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You are 'what your desire is

Ignited Lines By AI eena Chopra

Virgo Publications, Rs 80

Meena . Chopra will not have too many words getting in between the ignition of an idea and its consummation. It must be having something to do with the fact that she also paints, Her poems ha:ve. a neat compactness of pamtings: words become colours that fiU up the canvass if - or when -:- she is not using her paintbrush.

Ignited Lines, Meena's first /' volume of verse, is therefore not for' the gallery; rather. it is a ~allery. You can browse through .r J It, but you ~ll periodically I pause, much like when con-, 1 fronted with a new painting that } has succeeded in achieving the . • differ.ent,. a range and depth of .! emotions far removed from the 'j eyeryday cliche~ ofexisjential i

. dilemmas. not existencerShe un- I veils simmering facets of love ' possession, mind and sell with sensitivity. She is' delicate 'hut strong, gentle yet sharp vulnerable yet proud. Self-ac·tuali· sation is more a matter of rou-

tine than effort; it is the moments beyond the ones of selfknowledge that she wants to live

up to, and become. not a mere rhapsody in search of life, but a rhapsody in search of the deep-

·erse!f;ln this sense she is her o-w,n Sup, her own guiding star, as IS brightly revealed in the poem. 'Fire'.

Dreame . tumble from .

. unknown heights . intoa dark pit

devoured by

the hunger for light.

. The dreams could be of light Itself at the end of a transitory



Trimmings old and torn change in

the flowing stress, a garb


hiding an instant to be touched

to be in motion

(F;rom instant in Motion)

tunnel; T~e "dark pit" or ignoT@c,e UlSld.e transforms into the !s~lf:)}~9Ruse of ~ts (the self's)

hunger for light" . The constitutive elements of the "self' therefore come across as both the darkness of ignorance and the search for light. But what does she do equipped with this awareness?

A sea of hidden fire

rises with a smoky thread to reach the hearts

of early desires.

Predictably, the words that throw light are, again, "a sea of fire" and "the hearts of earlv desire." The verse structure builds

~ towards a rounded attainment.

or satisfaction. at finding the connection between "a dark pit", the "hunger for light" and

. "a sea of hidden fire" to "reach the heart of early desires". (YOll are what your deep driving desire is. Cf. The Upanishad.) It is easy now to understand why she chose to write this instead of doing what one would suppose comes more naturally to her, that

is, paint it. Painting perhaps inhibitsbecause it is primitive, and she has to relate its opposite, the immediate. the contemporary. and give it currency. She wants

to "discuss" more than "express", involve her reader into a ! dialogue dissatisfied with the mesmerised, silenced viewers.

Art, therefore. means un-

. locking closed dimensions. launching a search for the more elusive sound. To do this she has carefully "ignited" the "lines", to make an audio-visual dream world which is more in the nature or an open question to the creative spirit. Painting is an endeavour, poetry is desire. and she has chosen as preoccupation of her innerUfe that which is

. both. It appears incandescently in 'Potency': .

Thoughts emersed verses,

.. A rhythmic fantasy, pondering in

the mortal failure; bursting shadows.

. a lifeless poise-spotent enough to unite the clinging poverty of a sterile substance.

.. It reads so much like a painting. the give-away line being the first one. where thoughts "emersed" (eroerged)in "verses", after which the flow of her pen is the virtual reality for-strokes of a paintbrush. Fascinating.

- Gautam Siddharth




an indlcarion "Fire", "A

dawn", "Last of Ash ."

Receding pain leaves behind ashes - hot embers have power to turn once again, Meena's poems capture this experience with great subtlety. "No do not touch the ash! II still cries with the residues of fading ernbers,"

Pulfilment is elusive where the universe itself is an image of imperfection, This is cam ured




wherein the poet desires a recognition of the every woman within:

Is she a vase

Or a statue on a pedestal? She is no icon

In vain she searches - an iconoclast

beyond the turbidity love ....

The poem far outstrips the feminist demand for male acknowledgement - it rather expects a penetrating insight into "The r sal in her" which will only be "revealed through layers, .. The lack of recognition of this deeper self finds brilliant expression in another poem. 'Amidst metaphors':

Unrecognized helpless and dirty

I hid myself from me. To escape from the subjective dilemma, the world without is considered as an alternative but is easily dismissed, A profuse desire

to follow -

the laughable stock disintegrated diffusion

!'- firmness of ~,caJ

mind ... , ",

This fi"rst volume' of poems by one who is also an artist, a painter, provides perhaps an alternative and additional medium for self express-

___________________ . ion to a surcharged per-


It is tbe story of a soul that is caught in the throes of trying to unravel the mystery of the self in terms of subjective ex perience. It is perhaps the be ginning of a burning journey within.

Ignited Unes. By Meena Chopra,

I GNJTED Lines, a coUection of poems by Meena Chopra is certainly an intense desire foJ' ignition of the mind. a quest for illumination (if not. illumination itsel!). in a world of duality and paradoxes. A characteristic of her style is that physical sensations beautifully

blend with abstract thought - yearning for

I fulfilment is attended upon by the consciousness of fragmentation. For example in "Paradox" she says

Tired hands grope for the rudimems.

fragmented, flamed


breaking the bar-

riers ...

Pain within and a search for answers throbs through many a poem. The sensitive mind oj the author pictures it in flashes of images, bodily sensations, and unanswered questions. Images of ash, heat and fire abound in the poems. Receding pain leaves behind ashes - hot embers have power to turn once again. Meena's poems capture this experience with great subtlety. "No, do not touch

the ash! It still cries with the residues oj jading embers." This first volume of poems by one who is also an

artist, a painter, provides perhaps an alternative and additional medium for self expression to a surcharged personality, It is the story of a soul that is caught in the throes 0/ trying to unravel the mystery oj the self in terms oj subjective experience. It is

perhaps the beginning oj a burning journey within.

Similarly, 'The Unending Point' captures the agony of unfulfilled desires that find an echo in the elements. Thunderous tones I A fine thread of lightning flash· es Iskylessness I emerges I ruptured by I an unending point I of disaster.

Thought moves in the abstract world for the most part., There are very few visual images. There is intense preoccupation with the subjective condition - hardIy any concern wttn the outside world -, its pressures and complexities. Fragmented irnages are always followed by a leap into abstract:

Sand slips away under my feet

A stillness moves Inside me Duality will remain

T know

separating me from you CA sti llness Moves')

'Paradox' again expresses a groping or awareness amid lh crisscrossmgs or a maze - "named desires" are seen as the only way out of this maze

but the fi nal totality is st III only "within a paradox, ,.

