Paradise: The Art Lovers’ Heaven at NIT Hamirpur

Savouring the Manna of Paradise…
Ashutosh, the Editor of the Srijan, literally grabbed one of my paintings off the wall of my home where it hung placidly, braving dust and dampness, since last twenty years. “Ma’am, we need some of your paintings”, with determination he proclaimed. Sadly all of my paintings seemed ravaged with time and lacked the luster that would have befitted a painting to be given a place of honour at the new Arts Gallery Paradise in the hitherto empty corridors of the auditorium. But this one was taken.

When the students came to invite us for the Hill ‘ffair, the invitation for the opening of the Art Gallery, came as a bonus to all art lovers of NIT Hamirpur. Aaditya Gandotra asked me to bring my camera as well to take some pictures. Perhaps he was impressed by one that I had taken the other day of the group of students coming from Srinagar!


I reached early as I wanted to savour the bliss of watching the paintings when the gallery would be less crowded. The student volunteers had put all the paintings in place and the cavernous gallery of the auditorium suddenly seemed to have come alive, reverberating with so much hues of life! It was heavenly. Having captured all the images on my mindscape and drinking deep the beauty that they emitted, I started with the other mechanical job in hand. It was to capture the pictures on the camera! Through the lens of the camera, new meaning to the pictures came to my mind. The wisdom of what Aristotle said long back as “Art being twice away from the truth” came to my mind. The artist, in fact any creator, would never take the first step without having previously seen it with his imagination. Thus every work of art is like giving wings to your dreams.  could-paradise-be-any-better.jpg
 Could “Paradise” be any better?
And here I was capturing the paintings on camera and thus utilizing another way to give wings to my imagination. It seems that the process goes on and on and this is perhaps the cyclic view of creation. I also noted that while I was watching the paintings displayed in the gallery, my gaze would wander from one to the another one and each one would tempt me more than the earlier. But while focusing to take a shot of one painting at a time, I was able to see its fine qualities. Such a wonderful and important lesson of life—focused approach—I learnt that day!

Flowers say it the Best…
Saturday, November 4, 2006 was the day when the gallery was to be inaugurated by Dr. I.K.Bhatt, the Director of NIT Hamirpur. The flowers said about the heartiest welcome accorded to Mrs. and Dr. Bhatt by the students and faculty.
Ashutosh made us look within through his painting “Introspection” !

Look Within–the Sages Say 
I realized the need to look within rather than to find faults in the system and people outside. I wish I could have this generosity in me but then I am just another human being with my follies and errors.
An Affectionate Pat on the Shoulder..
The paintings of Ashutosh and the conviction that made him to realize his imagination on a canvas was enough to be noticed by the perceptive art critic in Dr. Bhatt and Mrs Bhatt. The best award for an artist is a pat on his back and this is what Ashutosh got for his contribution.


The pencil sketch of his favourite shoes speaks about our attachment and feelings towards such objects in our life, and this quality to relating to even inanimate objects make us the best in the world when it comes to sustain relationships at all levels. Mudit Sethi seemed to drive home the message that when it comes to choose a topic for a work of art, even a pair of shoes can be of great importance and conviction. Well done Mudit!

Clicking a picture of Dr. Bhatt and Mudit while both stood close by could be any photographer’s best catch. I was surprised to see how similar they both looked to each other. I was so taken by this resemblance that I shot 4-5 shots from different angles but the similarity was the common factor in all the pictures. Mudit’s sketch of his favourite pair of shoes was a centre of attraction. 

A woman shattering the glass ceiling shows the horror of the falling pieces of glass making her bleed. The pain of the contemporary women in an attempt to move out of the shackles, was depicted by Maneesh. I felt honoured when he explained that it was a discussion in the English class about “Glass Ceiling” that made him paint the picture. Some inspiration indeed! The young mind is receptive to revolutionary ideas and is ready to make appropriate adjustments in life as well.


Naveen’s pencil sketch of a beautiful young woman seemed to radiate all that energy that is peculiar to young people. A wonder in black and white beauty though life is not just pure black and white but has many shades of grey as well.

Sushant’s painting invited mush discussion as it depicted the life of a student’s “learning” mechanism when his mind remains blank even when he seems to be learning in the  class—a true mechanical Engineer and an artist could see that aspect and present the creation! A lesson for all about the reality behind the scene. 

Tamal’s vibrancy of colours spoke of the “vibrant multicultural” environment that the vision statement of NIT Hamirpur speaks of. Each colour influencing the other yet maintaining the individual identity as well, this is what NIT culture is proud of. There were other areas of Tamal’s workmanship that I noticed that day, though.

A Journey through Desert…
Ipsita, captured the multicultural vibrancy of the vision statement of NIT by painting the desert life of the Rajasthan and the life of Tripura with equal ease. And her sketches seemed like to come alive any moment and drown us in the wisdom of the great man
Nikhil Sharma’s Christ Church was a study in perspective and find a fault if you can!

Wonderland Himachal…
Shruti surprised me with her paintings and I wondered is there anything that she is not good at. I started to find one weak area and drew blank! Her style of painting, that she is still learning, gave her works a different look from the other paintings. The Tibetian monk reminded me of the serenity that oozes out of old Tibetian monks in spit of the bad times that they had to go through! Well captured emotions.

A Thing of beauty is Joy for ever… 
A suprise for all of us was a painting by Vandana, Ashutosh’s sister. Words fail me to describe the eternal beauty of the Ardhnarishwar  done in Maithili style of painting. The other two, as well, were painted in a very different style. eyes-that-keep-a-watch.jpg

Eyes that never seem to close… 
The Black and white paintings by Ashutosh’s childhood friend were marvellous. The one having eyes all over seemed to haunt us all throughout and even after and the “Wolfs” made us find different meaning to the painting.

I am with the Soul of Paradise…
Here I am I nfront of the camera instead of being behind it! These are some of the young boys and girls who realized the dream of filling the life of NIT Hamirpur with a multicultural vibrancy, a value eduation in the real sense.

Empty and Cavernous Life…
A photo that I clicked of the cavernous but empty gallery, though bathed in sun light, rather would tell the worthiness of the decision of the Arts group students to inject life in the lifeless and blind gallery. It felt like the various hues of the paintings had provided shades of life to the lifeless gallery. Kudos to the ones who thought of undertaking such a project in hand and fulfilling the same as well! 
Thank You all for filling it with life and itsvarious hues! 

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