Orchids

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Sikkim, in the north-eastern region of India, is heaven in April. I remember how, after my wedding, we took to the hills of Gangtok and Pelling. The flowers were in abundance; it was springtime. Orchids, fuchsias and beautiful roses grew in the wild and it was hard to put a price on such abundance there, what with the same sold for a fortune in a city like Bombay.

I made this watercolour painting on canvas, of all things. Yes, a framed and primed canvas – the kind that you find in hobby and craft stores. Most people express their surprise at the fact that I used watercolours on canvas instead of on paper, but it wasn’t difficult at all, perhaps because it was a well-treated and primed canvas. The painting has no damage marks yet (it’s been 3 years) so I guess it’s not such a bad idea to use watercolours on canvas.

So I painted this one from a photo taken in Sikkim, where a little boy sat down to rest after climbing trees to pluck a few orchids. As I clicked his photo from our vehicle, he became a tad conscious and tried to hide his orchids, perhaps for no good reason than to hide one’s recently coveted prized possession.

I dedicate this painting to the hard-working hill people of Sikkim, their beautiful babies, furry dogs and abundant natural wealth.

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