Pain Within and a search for answers throbs through many <I poem . The sensuive mind of the author pi tures it in flashe: of Images. bodi ly sensations, and unanswered questions, lmages of ash, ncar and flre abound ill rbc poems. Some 1111:5 are

beautifully in a picture of the moon _ "The orb still alive I lit the heaven I spreading a borrowed light." ("Splinters')

"Sleep" is once again about "searching for roots" - Incarnate life is seen merely as a "temporal glow". Meaning of existence remains elusive:

"The foundations walk away I I run after them I withuut let".

Meena has a few love poems in her collections. Love i seen only at one level as a means 0(" fulfilment: a L another it is really a search for self-realization. The lover is really a mirror who may reveal through recognition of her own deepest self. Love is an elevating experience in "White Canvas': A splendour berldediwlt II me all niuht ." Yet the burden or search accornpanying it is convey 'd in a lelling lmace , "A Iatigue tarried within me throughout the day" 'Iconoclast' is a poem

Shallnl Sikka


Followinthe fin ers

Expression of the sut,~on.CjOUS

''I developed interest in art has participated in various

from my mother's womb," group shows. . ... .

exclaims Meena Chopra Currently, she has ~O paintwhen asked the obvious ings on show at ?hTl~harall1 question. A resident of Gallery and Tnvem Kala Nehru Apartments in Sangam from .12~h to ~2nd Kalkaji, she works as tex- Au~~t. Her paIllt~ngs wll~ be tile designer and runs .an exhibited at India ¥ablt~t advertising agency WIth Centre for two days. In this her husband. collection, I have expressed

IIArt is ingrained in our fami- whatever lies in my subconly. My father and brother are scious," says Meena. 9olours singers, natural that I take to used are predominantly it some way,1I says Meena. She earthy and blues, III 011 pas-

tries to express intense feel- tels.. .. .

ings in her works. . Besides pamtmg, Meena IS

Meena seriously started interested in po~try. H~r colleepainting in 1983, her works tio.1J-:: called Ignl~d Lines has have been exhibited many a been published in bo?k, ~orm time since 1986. In July 1996 and in Indian and foreign JOur-

she mounted a solo exhibition nals. . . .

at Nehru Centre in London, =-Anjana Ravindranath



/vrtist: Meena Chopra Venue: Shridharan.i Go/lerv Dates: August 12 to 22

Meena Chopra, whose paintings are complemented by her sensitive poetry, presents about 50 oil pastels. Working mostly in oil, she made the transition about 3 years ago to oil pastels, a medium she can naturally respond to, given the freedom it allows her. And surely, every iota of tension welling up inside, breaks free. But the artist, having a complete control over her medium, does not get overpowered by the unbridled eruption of colours and forms on the blank surface. Her colours - at once bold and subdued - are ordered to stand out sharply against each other, or simply merge un identifiably into each other. Her palette is dominated by the muted tones of blue and brown, which when fused with various greens, go through stages of permutation. Same with the forms. Abstract in character, they acquire a startling sense of movement, creating a sort of tension on the surface. They seem to be following a course directed by the artist, who has willed their station in the overall spatial arrangement. Some of the forms seem to have been impregnated with so much energy that they seem to bursting atlhe seams. The embryonic bond that she shares with nature forms the keynote of her work. My feet stick to the damp earth/ Fearing devastation.! My mouth is full of clayJ Is it the smell of soil that f eat?/ Swallowing every bit. Words freeze the impalpable fears finding their refuge in the womb of the earth. And the pastels accompanying the words, capture the anonymous smell in a tensile cage that bears the colour of the earth. The other elements of nature find beautiful expressions in her works. Swirling flames of orange recalling the protecting warmth and destroying fury of fire. Ice blue serenity of water ... And most of all, it is the interaction with her own self that gets portrayed in her works. Where does the outside wold feature in this whole process? "It is my response to what I see of the outside world and the reaction to what I feel about all that is around. me." What an enchanting response!

THE HINDU, Sunday, January 26,1997,

, }


:,' .Painting E'.P~ftu~£t~ ~"'c::


Chopra found herself writing poetry. Injust six or seven years Meena who is a great admirer of Keshav Malik. Kailash Baipai, Mahadevi Verma and last though not the least N~j ,

'(whom she calls '

an "underated , "' ........... o s. he's the' l>.eEuS()f·Shelley


JULY 21. I 996


, ,-. robe

. ' - .' released early

, • this month.

Chopra. who runs an advertising firm

'r withbcr

husband, says she trainedand.workedas.a

~ textile designer after graduation, "I had been ;! painting for a while and havcheld several

I~ exhibitions, onejn1Ql1donat,the Nehru " :: Cellve put [OUllQ th~tht,eIe~ntoffrre in my __ • ,. esset;lceofcreativltYy.taschanging into,Sound. 1,-." .:' So it'ha,q,to rewords. It jS'illIlaZing hnw'there: ' -., ~ are times when Grea.tivityjust penis through ~, you, "says Chopra as an<1xpla!tatio~J~he1'>."~, sudden interest in poetry, " ':}(;,-:~(;:;'

The poems are about "self and .. nature )j;self', she says.Did she feel that she bad a lQt,of reading to catch up with now that c. she is taking the world of letters mucb: more ' .... ' .. seriously? No. 1 always did read quite a bit. But . one thing that has happened is that one now

. looks at a word dHferently. I want to get to the root of it and I want to know whether this is fueriglltword or not.Wl'i~gls,the sensitivity with,whkfiy(}u'bandle'W~~l;O~ ~sayingt"

.. . f[orChopra. the delineation between ':.. . ·/wotldng·andcreatingisnow€leat.:itWhere I' ....

~'~tosperid.~ve to mteenbours at the ' / ~geilb~1Iiow spend only five. The rest of my .: tim.eiS.divided between Writing and my ·-:'paintjng," Chopra's book of poems was earlier

> released In London. This is her first book but she feels that it will take her another two-to three years to bring out the second one. Would that be poetry or prose? "Poetry definitely. I don't think I could write fiction at ail .... '


IrIeeNChopra.~ Vir&o~NewDllhi.l~ pp."~ Ita. fIJ, ..

