27 January 2009

Chitrasante: 25th January,08

Attending & participating at chitrasante proved to be an experience in itself, and voila, what an experience it was. I headed towards Bangalore, peeping through the bright red sun fighting out for survival across the thick cloud covers, as the plane reached a height of some 30,000 feet and my watch showed 6 pm in the evening. We were just crossing over the delhi cityscape and i was still feeling a little "why am i going to Bangalore again..." which happens every time i leave my home and head out. But then, nothing much to it and soon my mind crossed over to chitra sante. I still remember when over tough timeliness before leaving from home, i had copied everything to deepak and just because of his support, decided to participate in this event.
Now, as i would reach Bangalore, my prints and frames would be ready, courtesy him. fabulous job. but what would it be like, going for chitra sante. heard a lot of notions about it during our meeting but i personally don't have much idea.
"Its Time", said my wife waking me up over a cup of tea. a cold breeze came into our bedroom since she had opened the windows and man, it was 6:10 in the morning and it was all foggy. i was a little shocked since Punjab, reeling under cold, still didn't have that amount of fog there, and here i am waking up, in Bangalore city amidst dense fog cover. Anyways, i got ready and pushed off to deepak's place from where we were planned to hit for Chitra sante.
Cutting the long story short, by the afternoon there were thousands of onlookers who had visited our stall no 67 which was representing BWS, standing for Bangalore Weekend Shoots. my fellow mates were all around the place and we were having a good time showcasing our works. the morning start was a little disheartening since the art on display by others was exceptional and showed their artistic side and amount of hard work which goes into making those. We felt a little robbed since their efforts looked extremely huge in comparison to what we offered, but then as these feelings settled we gained more confidence and felt that we were serving another aspect of art, which is creativity, expressed through photography.
By the evening there were lot of inquiries about who we were, what was the group all about. there were lot of visitors who wanted to learn more, some were plainly curious and some had heard about the group, courtesy The times of india, had carried an article on the group in one of its editions. The response was good and some of my fellow friends were able to make some sales too using this platform. Unfortunately, i could not do much of selling but then learnt a lot of from my colleagues and also could understand the buyer's perspective which could be entirely different from a photographer's point of view. the event was huge with around some 1000+ stalls, though i do not have the official numbers. people showcases their personal paintings, drawings, sculptures and what not.
Chitra sante impressed me in lot of ways. the event was exceptional but the way it was conducted was even more striking. the cause for which it is done is above everything and the outcome of it, was unbelievable as per me. every participant got a small stall, with a very clearly confined boundaries marked and a stall number allocated. A table and two chairs were given to everyone. This was huge logistic to be maintained and every praise for the authorities conducting it. The road was completely closed so that this place could be utilized fully. mind you this is one of the most open and scenic areas but there was no space left during the afternoon, with footfalls over 70-80 thousand as per my understanding. food coupons were too distributed to all the participants too. The event is basically conducted to give a platform to the artists of the state who do not have any other way to showcase that, and truly it was. people come from every part of the state to show their art and make a mark for themselves.
I learnt a lot and such events and support of govt. suddenly instills more faith in our system and a hope that things can be changed if people come together.

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