Capturing charismatic Charminar in myriad moods
“The stretch from Patterghatti to Falaknuma is a veritable treasure trove of history and the monuments provide a perfect backdrop for a water colour artist like me.
“The stretch from Patterghatti to Falaknuma is a veritable treasure trove of history and the monuments provide a perfect backdrop for a water colour artist like me. The roughness, the shaded domes, towering minarets, hustle and bustle of Lad Bazaar and the energy the place exudes cannot be explained in words,” says Kishore Singh. He is also a man of few words, but once he holds the brush the thoughts and emotions flow like an unending stream.
A thoroughbred artist from the Bengal school, Kishore’s tryst with water colours started quite early in Class 7 itself when he would bunk classes and watch seniors paint Victoria Memorial, Park Street and China Town. Later he honed his skills further at the Calcutta Government College of Arts & Craft.
Does he not get tired of painting the monuments in Old City? “Every time I visit Charminar it provides a new feeling. It has its moods and changes during every season and at different times of the day. The mornings are so wonderful when the sun’s rays fall on the monuments and the pigeons at Mecca Masjid provide a different energy. During Ramzan, especially at night the place lightens up like a bride and the afternoons have their own feel. It would take a lifetime but even that would not be enough to capture the milieu,” says Kishore.
Apart from Chowmohallah, Mecca Masjid, Charminar, Patterghatti and Moazamjahi market he has also painted Golconda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tombs and other monuments in the city. Capturing salesmen at work, showing a puddle on the road, getting the mood of the market, not overdoing the faded limestone plaster on domes and getting the shade right that too on water colour is a challenge and it takes years of practise.
At a time when artistes leave water colour for oil and acrylic, Kishore hangs on to it like a child to his favourite toy. He says, “There is no second chance with water colours and that fascinates me. Also, the effect that one can get in water colours is extraordinary.”
At times, Kishore quickly uses tissue paper over the flowing water colour to get a shade of sun’s rays over a monument, for another painting, a dry brush is swept across wet paint in a flash to get an effect of a puddle on the road and deft use of colours for edges of a railing, an auto, flowing beard of a man sitting at a chaiwallah or women bargaining at a bangle store are all captured in a swish shot, even before you say eh! Water colours have that charm and Kishore loves every bit of it.