IpirrcI ~ acollectian of,..... by NeIN ChrJpra; .... ... for ipitianofthrlnind forilk~ in. wodd oIdvdty Iftdparada'II! •. rnherpoltly~~thouRht blend 10 ap_" ~ lor fuIfiII.nt!nt

8tll. IbMew

T .......... I'DJW' ."M""'_

fnpu ........... ~

1:Irab .. thrhl"""'" . t"PoIINIIL~')

n.apny ,tlunfulfilled dftires~, in Ihr~ 1'hundeJ'ousk'JatlJ/ .. .\finedvudolJichlnlnalJ.alhttlskyleslneu/emerg. eJlUpIURd by Ian unedninS point/of diNste(" t1he IJnIncIin& Point'}.

1heft .. very t.w " ..... iInIps. 'JheItI_. inttftre. pn!O«1Jpalion with the subjective condIiPn - hInIIy my c:anc:am with the ouIsidewodd- ilsptft5U18..tcamplPitia I'IiIpIented irNps Me .ays followed by a leap into lhelbstMtt. Pan wiIhin and .. IHICh for IftIWeIS IhIobtNouab many .. poem. The ...... mind of the auIhor piL.1uI8 it in .... d _lwat IIId 1ft.

R«ediIta pain .. ash and embers which Nw dw power to tum apiA ............. , poemIcapture"~ withptat .....,. "'No do not II:J\Kh the _f It still aiel wiIh ......... of

fading ........ fWliIment if eIutive* the uniYeIe IIeJf is .... of impKfKtion. ~ 0Ib still alive/lit the 1wIwD/ ...... bOIiDWelllipt- fSplintets').

--sleep- it once about .-dIin& b roaII" .........

_ .. ..., l.U "'edJ. ____

elusive"'1htfounr:latiaNo walkaway Ilnm witblMJer".

Neenahes.fI!w .,. ........

Iewlas. mr_affu1fillnlnt;;.lIlOIheritiJ.., far ...

~ The lover II ndy • mit_ who may .......

~_ownd ..... '" Lawil ... Jlltinteapitsa.-A,

spIIndour beddI4/wAh me aD Yel !be ....... 01 ...m

~ it iI~ ina .. -A faIipe IuriId

wiIhin me ~the day."1c:anocIIIr if.,... wt.neindw pod ..... ~ ofewry .W\1Ih1II wiIhin.

The poem far outstrips the Iftainist demand for male ~ It ..... ftJI<<IS. r.:..--=rinto-n. .... in .... whichwillonlybe-nmaIId...... -.t¥IiIa


.......... ...,.

I hili.,.. ......

To escape fmm. the self .. dw world wi1hout II ~ .. _ Ifternative but iii -uy cIiInliI.IIId.

1biafinlt ""OIumeof .... .". anewhoil __ artid" &,.....

pmwides pahIps lID b t &alive ... aMiIioIuI sell

~n"'Io.~prnar.aJ_ ••• slDtyol is

.... • .. throIso(tlJinllOuOIawIlIIe.,..' It1!nn5

of ........ ftJeialo5,. • is J'lI!IIMIa dIP- -..'*'C 01 a jouIney

wiIhin. . •

_M r .. Sikka



Instinctive colour sense ·of Meena

M~ has displaytd ave expert~ p~.~~Wi.on, sse-

:a.mposiliQIIs. four studies of .. " eeeds 1:11 bUlldln:B up' t!be a~ ~iIh'" Ihrce paintings 'With ;, ~p'rop~Sile ~ood. of '!be Sl'l1:S1 ""ividual titles ,(A.sp~:ra- i and In 'to '!.he :1Iion u,. "R.iSi.ftg'" and ""Bum- ... 'I vicwc:r •

• ~'" sod two· "studies, of ,I MCCIlI,"S bold u:seot red. "1tcmtancr"'.;1 wislltsJhe had I b~u~ .. and ~ ~.ooty bc:~ ~ one ""''·,. ~. lIS 1mt!,~\I(" Th- .

... ~. ,each oJlw'pairllt- ,efeillT'C POwerfW'~ illl . ,

illS is .selt-JXlrtmif;. for M1c: 'the paintinp.,and,:not .rely ,

~s~ 10,8 Il't!l\axi:abole: in their (illa.' UI::c:' Scott's

alnU ~nself-expression, Htf Reaper. MC'Cna'sWiQm,seem

dIoushls. f!$Pir¥iODS~ 'st~g- ' to be ,oonccmcd with old, un~ • and mtemal OOI)OJus. "happy £ar:..oiflhiogSG'W(11 as&ad faithfUl n:f1ectioll in her some u[um'lsonow. loss. or

: ~ She is blessed ·\vi,I:h 3.D ' paim; dtaJt 'has bOt:D.l.00 ma,),

...m'm!: SIeRS<:: of 00 lour. Her. be: aga~n,

PAGE6 • BLITZ, MARCH 13,1993.·


Ilr qUlslfllr Ibl. elusive

THE NalnHal·bom Meena Chopra Vlrdl Is currently (March 8· March 14) holding her fourth solo exhibition of all .paintlngs at the Jenangir Art Gallery. Bombay, . Along with the score of canvases are poems, a continuum of imag~ in colours and words. The artist herself says that, "There Is a strong sense of movement (In) the terrna., (which) though floating and adrift seem at times 10 be tethered ... but still straining to be.freE!"."

. But what of theartis( . hersert? Graduallng.llJ.i':: . science from IT College,. Lucknow, In 1976, Meaha, completed a course Ire: .. · . textile design from thEi New Deihl Polytechnic a year later and put her hQned skills to use for a few,!;,; . leading Deihl-baSed el<port houses over six years.

It was from 1985 tliat she has been heading her own advortlslng firm. Orie > among the spetles of " "self-taught" artists and found herself "seriOusly interested in fine arts" In

1984. From 1981Ho 1992, Meena held three solo exhibitions In Du!hland was one of Ihe partlolpants In the First Deihl Women Artists Show.

