Lord Krishna embracing the widows at Vrindavan, a bunch of children huddled under banana leaves enjoying the monsoon, the coy beauty of a newly married woman, longing eyes of a child waiting anxiously for his parents artist and former bureaucrat Nirmala Pillai likes to bring the mundane and the intuitive, on her canvas.
A retired civil servant, 60-year-old Nirmala Pillai who likes to call herself a dreamer first, then an artist has now brought out a short story collection titled 'Singing Earth', published by Lifi Publications. "It is a work of fiction, talking about the complexities of human relations. The sheer unpredictability of lives and the resounding spirit of humans to face adversity and overcome them are some of the themes I have explored in the book," the ex-bureaucrat says.
Pillai, who has exhibited her work in Mumbai, Chennai, Kerala and Delhi and also published several collections of short stories, says her foray into the art world began from a small essay she wrote for a children's book. "'What do you expect from your municipal councilor' was the essay. I wrote a short note on it while in school and my article was selected. That incident really pepped me up, and I have not stopped penning down.
The interest in paintings also stayed with me since childhood," she says. The artist mentions that the online media is opening a plethora of opportunities for the new-age authors and artists. "I think Internet is the future of writing. Most of my writings have come in online journals and I am happy that the medium provides me with a varied readership," she says. But can social media itself popularize a piece of art? "I do think that marketing on the social media can be ephemeral.
People can be made aware about new books and artists through the channel, but the content itself decides whether the work stands the test of time," she says. Commenting on the recent trend of writers, like Chetan Bhagat and Ravinder Sharma, becoming brands, Pillai says, "The popularity of the writers is a by-product of their writing. Even if we they are endorsing products or coming on television shows, they have to still excel at their writing. Yes, creativity can be commercial."