The Flower Man

Himanshu Verma curates art, design, cities and rituals. For years he has been my antidote to work induced Delhi stress – he does a good line in temple dinners, decadent Holi parties and looks a lot better than I do in a sari. Via his organisation Red Earth, Himanshu juggles A LOT– from the annual Monsoon festival, to design fairs, to the 1100 walks projects (yes people, that means night walks, dawn flower market walks, sherbet walks, food walks, lake walks, buddhist walks… ). He’s all about building bridges between traditional practices and contemporary creative expression, tiddley-pom. Himanshu also goes by the name Genda Phool (marigold flower), he’s a man obsessed! Hang out with him and you’ll never look at those little orange flowers in the same way again…

THIS YEAR’S LESSON. Be wary of trying to do too many things. As a creative person, I can often be over-ambitious, but perhaps I am becoming a little wiser in managing affairs, and am learning to do less — as much as I can handle; learning to dream less (actually not sure if I will ever stop) about things I want to do but perhaps cannot; learning to be clever in knowing that perhaps I can’t do the million things I always want to; and learning to be super happy with the things I can do –always trying my best to do them with the utmost sincerity, passion and efficacy.

THE BURNING QUESTION. This is always the same – sustainability. I’m always trying to figure out how to keep afloat and make the numbers add up – not something I am intrinsically great at, but working on it…

THIS YEAR’S INSPIRATION: This year, I celebrated the festival of Holi in the lovely land of Vrindavan / Braj in the sacred geography associated with Lord Krishna. I am still mesmerised by the whole experience. I visit Vrindavan often, but this time I gave up all work (and play) to revel in the magic of the festival of colours where you can colour your mind, body and soul like nowhere else. Holi here carries on for more than 10 days and the site of festivities keeps changing everyday. Every day there was a new angle to this love, and I was dazzled every moment by the sheer beauty. This trip was a fantastic muse – I wrote some lyrics, poems, and the minute I think of being there, I can see creativity growing on me like a fungus….

THE DECISIONS: Deciding what project to do next is sometimes hard, sometimes easy. Hard because time and funding can be a bitch to manage, and easy because we have certain annual projects, which somehow automatically fall into place. Romantically speaking, it’s intuition, impulse, and the power of ideas that controls me, but then practically some other factors come into play as well. But still, the heart reigns over the mind in this matter, and this curator is open to the magic of the moment, mostly!


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