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Lavanya Bahuguna

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Who Says A Woman Becomes Weak Or Dependent After Marriage: Writer & Painter Sapna Mahesh

  • IWB Post
  •  February 13, 2018

For me, she is the Frida Kahlo of Jaipur. Sapna Mahesh – a journalist for more than 25 years and someone who is living in a world that is indigenously au courant. Frida is famous for self-portraits and once said: “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

‘I am the subject I know best’ is something I could grab about Sapna’s character after spending an-hour-and-a-half with her. This Jaipur woman recognized all those things that were right for her, at the right time. And even if she had struggled with a few of them, she didn’t let any of them show on her face. Call her calm, composed, tranquil; and you will know she is much more than all of it. Let me take you through her life’s journey, one step at a time, in her own words.

Childhoodtg-1-22

Mine was an artistic family. Even though my father was a Policeman, he has an interest towards books and paintings. My mother was fond of sewing. My uncle was into theater and poem writing. When I was 6, I did my 1st puppet-show. Art was a stress buster for all of us. Basically, the parenting I and my cousins had received was untangled and free from any social or personal constraints.

I love you more than my own skin. – Frida Kahlo

Career

I moved like a flowing river, believing every step to be a milestone. In 1989, I applied in Doordarshan. After 10 years or so, I joined Dainik Bhaskar. I worked there for 15 years. I am sure it comes as a shock to you, the new generation. I played with creativity, film-making, script-writing, shooting, editing and of course, my daily stories in the paper.

tg-1-13

(After a pause)

How surprised I am of my achievements! Talking to you and opening about my life has all of a sudden made me realize this.

tg-1-26For now, I have taken a break. I am working on my book and it needs my 100% concentration. Ab thoda toh ruku na sab cheez se. Everything in life comes on time, you just need to not get confused and believe your instincts.

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? – Frida Kahlo

Marriage

Like a happy childhood, I had a happy marriage too. Though it was an arranged marriage, I believe my late husband was the best companion I could ever pray for. He was an architect and was very cheering. I don’t remember a single fight with him. The time I had spent with him was very satisfying and I have no regrets. My family and friends were very fond of him.tg-1-15

(Pauses)

My 2 daughters Moulshree and Bakul are just like their father. I don’t miss him, because I feel he’s still around. He still guides me towards every new step. Maybe ‘Indian Women Blog’ is also sent by him to meet me! (smiles)tg-1-24

I have his portraits all over the house. Generally, we see pictures of Gods and our idols on the walls; I see him as my guiding light. I love to paint, and my husband’s motifs are hung on walls, drawn on cushion covers, etc. That is a part of my art.tg-1-31

I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. – Frida Kahlo

Womanhood

Who says a woman becomes weak or dependent after marriage? I got to explore my new self and potential with my husband. Life had been beautiful with him. Instead, after him, I saw the other side of the life. Being a widow, I was supposed to discard my bright colored clothes. I wasn’t supposed to wear bindi, wasn’t allowed to be a part of pious activities. tg-1-25But then my daughters, during the elder one’s wedding, made it clear to everyone: ‘If our mother does not wear happy colours, even we won’t.’ Things changed after that.

They are so damn ‘intellectual’ and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore….I [would] rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those ‘artistic’ bitches of Paris.Frida Kahlo

Message to every woman

Women, you have to start your own revolution; nobody is going to pick your load on his head.tg-1-16

Youth, your vision, and prospect of growth is within you. Don’t look for it outside. Also, don’t let comfort spoil you, be a revolutionary and change things around you for better.

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Sapna Mahesh is the same woman you have seen on your TV screens and daily newspaper interviewing Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat, Maharani Gayatri Devi, BL Soni (Jaipur’s first police commissioner), Prahlad Singh Tipaniya (famous Indian folk singer), etc. See more here.

She has hosted a few renowned TV series like MediTalks, has sung Mand in Radio channels. Sapna has even written a book called ‘Moulshree Ke Ped Ke Neeche’.tg-1-32

I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you. – Frida Kahlo

 

This article was first published on June 27, 2015.

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