makes him Popular in entire length and breadth if Sri lanka .
So Long so much …..
( Autar Mota )

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



Oil on Canvas By U .Lun Gywe
A Great Living Master from Burma or Myanmar ..

Burma or Myanmar is a neighbour having centuries old ties with India . Somehow this country remained cut off and isolated for quite some time and consequently ask any person what he knows about Burma , the stock reply would be :

“ Last Mughal King Bahadur Shah zaffar was exiled to this country by British after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 . He died in Burma . It is a country ruled by Military Dictators . For many years , Aung San Suu Kyi fought for Democracy and finally in 2015, she successfully replaced the Military dictators . There is some problem of Rohngiya Minority . About 90% of the population practices Buddhism.”

                                                                 ( U Lun Gywe)
I believe that is all what most of us know about Burma or Myanmar.We do not know that Burma has a very rich culture and Historical Past. It is a country of writers , Poets , Painters , Musicians , Dancers , Historians and talented Youth. Not many of us know that the greatest living Artist from this subcontinent or a master of French Impressionist Genre is from Burma or Myanmar only. Let me say something about this man known World over as U Lun Gywe ( Born 1930 ).
Look at him and you find that he looks like urdu poet Shaharyaar . Serious , focussed and prolific .
According to the artist :

“My work is a balance between physical and mental body. The physical body is the real one, it is what you see and touch, and this is important when you paint. You need to be able to understand the reality underlying what you see. The mental aspect is that which the mind gifts, it is what you take from nature as you look at it You hold the images and the feelings and ideas that accompany them, but you do not perceive them as though through a lens. You look at nature and the artist takes what is symbolic of the thing he is painting.
Painting means art of communication. Painting exchanges information through pictures. Likewise, singing via vocal, perfume mediated through fragrance and clothes by way of soft touch. In art of communication, it is important for artist to be able to demonstrate beauty strikingly from any view he wished for .

. It was only when I saw the Impressionist paintings that I felt the greatest joy and fulfillment. I found the Expressionists interesting, but it was the Impressionists that I liked best. They came from the mind and the heart. Expressionism was all about what was happening, Impressionism was always flowing and changing.”

U. Lun Gywe is the most respected Artist of Impressionist Genre in the contemporary world of Art . He is fascinated by the Grace and Beauty of Women of his country . That is why he has painted women abundantly. You can see a happy women, Dancing women , Bathing women , Women in a garden , Women on the Beach , Women in the house and Village women in fields etc. Sea , Boats , Horse carts and seasons also find sufficient space in his work. These are subjects that he picks up from his surroundings .
He paints combining Eastern subjects with western Impressionist techniques .His brush strokes are sweeping and Vibrant. He uses water colours and oils. And certainly he uses them minimum yet  his colours are full of life , hope and happiness.
                              ( Bathing women at the well by  U Lun Gywe )
                                             ( Bathing Beauty by U Lun Gywe )

                                                     ( Bathing Beauty by U Lun Gywe )

  ( Boats by U Lun Gywe )
                   (Dancing Trees in Moonlight  by U Lun Gywe ) 
                       ( Fishermen by U Lun Gywe )
                          ( Fog Over waters by U Lun Gwye )
                     ( Gossip by U Lun Gywe )
    ( Holidaying by U Lun Gywe )
             (  Horse Carts in  Morning by U Lun Gywe )
      ( Carts  trapped in Tempest racing along the sea shore   by U Lun Gywe )
     ( Portrait of a woman by U Lun Gywe )
                  ( Reflections by U Lun Gywe )

                                    ( Boats by U Lun Gywe )                                              
    ( Inside Shwedagon paghoda by U Lun Gywe )
    ( Shwedagon  Pagoda by U Lun Gywe )

               ( Storm by U Lun Gywe )
            (Two women And the wind)
      (Women at the waterfall)
      ( The Market )
( Night rest under Banyaan Tree)
      (Horse carts in Rain)

       ( Fetching Water)
(After the Rain )

His initial Training has been under some Great masters of Burma like U Thet Win, U Chit Maung, U San Win, U Thein Han and U Ngwe Gaing whereafter he also moved to Europe and had sufficient exposure to Modern Western Art.He also lived in China for some time and studied Chinese Art as well. Renowned Burmese Artist U Thein Han has been a Major influence on his style and format.
A strong believer in Buddhism, he adds :

"I find inspiration in calmness. I cannot create a good painting when in an unsettled frame of mind. I often meditate before I start a painting. "
His inspiration is the daily life of the people, the landscape of his native land  Myanmar, and the  presence of  Buddhism as  cultural and spiritual strength of his country .

He has held Exhibitions in almost all major cities of the world. His work is on display in major Art Galleries of the world. Almost all French Art Galleries display his work. A generation of artists has been trained by him in Myanmar where hie lives at the moment.

We simply wish him good health and many many more creative years..