Residing and running her studio In Deihl, she proves that being a hOlJsewife and a pivotal part of an advertislnq agency does not detraclfrom expressing oneself In the wf1:oJ Means does, "All you

need Js a sensitive heart and an Irfeslslitle urge 10 express ~s feell ngs on canvas," she sHyS. For

Meena, passionately

. absorbed In art from childhood, her poem-paintings "searcr for

the elusive': .•

These poems talk of "hldde" fire/rising with/a Smok€IY thread.,," A . seemingly ordinary enough statement, it might also mirror the extraordi nary; sensibilities of a commit1ed

. artist. (,

Meana believes that,

. experiences from her past life and vivid dreams have both played a significant part in her paintings:

. .

_ __ . ~- .. ~--.~.~. _. _.";" •• ~h __ '_·._._ • ' __ ' __ .~ __ ....--. -- .......... ~---.--~.-- .. ,~~. ~~ ... ~ ••• _ ..... _


Monda',' MA.rRCH 8

- . .' P'AlNl',J'AU'Nt ,

- -


~JUI: 'Vir.tH ¥dIn :1i~,1'" PiiI·I'IUf.\g:i,

. SH~. is·oI!~~.amd,a,ple:."'"It-er_.~~.ill~Js~MC~ '1. "'eI"~In'A'5!eS~·~ ~ ~i!I Vi:d)'~ ~ rdftd'llI 5iNl1i.rll o:l Ible:t~ ~ 'flQrn 'I.fiI!. COit~!b'tl!t 'i!l'ICi'Iij- Ii:s; ,Eli 5lmI1g ~,.~ 1iIID. i'fIIM!: ~'1iJB ~ '"!.tie 00.'_' l'Op d'_:l~Bjl' ~ ,and k.!m'!lTCM.!5. bO" ~ ~limati JII ~ ~ .pji itI~ 'Iifrlas; i'iiKiig':rr.g' rr!:O e;at/'i '" '. The y,ii 1 ~ ~ '1M ~!ngS.lO beOOm9 00_ !;If v.1Su:1iJI.t. .• Wai:dll MCOfI3 V'1f4l,'5; wiXks. ~. ~~r ill! ~lIie- J~~~ Alii ~~'ee.n ~,8 rAM M 'ern 1,.t

." . ~ I

-- '

PailnlilllQl has been M:eei!l:!l ~hO'p'Ja'S Qoot"~1'1 si!1iCe her diil'dhood '~Ii $he lleamt how t(l paiM emil ,chaw on, her '~1I, Ihrol.l!ln Ifial !!lind erro:!",

il!IaWUu:g i(1)) 00'1h lreal is I h::' anilil ahstr:a(lI: art', then l\!Jllimate'~ s:ei1tin~ kif atst.r:acBo/it, 1J'iIWtI1OO pro~essimal !~ainrD:!J inlh~; field,_ Meena Je;e1s an fequires a se~he_

liar fh!1'lMS are U$l;Ia1!y en difl'9'lient emolf()F1s alfli!l [t is ool'oor thai helpiS be~ bilifi9 oo~ Ihe emOlions. blem!li~ ilhem with ther r~ms, A rela~oo~hip oo(rw\aeJ!! i!iiU~eC~ <lind ~ecl. ~I and mauer, ·is the' lJ~i;I'l CMlnt iill a11'1'lO$1 ,~ 01 tJe:r !ll'(!m.Mo!leli'li1eni is siWi"fciinl Jor MEieftl8. Sbe f!lel't·lil p.rovides, lalriuagew O! painling b~"Us!i: ;;It Ume.s it 'OOi;:(1rnes, dffl.1CI;I~ iWtlII 'fol' the pau~erM read bel'iNeen, the ColoIlN'S, 'Then it is t~e'fcrm aOO Ih!e t1'fi'KiVement whrdi b~e$,!h~ $ti~~ ~~ to a worK or al'l,.

JUon~ wilb 11i'IfB: !iI;;!\[bflioo, Meerniil. wliil ,abo be rere.a~in,] Iher' bOO~ o~ pooilIS ~ Liil:es. On.e oolices a fhylhm o~ uJ"iiVersallllug;lity undeMying he~ ~IIY as well ;ttS

her pajlilin~ The'll'3e~~ ;S!Ioong in il!ll~9¢IY andlspontanl:ily" rnmple!"fi'imt U'ie ,I)ai!'1~ilJQs.

II'1'RST CITY 1Wi.G~~Ne • .1AIiUJ!.l'I'I' , 997 8i1



. ,

wUh tdaas Meena paints quite :fast.

Commertda:,Uy ~1!'Il. she Iii,as beeRlquile succsssfu). Me,ena. .recaIDI,s how her works, 1.,( Jell!l.llgir ATt Gallery W.l1l B,omi>a,!,f well'e sol.d (UI/Ii., e,ven as Bomm:.,u::!( was:r(l'eli:rng 'llulder thebomh blasts of 1. 9913,. In fa:ct,. miii'i (II ~he m,n:initluyers was Kuwaid. princess, Aissa,1ll S.abh,ll. ta,udedi le,quaU,y by critics, Meena censlders U~at uhi,bhiol1 \II 'have b~e~ 001113 or her best. ,

81J1.lVi:th ,Il smU'B, :she adds. ",P~emS~ ~jh!)n't put an elild to my movement as, ,IUiI artlsL The (\'1- ~me'llt .of pr1ogression neVIl:.f comes, ioan IBnd. My best Is yel to, come."

A painter's brush with poetry

Next month Mean@., Chopra 'will be dispiaylng her works at Nehru Centre In London, ,Aks,hoyo. ,Mukul speaks to theartist

A,t, fi,'i"3ll~gla.~ruce. !.he m'o,~ .. ~marn ,10 MeelUl: Cho!prn s

paintings ~u:uil 'vers,es :I> land at ocIDd w~(,b her calm, p~isi!1 d per:s(l'llilaJ i,ty.. nO'wev,er. mimrl.t's later as the &li'dst begin:'> 1.0 speak Uln~ SCIlse5 her innate dCSl,re h) bel':rce: ~Not. ,tbe con vernional idelll, of being forced to heeak awa,y from the m.(HlIhl" bUI, rII£:edom f~r m,e is, the' proeSIi o€ CQIIlIstan' de\'le.· op,meirll, of yea:rniug :rilii: mor;(l and 1£011' Ule beuer ." ·

MO'l'illtli!(ilit lias MGUli!!r SiS:inifiicant4il fru Meena .. Sbetbtinb ' :II. pro', la~gllll8!:g:e tio ,S, paint~ ing btl;c, at times it becomes 'lIc:ry Idlmcuil, even ro~ '1,h,e painter to read between the colours. ~l'henitis Une form and Lhe moveme,gl"",h,iell beeome . the srreng lJ~ilH ion ,BI work 'of

I an. - she Says, A self-ta!Y! Jil!lilll!'er" M,E),CITha's umlder'Stl!.lHltng ol1'lhc mcdiumi ,quite UnpFes::' slve. ~rom 1'9186 'when she first e.xb~btl,ed at TlrivelllHo hr up€,C show aJ theplI"'esti-, Nehnl [e012fe in London i~ Jul)" MeellIa has tOIlStlll1lUy efid$llvnureo "1o, ex,I.!)['£! roy asph'i!lth.a,n!li. 1101P0, ha:p'!l'ine:s5. pain. I"11i!,sistance and S~f'ength".

