Thursday, 16 August 2007


Untitled - 1996 (c) Yashpal Chandrakar

We were having supper with our brother Upendra 2 weeks ago. The conversation came around to the internet - and the possibilities of tracking down people we had lost contact with.

"It doesn't work - we tried twice to find Sucharita" we told Upendra. "Lets try again" came the response. Upendra tried to find 'Sucharita's on the net. Nothing seemed to fit. Wrote a note to various Sucharitas at yahoo, rediffmail, gmail etc. No response.

Sucharita was Sheba's dear friend from 3rd to 11th standard in Rourkela. She had then gone to Shanti Niketan (the universtity founded by Rabindranath Tagore) to study art. Shortly afterwards she got married. Sheba only met her once after that. Sucharita's father moved away from Rourkela. We had often talked about somehow meeting Sucharita. And prayed.

Then the break-through. Somehow Sheba said that name of Sucharita's husband: Yashpal Chandrakar. Having drawn blank with 'Sucharita' - we were not expecting much. Amazingly we got multiple 'hits'! Yashpal is an artist of some repute and has shown and sold his work in many galleries. A short bio of Yashpal can be seen: here.
Man with Lotus, limited edition print (c) Yashpal Chandrakar

We couldn't find an email address though. So we did the next best thing - we wrote to the galleries. The next day an email came back from one of them with an email address. We sent a note and waited. Days went by. No response.
On Tuesday night at 11.30 we were in a prayer meeting with our church - praying for our country which awakened to freedom on the mid-night hour 60 years ago. The mobile started to ring. Quietly of course. We didn't know the number so we ignored it. The calls came repeatedly. Then they stopped.
The next morning at 7 - another call. "Can I speak to Bethsheba please?" a man's voice asked.
"Who is it?" Andi asked sleepily, having hit the sack at a ripe 3 AM.
"I am Yashpal Chandrakar"
Needless to say - any sleep evaporated faster than the first drop of monsoon rain on a hot tin roof!
The next hour was a whirlwind of finding out what has happened over 20 years. Suchrita and Yashpal have children in 9th and 10th standards and live outside Delhi. "Your husband is a famous artist" Sheba told Suchrita - "No, he is a good artist" replied her recently-found friend.
We have an invitation to attend the opening of Yashpal's next show - at Jehangir Art Gallery on the 24th of Sept.
The whole Chandrakar family will be there. Us Eichers too (D.v.).

No comments:

Post a Comment