On disrupting the 600-year old Indian music and dance industry and choosing to do what you love
Sriram Emani is the Co-founder and CEO of IndianRaga. He is a 2015 Global Fellow with the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), where he was the only Indian out of 52 Fellows from across the world. Dedicated to popularizing Indian classical and contemporary music and dance, Sriram is the brains behind the widely popular Indian version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, which has garnered over 25 million views across various platforms.
“like the parting of ways in human relationships, getting distracted and moving away from my love for art was gradual and almost invisible.” __Madhav SBSS
One beautiful evening in 1982, I broke my leg and found my love. I fell in love with art when I fractured my left leg while playing a stupid game in the middle of the street while a bicycle came rolling downhill and hit me, tangling my leg in the rear wheel. There couldn’t have been a better accident in my life than this, it gave me an opportunity to discover my love, Art.
I was on the bed, couldn’t walk and didn’t have TV, didn’t like Radio or Reading. The only thing that kept me active and excited was drawing. I drew many things, filling many sketchbooks for 3 months. To my utter dismay some of my uncles and aunts made fun of my drawings. It hurt that my own family ridiculed my art. Luckily, and I really don’t know why, I was obsessed and I kept drawing!
I won many accolades in town-wide inter-school, inter-collegiate competitions to intramural competitions. I have been drawing for over 3 decades now and I usually get lost in drawing once I start. Growing up I used to spend countless number of hours, many times 4 to 5 hours at a stretch without getting up from the chair, trying to perfect that one fine curve on the eye ball or that one tiny eye lash on the drawing I was doing of a beautiful lass!
Do you have this terrible nagging feeling in the back of your mind as you part ways with your love. Unfortunately, like the parting of ways in human relationships, getting distracted and moving away from my love for art was gradual and almost invisible. That’s the problem, just as in life. One small deviation here and another there repeated daily is all it takes to see ourselves miles away from the love of our lives.
After college, I started neglecting my love and only sat down to draw once in a while. Life, work and other interesting things caught me off guard and let me astray. I lost connection with my love. I feel that I’ve cheated on her for too long. I have had it, I can’t let life and work take my love away.
A few months ago, I decided to draw everyday. It may be a comic, it may be portrait or it may be just a few random scribbles, I want to win her heart back and I will do anything it takes. Many drawings came to me, some days are better than others. There have been days when I went back to my old habits. I know my love is not in my reach yet, I know it will take more effort and devotion from me. I know I have failed many times even after deciding to draw everyday.
I suck at keeping my promise to my love, there are days I hate myself for letting my love down. However, in the depths of my heart I do firmly believe that I will win her back, no matter what. My daily routine needs to be more consistent but I am getting better.
So, here is the $priceless question? Are you cheating on your love? Do you have the guts to dare to win her heart back no matter what it takes. If you know that you are cheating on your love, you are 1/2 the way there. Sad part is, many of us are so caught up in the mechanics of daily living and our responsibilities that we don’t realize that we’re straying away from our love. One step a day away from her is all it takes and before you know it you are miles and miles away.
It takes time to take those steps back and retreat, it’s painful, it cannot happen overnight, don’t look for shortcuts, the only way to win her back is to do the work, make the sincere effort, be willing to put aside your distractions and start loving intensely, again.
It’s not easy but it’s possible to win your love back. Good luck, see you at the reunion celebrations!
“The painter is the rival of nature” __Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci spent many a day watching the water flow, hitting rocks and other obstacles along the way. He made a binder of his notes on water, popularly known as the Leicester Codex.
In his observations of nature, he is said to have remarked “The painter is the rival of nature”. Leonardo compiled the Leicester Codex while in Milan during the years 1508 and 1510.
“He wrote on 18 double-sided sheets of loose-leaf, linen paper, each one folded to make a total of 72 pages. The notebooks are distinctive for two reasons: his use of ‘mirror writing’—writing from right to left—and the links he created between image and text. He recognized the power of combining words and images to develop and communicate ideas.” –Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Bill Gates now owns the Leicester Codex now, he won the bid at an auction conducted by Christies on 11th November 1994 for $30,502,800 dollars (~$31 million). That price makes it the most expensive book ever to be sold on this planet.
“Leonardo documents his observations of water currents, whirlpools, waves, heads, canals, banks, locks, dams, tunnels, projects for docks, for land reclamation, lists of machines for making use of the energy supplied by water and projects for the use of water for military purposes, accompanied by texts dense with theories.” –Hammercodex.com
Furthermore, he captures how mountains arose from the sea, how fossils formed over the mountains of Parma and Piacenza, erosion due to water currents, ideas for constructing bridges over water, the great landslide of Monte-Garnier and the origin of spring waters at the top of mountains.
Leonardo was fascinated by Ptolemy’s Cosmographic studies and seems to have used Ptolemy’s maps, rivers, lands, mountains in his exploration of water flow.
Interesting thing about Leicester Codex is not only the power of observation Leonardo demonstrated but also it is a study of how to study something. Leonardo leaves spaces on one or both sides of each page to make room for pictures and notes. On the Leicester Codes, he starts the page numbers from the middle and goes out to sides, what could be the reason for that?. He uses mirror writing that can be read easily in a mirror but harder to read as a normal book. Why did he do that, people say that’s to make it harder for others to understand, really, this great genius could be so selfish and conceited? How silly! It appears that the reason for his mirror writing is because writing right to left would not smudge the ink as he wrote (I learnt that from Bill Gates in this video on the Codex), could that be the real reason? What do you think?