I What adds ttl 'h,of t!!!len~ is 'Ib~

bealulrylp'Oct( slilc wrhes and exhibits ,iii,lon.gwi1.h tile paill'Uings, Duly IfrAmed ilnd las,LefuWI)' mOull,ted. her VerS2i!!S" she reeWs, at times innLlence her IHI!i!lJt!:rHt's and vlee 'versa. '"Boi.b require a strong sense of trn.Elgery ,and. spolflilomei:ty Ilndi if they help 'each OU]E~f it happens u.m':IIIi1SdOu5Iy,'~ she fen!l);C'lS. The cnmmenelement is il,g,;tlWl movement. Some:uni:ngr lite: a dot she waSl'her being/a zyg,ollc stili ptlr/a, pear:~f'Ull. sl'e,epf mother's dark "~·Qmbl she IJII"'ged ~o gro'\.II'/5p'i,t~i,n~ illlJO $!ever,a'v mulri:plying .. /a schizophrenic me'lamo.rptJ(lsisffrom an embry'o m;o a foe:tmj'readv for birth j,['Lfola. space of chaotic rnevements/ cowing to tBrmswiLhI '~'haL.?la law or e .... o,lutiGIfI ... ?

Mt' 'na is at pa.i:ns Ito explain

l10w she "(10k t!!!l ,cn(')l:ry. ~ r L is stiIJ ./I., .mystletyl,o me. But 'on.ce I :Sl.arled w['i~ng: ~ rl!m.liood the CODne'ction bflllWeCf! the i,WO. Po,etry is ,ci)f1nec:ood wi.11h SOil! nd ii!.lilldi /l,ai~tin,g Is e,ollnel:;ted with I i,gh I. a nd till,!;!), II:Q;mpl ement o&heli."'s'he explalns,

AL present, :M&cJ:ta, ls ~:reliD·arins: fiJ'r her LOlndon show where she will. be exhib~tin,g 20 ];lOtill1ilS WId 20 paintings. a.~W 'o~llQn 'can-

vas a.long with few dramogs. \,rhmL miiJ.kes tho. sho,w s~eci,~1 ~s' tl1at he:ll fiirst book, a coHeclion ofpnems" wm ,be releasoo dur~ i n,g' the lexnib.Uou.llUed .Amidsl:

MI~Ulp~(}r$ j~ has beea flub,Wished by Vili'go.Meemnl iis quite erull':illlsi,Mti,t a..bout the sI'ilQ,w:biut shows iI' stliw.lIJl in alf'in,g her · wTbe:re is a ~ol'lg 'Not)r ahead ferme," she sa.ys.

P'' has ileen Melena"s obsession since her childhood 'which she cOIl,ld, nO~pu.l"s'ye a a fulHinle prof!'.; 'inn .. Mter a chlldheod S;Pf~11 ~ 1m Naia:ruH,I1I. she gl'adu~led in sclenee and W~ ntf(lif textile design iflg CO!.ire and \ ',r'kM for dilIernt exporL Drnh .[H .. ron s!!id:ln~ down as housewife. No!\,'" she

hel:ps her h!!lisband in,g; his ad agency Hlmomika. Meen(!l. d,!)GS '1iI0t 'i!.gn~e tlii<d: beIng a hoes Wiife itS a diei.erring fiil!ttol:' ~n. ~elr wow-th as an nrrtL'ill. Says si1e.-.A:rt reqllilres a sie:llsnive heart which I ha:ve." As rorl.he ISlck. oUrmning she a:.gItIeesthat ,going '(10 arll sdiHIO~S does heilll the \!,I'ay OM' handles ~h() medtu m b1ll11~ r..lflthe long run it Is the quam,y in aall"'[,ist which mat-

len. She name,s some Dr (he grooJl.est pain.1er.s whe never went W a,rt schools ..

"lleana:1 tlli'@,gb wial ami Ie:rrer Iwethod and by dabbli:liIg in'IQ bQtb reali:sth: and abstract rO,f'jns,.~ silte says. mthnat.e:ly, MeEll:!asetUed r;ur abs'l!ractioliil. Howelver~ the ·1Jj",lulilge or Issues; heli8ibsU',act :pai~Ungs deal wiilh is sur,prisi,ng.

At onCe '[Llill of .Il':r~cism they show dliffenml emotioas the luguaKe ~r which ls 'f:xc1'IJsj,vely Meena"s,. Co'iour isanether elernem whkll M,e.el1 a t1iiindl.1'e!i quite welt "Colour gives, emotion to :mi" piliimi·ngs. ~ Means says and axplatns how she tries 1.0 IM,e on':}' primuy cnll)lJr! s :~1'hey b~mld well with


Bill hOly!! [J,QfiS Mee~1l; mil!.filage

~o run the hO'llsebofd, belp he,r .Imsbandl and paillt.tooi? '~I

PlH'e DlIa::dmm:n. UOO ohime and 1'1 aLways rn8Llii8ige to &q:llIieeze e ut few ho!urs for my work .. R M~er IlinishingFe,w eanvases tdle packs (I·ff rorhi~ls. "A sm,dl break helps me in r€lchm-rlng myself ,as also it mspiJ:'res :m,~ furlh,el;,'a, she: says. Once pa,d:edi

"6 '

, ~11-' ,\

.' •• _'+

Colours! .. -- PoeW·· I

. new ttllDii"'iJiiiie fa ~BDd. eWe a

'aUmmer of hope' <tIr th08e who ted!: love Or want to perpetually be in the world of 'fan~ It also ~., the.~'~fai' that: 1_ yet to make It to a:reen~~ and ' cRate vMdmemOriee .. ..;.... fo()~ pr(nlll W the unda' ot lime.

