These days, I’m making another one of my dreams come true. Attending art classes by the world famous artists of Pakistan: Mansoor Rahi and Hajra Mansoor. Their art classes are like getting a ‘two in one’ deal! The moment I enter the class I feel quite happy to have made the effort to get out of the endless ‘business’ of today’s world. To enter this world of fun and development of one’s skills, its truly a great privilege.
Naturally, one ends up next to other class mates closer to one’s own age and skill groups. However, a quick walk around the room is a refreshing experience. Watching the work of young and upcoming artists feels great too. Some of them are awesome. – Students of all levels and ages are welcome here.
Mansoor Rahi, who recently celebrated his seventy eighth birthday, is a national icon in the field of art in Pakistan. His programs on painting on PTV morning shows in 1994 and beyond are still remembered by many. His speech which is a mixture of English and Urdu in his Bengali accent is charming. As one enters the class room, you see him fully engrossed in observing the work of some student. As you wish him, he will give you a welcoming look, and a remark full of humor.
When I first went to him in 2004, he said “You can come any time you feel.” He knew I had already exhibited my work in many solo exhibitions and so on. However, I realized that without a commitment, you never get down to anything. So, I insisted that I’d like to be his and Hajra Mansoor’s student. Then circumstances took me away, till I returned to Islamabad again in 2011. Then, again I had to drop my classes.
So, being in the classes on and off, I’ve realized its best to remain ‘on’. There is a tempo and an environment of these classes which really invigorates me. As works build up exhibitions of student’s work are held in prominent art galleries of Islamabad.
Sitting there, surrounded with the serene and dreamy paintings of Hajra Mansoor, one goes on painting. Looking up at the paintings really inspires one.
What I like best about these two icons, is that they are so cool and pleasant. They do their teaching, and telling one the basics or whatever is needed. They do not get upset, when they see us doing exactly the opposite thing! Many of the students just go their own way. That too, is fine by the two experienced artists. They never try to impose their ideas on anyone. In fact, they help you get where you want to go. – Even if it is something totally different. Everyone is noticing the improvement in my work recently. I wonder why?
That is the beauty of art. It is free. It is multi-dimensional. You can literally go anywhere you want to go. Here in the classes you are blessed with the best guides to take you where you want to go!