Monday, July 29, 2013

Born under a bad sign

Shop across from Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganesh Temple, AB Chowk ,Pune

This is in the old city of Pune. The stone pillar is a "Deep Stambh" or a Light Pillar.  Lamps would be lit in the curved arms along its height.  Made from native basalt rock probably 50-100 years ago, several remain around the city. I have drawn one in the past as well.   This is across from a famous Ganesh Temple in Appa Balwant Chowk. ABC.

It's a busy street corner as well. The old curved shop caught my eye as well.  So I squeezed into a cranny by the entrance to the temple and drew.  Several people stopped by on their way. Almost as usual, one person said something  that was strange and creepy.
The sketchbook I use is oblong. It opens lengthwise and its spine is on the short side.. I am right handed so I prefer to rest the right half on a flat surface and draw.  The long left half is propped up on my left and doesn't get in the way.  Basically, I always draw on the right half. And stingy that I am, I use every damn page including ones facing each other.  That means I rotate the book so that  I always draw on the right half of the book. Makes sense? Probably not. In any case, it turns out that if you open the sketchbook the  drawing on the left is upside down and on the right half is right way up.
Long story short, according to this concerned nutcase citizen of Pune this is not a good thing.  NEVER WRITE OR DRAW ON FACING PAGES UPSIDE DOWN! This was explained to me in a creepy way that was half pitying me in tone and half coaxing like you would coax the  devil to leave the possessed.  The man asked me to reconsider the way I drew.  Sleep on it. He said.  Ponder what I was doing in a quiet moment of meditation. All this in Marathi, the local language. Low tones. Six inches from my face. He left saying that all he could do was suggest the right path.  My life was mine. But bad luck was everyones (!).  He was only working in his "Circle of influence" ( RIP Steven Covey!).  Lot of head wagging.
After he left, I thought up many many smart and witty retorts. My fantasy ended with me changing his life with the debunking of many superstitions that cloud the minds of his kind in this post medieval part of Pune.  But in real life I was squirming and getting really pissed off. Jackass.