.. : TIiC: ,ltateof niIodahe haapro·jectLod 'Imply .a thol"Ouah handling of coloUJ'1 agd dlspela Illy do~ of Just bema '~ative 8ItetclJes. An aloog JDe'palntlngs aupest

that ~I8'lOmething more to it. thin ~~ .. meet8 the buman I

6 eye. The rahmethlng more' howev- ! er, is bard to describe and can only be compeehended by thoae who

. tend to approach. th~ apiritual. liane.The aesthetic J)eauty how- I ever,C&nnot be lost; even when 11 I

, • coacems the lay art lover.

Moreover, Meena's bold use of the elenuintary celours • red, blue, ! and green suggest that: the eolourS • blU! d instinctively, 'and portray , . poVl"erful . emotions. In 'Burning' the unendJng'ltream ,of power I within 18 ilnImlstaldng1y portrayed. The coricept that even the Imalleet emtence hal . anlnexbaustible source of energy within, is port·

. rayed ~ully.

In 'Breakl.nJ(the blue shades in . the centre and dark blue at left .

ag8ln depict . .

• MARCH Ul1i9.3


Brea'kinl Free by POONAM JAIN




••••• ~ ••••• j •••••• , •••••••••••••••• I.~ •• ~ ••• 4 ••• ~.~ ••

, .


Unreoealed mysteries ('" coloured wide spaces '. '.:B'ntw.i,ning dimensions

'; r:'The vacuum became horizonF(aVLinesdetiphered. '_ '

,~" Core looked for its periphery , ~; Having fallen out from the, ~'centre/Searchtng~ . ' ,

'; "The centre or the peripheru? :,,' (Meena Chopra) -'. The first thing that strikes,'

, you about about Mcena

,,' "Chopra's work is pre-

ely this sense of a quest.

is a searching, a-yearn"which reaches out to you .Irom the canvas. Entwined 'jl)imensions, her recent exhi'hftipn of oil pastel on paper,

" which opened at Shridharani Gallery on Thursday, 1S a culmination of her work over the , last three veal'S. It also marks

adeparture from the artist's ,'ImiviQUS ventures of oil on

~:)~., ..


. -The meanderings this lime " are more delicate, distilled

refined. There is sense of ty about the wisps of

";.' '"V"UU' , set against a stark background. Meena she.was drawn towards

white paper. Perhaps iL heightened the quintessential artistic struggle with space.

Accompanying her paintings, are her verses, and the two .», ' complement each other. In, " fact, they often seem to flow from and into each other, making one wonder which , came first. the word, or the image, The heightened passionate quality of her verses imbues the images with a strong emotional power: For

cold-heat bums ugh out my body

, i tmmersinc into afr.oien :<;ice/A deadj7ame' .'

stifled me alive Or

"I walk bare feet'

on the mint; of time.

Past crumbles underneath. Images emerge from

the rigid stone walls cracking in front ()f me

Or even

Horizon brimmed.

, Colours dripped from, . ,,*

empty palette, .

My brush jiimbled,', Shadows etched dista , The night disappeared. Time collapsed in me.

The ephemeral quality of

her images, almost dissolving into the white, G()n1f~S out in

the delicate strains of blue. violet, pink. Coming as some sort of a break are the earth coloured images.

"I'he.swirls and wisps of timesapproximating a dancing form, at others 11 complex tapestry of colours.tseern to revel in

their own b'eihg.Just like Meena does in her work. She runs an advertising agency with her husband Bhupincler, besides painting and writing poetry, in Hindi and English. She has-publlshed a volume of poems. ignited Lines,

J-iHer exhibition at Shfidharani will continue till August 22. It will move to the Habitat Centre from

August 23,

M anishcl Vardhan

- ----:!-



.0: "



• _< •• _ I _.

A painter's brush with poetry

Next month Meena Chopra will be displaying her works at Nehru Centre in London. Akshaga Mukul speaks to the artist

first glance, the movenent in Meena Chopra's ain lings and verses stand at odd with her calm. poised personality. However. minutes later as the artist begins to speak one senses her innate desire to be free: "Not the conventional idea of being forced to break away from tbe mould, but freedom for me is the process of constant development. of yearning for more and for the better. ft

Movement has another. significance for Meena.She thinks:' it provides language to a painting because at times it becomes very difficult even for the painter to read 'between the colours. "Then it is the form and the movement which becomes the strong pomt in a work uf art." she says. A self-taught painter, Meena's understanding of the medium is quite impressive. From 1986 when she first· exhibited at Triveni to her upcoming show at the prestigious Nehru Centre in London

I in July. Meena has constantly I endeavoured "to explore my aspirations. hope, happiness. pain. resistance and strength".

What adds to her talent is the beautiful poetry she writes and exhibits alongwith the paintings. Duly framed and tastefully mounted. her verses, she feels. at times inn uenee her paintings and vice versa. "Both require a strong sense of imagery and spontaneity and if they help each other it happens unconsciously. ~ she reflects. The common element is again movement. Something like: a dot she was/her being/azygo tic stupor/a peaceful sleepl mother'S dark womb! she urged to grow/spilling into several/ multiplying .. ia· schizophrenic metamorphosis/from an embryo to a foetus/ready for birth intoia space of chaotic movements! corning 1:0 terms with! what...?/a law of evolution ... ?

Meena is at pains to explain

how she took to poetry. "It is still a mystery to me. But once J started writing I realised the connection between the two. Poetry is connected with sound and painting is connected with light and they complement each other. "she explains.

At present, Meena is preparing for her London show where she will be exhibiting 20 poems and 20 paintings. all oil on can-

heJps her husband in running his ad agency Bhoomika. Meena does nol agree that being a housewife is a deterring factor in her growth as an artist. Says she, "Art requires a sensitive heart which I have. ft As for the lack oC training she agrees that going to art schools docs help the way one handles the medium burin the long run it is the quality,in a artist which mat-

my forms."

