“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” as the saying goes. So how do the tough professionals, the men and women, accustomed to spending most of their time wheeling and dealing and moving and shaking, spend all the extra time on their hands, in these days of shuttered offices and cancelled conferences and indefinitely postponed trade shows? Well, like a breath of fresh air in these choking pandemic times, a few ladies and gentlemen have devised their own strategies to stay driven and mentally and physically fit. They let the lockdown help them unlock their creative potentials. They are, in a word, a Luminous lot!
Today’s Offer: “Let the lockdown unlock your potential”
By Sanjay Goenka
I don’t know what was missing in my life. I seemed to have just about everything, by the grace of God. A beautiful family: a loving wife and two wonderful children. A couple of comfortable apartments in an upscale residential compound in Calcutta, surrounded by green trees and friendly neighbours.
I swam in the residential swimming pool to keep fit, doing yoga on alternate days. My mornings were peaceful with meditation and walks along the clean alleys dotted with gardens and potted, flowering plants. I owned my own office in a swanky business district where as a businessman representing different international companies, I was my own boss. I took vacations with my family. What more could a man want?
Yet, a sense of emptiness started becoming my constant companion. I began to feel de-motivated. As I drove to work every day, often I felt that there was a gap that needed to be filled.
Then Covid-19-induced lockdown happened and strangely, it unlocked my creative potential. Doing nothing all day long, with offices closed and business meetings cancelled, I was getting bored, sitting around twiddling my thumb at home.
One day I took a piece of paper and a pencil from my daughter, who is studying to be a lawyer, and started to doodle. It was kind of a compulsion. Initially, I just drew a few lines and then suddenly I began to draw portraits.
The faces just materialized in my minds’ eye and I don’t know how but I started sketching. One after another. Effortlessly. I began to conjure up the images of my childhood idols from the great spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda to the iconic freedom fighter, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and sketching them. The images of gods and goddesses. . . even pop culture stars like Amitabh Bachchan appeared to me and I drew them! This went on to the point that I couldn’t stop. As a child, nearly thirty-seven years ago, I had taken an art class or two when I had learnt to paint, draw and sketch but that was not for very long and if I did have any talent, it was not honed. If anything, it had got completely submerged in the daily grind of life and livelihood.
And in the last three months, I have created the portraits of nearly half a dozen of India’s celebrated figures including former Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Behari Vajpayee and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I don’t know how good they are and only others will be the judge of that, but I feel that that feeling of emptiness has disappeared and I feel fulfilled.The lockdown has unlocked my creative potential.
Sanjay Goenka is a businessman based in Calcutta.
[Images by Sanjay Goenka]
Categories: Luminous in Lockdown