He sat at the desk in the study, scrutinizing the instrument in his hands. As a child, he used to sneak in here to play with his father’s instruments when he was away. Of all the instruments, this weathered compass had always fascinated him the most.
The sun had just risen. There was barely enough light to make out the path through the woods. As I stepped out of the trees and made my way towards the cliff, I could see the valley spread out below me. A light mist lingered in the valley, like a blanket the night had forgotten to pull back when she left. The mountains rose out of the mist towards the sky; giant guards keeping a watch over the sleeping valley. The half-light and the mist made the mountains look ethereal; as if they were the only beings from earth who were privy to the goings-on in the heavens.
Every artist has a muse, irrespective of gender or, indeed, the situation. So many artists and their muses have been eternalised in the books of history – Francis Bacon and George Dyer, Edouard Manet and Victorine Meurent, Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar (one among his six muses), and Salvador Dali and Gala Diakonova to name a few. Continue reading →
Travelling on Friday evening from Stuttgart to Villach, Austria, there were no seats free in any of the train carriages, so I joined a few other passengers on the floor. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, really – the trains in Germany are fairly clean and the floor is carpeted, at least I didn’t have to worry about my derrière getting sore. An hour or so later, I realised, happily, that sitting on the floor was, in many ways, better than sitting up there on the seats. I could stretch out my long legs completely and adjust my sitting position to my liking. I could also observe my fellow passengers unobtrusively and from a different angle — how interesting it is to observe humans when they don’t know they are being watched!