But how does Meena manage to run the household. help her husband and paint too? _I make maximum use of time and always manage to squeeze out few hours for my work." After finishing few canvases she packs off for hills. "A small break helps me in recharging myself as also it inspires me further," she says. Once packed

Meena Chopra: 'My best is yet to come'

vas along with few drawings. What makes the show special is that her first book. a collection of poems, will be released during the exhibition. TItled Amidst Metaphors it has been published by Virgo. Meena is quite enthusiastic about the show but shows restraint in airing her views. "There is a long way ahead for me. ~ she says.

Painting has been Meeria's obsession since her childhood which she could not pursue as a full-time profe s-.inn. After a childhood spell I, l in Nainital, she graduated in science and went for textile dp.signing course and \U Irkbci for different export firm: before settling down as housewife. Now she

ters, She names some of the greatest painters who never went to art schools.

M( learnt through trial and er- . ror method and by dabbling into both realistic and abstract forms," she 5;\y5. Ultimately. Meena sett1ed for abstraction. However. the .range of issues her abstract paintings deal with is surprising.

At once full of lyricism they show different pmotions the language of which is exclusively Meena's. Colour is another element which Meena handles quite well. "Colour gives emotion to my paintings." Meena says and explains how she tries to use o n ly primary colours: "They blend well with

with ideas Meena paints quite fast.

Commerclally too. she has been quite successful. Mccna recalls . how her works at Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombav were sold out. even

. as Bombay was reeling under the bomb blasts of 1993. In fact. one of the main buyers was Kuwaitiprtncess, Aissah Sabha. Lauded equally by critics, Meena considers that exhibition to have been one

of her best. .

But. with a smile. she adds.

"Please don't put an end to my movement as an artist. The el~ment of progression never cumes to an end, My best is yet to come."

.' ::>0,

I .

II ! Thursday, March 11. 1993

W· "'1 •.

'~.-: .. (, ",.

~'.~"'." ,., ..... ':t.'·.,){·.

,. > ~. . . ',' ';.' ~ " •

~. .' . .'.~~' '.

By A Staff Reporter'

THERE seems' to ije a ··st~on~·;:;'

urge in Meenu Chopra Verdi to .

break all the se:Jand let it . -su set float away in freedom. Ever since she nset, gOI seriously involved in -painting .·:Bor~·ln Nainital,:vIee'ra afler.cOri1-·~· some' ten years ago, this idea of libc- , pletinga course 'in~textiledesignlng,

'ralion of the self has been appearing worked as a designer, fashion coord!-.

in her creations, She seems 10 be nator for-a couple of leading export intrigued by' this' aspect of the firms. Painting," right' .,' from . human condition. .. childhood,.shetook· tothe ·fll'1e···a.rt.' :

Meerra who has held four one- tenyears ago. ~) .,:: >: ';

woman exhibitions In Delhi's an gal- In the pairu ings, there is a strong'

leries is currently presenting20 paino. sense of the movement of the forms

ungs . and S0r11C' poeins 'at the slIsl?ended"i1) the bac~dro,lkt(diITer- . :

Jeh'lIlgir An Gallery. She says "My ent hues of luminous and bois:! . paintings are an effort, 31)' endea- colours;' sometimes In contrasting vour to explore my, aspirations.' tones and "at ·ilrries '

nope, happiness,' pain. resistance.' each 'other in a .

and strength', forms+though ting

It is nut escapisrii she seeks, it. is seem at times 10 be tethered ..

liberation. But does the self succeed : moorings" but still stralning , ..

.in irsaucmpt. 11 is held down all the free. The choice of vibrant colours

ume.A tension ensues. like blues. purples and reds' along, .

,,\ poem by herpcrhaps"cxpl;iins . with mellower bFowfls.greys 'und . whlit she wants to say: Precarious • whites mix fluently (0 form visual!110Vcs/a groundless/stabiliryzsub- - both clear and bright. t


.' D.SPATCH & cou ••• a


. i

Friday. March 12. 199j

. ..

_ ~_.i

Meena Chopra;

. painter and poet

2 AT the Jehangir Art Gallery •

• Meena Chopra Virdi, a ~ter and poet isholding ~er exhl~JllOn. There are nowhere tmages In her

paintings, - a . - certaln- dream-like 1 quality. The few forms that appear in the composition are linear. One senses tension and movement. It is as if '; an effort is made to break away from \ the. moorings. transcend everyday I reality. .. ;

The forms, the bright or muted I colour arrangements produce the . intended moods, the ~ges.. . i

A poem by the artist WIll show how j her mind works •. howshe puts the I perceptions in the su~nscious on i the canvas - Precanous movesl a . groundless! stability/ submerged/ pictures of! pathetic serenity/ ~ profuse desirel to follow .. J the laughable! stock/ disintegratedl diffusion!

a . firmness of! cynical mind/ the dawn breaks! with the disappearingl gloom of I restraining sunset.

The exhibition' will be on nil Sunday.


A combination of poetry and art

'Artist Meena Chopra's exhibition

~opened oR.e_ng.<Lon 1.b;::~t2 August.i!,t .. the Trivcru Kala Sangarn and thllugh

I have yet to view it but her poetic lines seem to tempt I quote unrevealed mysteries .. or coloured wide spaces or entwining dimensions. The vacuum became horizontal. Li nes deciphered or core looked for its property having fallen out from the centre searchingthe centre or the periphery?

\ \ i i



Wednesday March 101993 17

__ ~'_I _~_. __ REVUE~ __




it with a passion only later. This is her fourth one-woman show.

HER paintings reflect ,I feeling of Meena's choice of colours is bold breaking away - broken figure adrift - blues, purples, reds much like the on the canvas. The forms almost seem big bindi on her forehead. Her poems to be floating, yet bound to their like her paintings are spootan. eous ex-I moorings and straining 10 be free.' pressions of her creativity. With a full-This distortion comes from the sub- time job. how does she find the time conscious", ex:rt!1iis"Meena. "As in- for both - painting and poetry? She ./ dividuals we all want-to break free, smiles and says. "When you want to not he hound. We're alwayssearching write - you write. When you want for something." II's this sensitivity to paint - you paint. Sometimes you i that Meena captures with the strokes - play with colours. at other times with 1 of her brush. words:',Thc colours of Meena's ex- I _ Meena 5:hopr~ . ycrdi.~a:n.artist,." u-"'~ 'n view at the Jeha~- 1 from Delhiis In thecltyexhl.bttU"~g her; . gir .~nd)f he I abstract are doesn t ! 20 oils and an equal number' of poems' • mo~ you, her true to life poetry will.

at the Jahangir Art Gallery tm J',iarcJt .:f!l.. 'in' " .. 14. An advertising entrepreneur-by 011 /~alm. gs. by Meena Chopra

profession, Mcena is a self-taught ar- Verd" leh.sngir Art Gsllety. March

tist. She used LO paint right from the S. 14.

time she was a child but drifted into Vanessa Fernandes



Followi the fin ers

. ..

