An Evening In Shimla

Years back, I called on the Director of Arts of the Shoolini University. Sumant Vadera, a smart tall man with a friendly outlook offered to introduce me to the art of calligraphy. With my ‘learn about art, a little bit a day attitude we were engrossed in discussions about almost everything of the art. Instantly he designed a ‘Writing Pad’ for me in calligraphic style.

Our meetings had been few and far between till I visited him at his ‘in-house studio’ in Solan, in Oct 2020. The backdrop of the rolling hills with patches of clustered houses of the sprawling township is awesome.

Inside, at first sight, I was impressed with the sleekly placed studio, well laid out with optimal utilisation of space and ultimate comfort level to accommodate the artist with the paraphernalia placed in order.

He showed me the albums of his paintings in varied styles created by using different materials and methodologies; adopting unique techniques.

‘I like your style of drawing. Your perspective is refreshing. You’re one of a kind.’ I said. ‘I like your colour choices.’

Some paintings looked just like real photos. Art is life, and so is painting. His drawings gave me a good feeling.

Great art and design are achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Clubbed with the captions, I do make out whatever message the artist wants to convey. Art is an experience, not an object.

No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist. Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. The artist is now regular in sending me ‘Aaj ki Painting’ on WhatsApp; What wonderful creativity – a joy to view!

His creative potential seems limitless. Too hard to select a favourite from so many, besides untitled portraits.

o ‘let me welcome em’
o ‘As far as I can see’
o ‘Banana shop’
o ‘An evening in Shimla’
o ‘Breazy morning’
o ‘Towards a new horizon’
o ‘As far as I can see’
o ‘Solitary reaper’
o ‘Remembering Mona’
o ‘On way for a dip’
o ‘Contentment’
o ‘Cocooning’
o ‘Riverside Villa’
o ’Dreams Dreams Dreams’
o ‘Buddham sharnam gachchami’
o ‘Enlightenment’
o ‘Try the cross stitch’
o ‘On the daily hunt’
o ‘Bandit Queen’
o ‘Mexican beauty’
o ‘Duchess in a hurry’
o ‘Jubilant father and son’
o ‘Row my boat’
o ‘lemee fix your baali’
o ……………………………..

  • An evening in Shimla’ is a great piece of art. I appreciate the details and specifics. The Christ Church, in silhouette, is painted as black as pitch with the thick darkness as if to deepen the mystery. This painting keeps getting better all the time every time I take a look at it.
  • ‘Snow welcomes the train’ makes me happy, I like the movement in this painting. It is joyful.
  • ‘When it melts down’ is Phenomenal artwork. The painting is awesome.
  • ‘Pristine Shimla’is a beautiful piece of art with the artist delving into history with colourful strokes.
  • ‘Lonely evening’ is amazing and interesting. Wow! What a great facial study. It conveys emotions. What a breathtaking piece of painting -art is therapy.

Artists try to create something new and refreshing. They want their work to communicate a message and be recognized by others.

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.

I was inspired by Sumant’s artworks who while parting, handed me out a list of materials needed to draw and paint.

The artist has the courage of his convictions. He is great at figuring stuff out.

Being around the family was like a happy little vacation. The superb hospitality; and the taste of delicious lunch is yet fresh in my memories.

Art is an experience, not an object. Art is created with the heart and built with the mind.
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*Designed by Sumant Vadhera on my visit to his chamber as ‘Professor of Eminence’, Shoolini University.

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Prof. (Er.) Chander P Mahajan is an art critic & a free lance journalist. The Environmentalist stays in Shimla and Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India.

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