8 years ago my best friend committed suicide. He was 22. Back then none of us was aware of ‘depression’ or any ideas/knowledge of mental health. There were no proper help for him around. Not even the parents knew what to do.
Today is his birthday. I look back all these years and I realize how lucky I was to have an amazing friend like him. And loosing him is one of the biggest losses of my life that never fills up. He was one of the brightest kids I knew. He would do wonders if he was here today.
Are you aware of your mental health? Have you ever felt that the world is somewhat beautiful but strangely you cant take any part in it? Do you feel uncomfortable to talk about it? You are not alone. Try to talk about it. With a friend or someone you trust. Don’t ignore these feelings.
Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood during the performance of ‘Daydreaming’ and ‘Burn the witch’ at Primavera Sound. A moon shaped pool, world tour 2016.
After a week of workshop and a feast at Chinatown, under the old sodium lights of Kolkata with my students.
“এদিকে অকালবর্ষা নামিয়াছে- ঠিক শ্রাবণের মত। ইহাতে আমার কোন আপত্তি ছিলনা, শঙ্কা হয় পাছে প্রকৃতি শ্রাবণ মাসে ফাঁকি দিয়া বসেন। দার্জিলিঙ্গেও যদি এখানকার অনুরূপ বর্ষার প্রাদুর্ভাব হইয়া থাকে তবে আপনার সৌভাগ্যে আমি ঈর্ষা করিনা। পাহাড়ের বর্ষা আমদের বাঙ্গালির কান্নার মত একঘেয়ে এবং অবিশ্রাম।” – জগদীশ কে রবির লেখা চিঠি হতে।
Origin, Inside the Light Chamber. Exhibition at Chobimela IX 2017 Edition. More info about the work here – http://sarkerprotick.com/light-space/origin/
It was late 2006, I was desperately looking for new music, new sound. At that point ‘The Doors’ was the most relevant (still is) but I was already through their discography several times, and the world was not the same anymore. The bar was set a lot higher. Nevertheless, the search for new sound continued.
The name ‘Radiohead’ was not unfamiliar. As a matter of fact I did try listening them few times before but couldn’t really like it. Now I understand that my brain simply was not ready to recognize the depth and the complexity of their work. And by brain it’s not just intellect but also heart/mind/guts. As the phrase goes, ‘‘I wasn’t born yet.’’
Anyhow, I decided to give another go and this time I picked the album “Amnesiac”, as I was interested about amnesia so that felt appealing. The track title was ‘The Pyramid Song’. The sound that came through my earphones seemed coming out from a different earth. As if it was written by a different civilization from distant stars. But the emotion it carried was deeply human. I never heard anything quit like this. Although they are a British Band, the sound don’t resemble to Brit Music or any other countries per say. The hunting Piano riffs, the very odd drum patterns, the orchestral arrangement and the ambient textures were blended with a voice that is so unique, it was unlike anything of this earth. I realized it didn’t matter where I/listener come from or where the origin of the artist is. It is when the artist creates such a beautiful universe, which we can inhabit! We are able to experience all the emotions that pulse through our vein, send signals to our brain and the brain gets stimulated by the rush of blood it receives. We can live inside it, spend hours after hours, in our saddest and darkest time and dance through it. It is the purest form of art to me.
That next year they released, In Rainbows. Since then, it’s been almost 10 years I am growing up with their music. Never disappointed but only amazed and surprised and inspired of what they can create. This summer, I went to see them live for the first time. Before my very eyes I saw something extraordinary beautiful and unreal. Words can never achieve the vocabulary to describe it.
(Pathshala rooftop: Photo by Nishat)
The opening day of the exhibition ’19’. The date should have been 12 August. For unknown reason I wrote July on the Polaroid print .
Putting up the exhibition was difficult. From curating to physically setting up the works, it was all in one week. But these boys made it possible. The last six months they have worked very hard. Well maybe, not all of them. Some were dumb, clueless or just being plain lazy, coming up with many excuses. (the worsts are not in the picture thankfully). But the others were curious, passionate and hardworking. But I still have high hopes from all of these guys and together they are a fantastic group. I will miss them. And I will miss the daily feast. My best wishes for them.
Dhaka, September 2016
I bought ‘Address book’ by Sophie Calle in April 23, 2016, from Stidelik museum at Amsterdam. For the last 54 days I have been carrying it everywhere I go. I read it bit by bit, whenever I can. Today i met Sophie Calle and Igot her signed my copy.
Arles, June 2016
Inspiring to-do list. From the dairy of Johnny Cash.