Expression ~fthe sUbconcious

1'1 developed interest in art has participated in varIOUS from my mother's womb," group shows.

exclaims Meena Chopra Currently, she has 40 paintwhen asked the obvious ings on show at Shridharani question. A' resident of Gallery and Triveni Kala Nehru Apartments in. Sangam from 12th to 22nd Kalkaji, she works as tex- August. Her paintings will be tile designer and runs an exhibited at India Habitat advertising agency with Centre for two days. "In this her husband. collection, .I have expressed

"Art is ingrained in our fami- whatever lies in my subconlv. Mv father and brother are scious," says Meena, Colours singers, natural that I take to used arc predominantly it some way," says Meena. She earthy and blues, in oil pastries to express intense feel- tels,

ings in her works. Besides painting, Meena is

Meena seriouslv started interested in poetry. Her collecpainting in 1983, "ner works han, called Ignited Lines has have been exhibited many a been published in book form time since 1986. In July 1996 and in Indian and foreign jourshe mounted a solo exhibition nals.

at Nehru Centre in London, -Arijana Ravindranath

. '. .

.: :Another marriage of

A •• artandmusic takes ',:PJace,inMeena's work

.., . I

~ .......... ~t.~.~l.ian~J.s...cai: emn..-<¢iL atlisti a. (1. s . n _ gj,Qpe form. In thlS'respect, the abundantly taTente Meena Chopra is a ... .r;uity as she paints pictures with verses and that too with COil sid-

:,>_ ,~!\"Jeelan.and eloquence. Her poetry allows her superb sensibilities to

'iJi';.~,rirJ.te~'hzwhl1. her.deft strokes on-the canvas, . . ' ",

. Currently.on show is ari exhibition of Meena's paintings and poems at the Jain Marunouchi Gallery in Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi. The show was inaugurated by the former minister Mr K'C, Pant on January 1& and her book of poems Ignited Lines was also released in

.India by him. The exhibition is on till January 29.

, Meena, a self-taught painter possesses -a distinct command over the medium. Quite like her free verses, her canvasses are also replete wtili' " .emotion, Her vibrance stems from original symbols, texture, colour atl4l thematic significance. A mysterious energy surcharges her portrayals

" ·~hich adds to her.mystique. Physical sensations.blend perfectly with _', ~bs@ij:t thoughts in her poems, thus reflecting her pre-eminence among

modem Indian PDetS. Her compositions of wing like forms drawn with total clarity of form can well be termed as abstractions too. Luminous streaks of contrasting tone is aptly conveyed in Meera'sworks.

. An accomplished.artist, she has held exhibitions in various galleries, the more notable ones being at Triveni Kala Sangarn, New Delhi, and Jahabgir Art Gallery, Mumbai. A multi-faceted person, Meena, along w.ith her supportive husband Bhupinder, runs an advertising agency called Bhumika, Surprisingly, she handles the accounts of her advertising .agency - very mundane, considering her electric interests. That is schismatic as she herself avers. Meena was born and brought up in N ainital. She gr.a~uated rrlSC.ell~e em Isabella Thoubem eo11ege~"ye1ffi6w. crean r, she s(urued textile designing from Delhi and worked as a designer and a fashion coordinator·for seven years before teaming up with her husband to run the ad,vertisirig agency. Says l'1eemi, "I have been painting eyer since I was

,a small girl, but oIily around 1983 did I delve Fine Arts." She started off with sculptures, bur-quickly settled down to oil painting ~bere_.she carved a niche for herself. She made her. debut, so to say, at the first Delhi WQmen Artists Show peld by theSahitya Kala Parishad

• in 1986 and a SOlD exhibition at the Tfiveni qane~ followed in ~ N(jve.r<2.t1~. ArletMr s'6fusltoW3W-~1el~r~lIri-ibml:rlil-,# .' April III 988'! March '92 saW' her exhibitiQg at tne':rriven) Gallery once

• ., agmn," . . ,"

. Herpoems were on show along with her paintings and a critic found . the exhibits, a veritable feast for the eyes. She feels that-she is luck)! in , the sense that since she did not have any formaltraining in painting, no particular school or form of painting has influenced her consciously. Her

poetry is also as spontaneous as her oil colours. An inner voice, perhaps S,IlS her muse.

.... 'V' ..... te ..

Meena Chopra1s Ignited Lines

"Ignited Lines" has hit the stands.

"lgnited Lines" contain many poems- each depicting different emotions and thoughts. But if we go on rending the book in a sequence, we will find thai those varying emotions and thoughts can he imbihed 10- g.cther in a flowing process of continu!HIS change in the feelings of a lady.

The allusions vividly present illustrate the deep thoughts of a lady who passes from an emotional frenzy and the change in her thoughts before and after leads 10 a meditation on the subject until she arrives at a definite conclusion,

The lady is seeking close relationship "seeking a touch - yow' warmth",

At the very beginning she says ..

Your vivid stroke etched in Illy memory

be stirred my stark white canvas ...

However she knows "she is no icon".

But still she searches for an iconoclast and asks to herself: "Will she find one ill YOII ?"

And when the moments of love come, she says:

Meena Chopra's book being released in London

V 'fllcn one happens to hear of "0 \/ summer in the passing phase f of severe winter", when "sril/ness mOl'cs", when "the dawn breaks with the disappearing gloom oj a restraining sunset": when you hear "Sialic stillness of lo lUI trumpets", wl~en someone endeavours "10 grab rite hands of [utiiitv", when "dreams tumble from unklUJH'1l heights into dark pit devoured by hunger j(JJ' light", when a condition of "disintegrated diffusion arise", when .. desire that breathes lif« disappears afraid 0/ being alive". when you start to "[eel. .. H'ir/i I/lt' ('res ofvour fin gers" and begin "penetrating mute S(OIlI!S", when you look for something: "to wake 'he sleep of (/ rising day", when ashes stan "illuminating a dawn"; or when you find "a chilly winter blossomed ill spring" and when you hear from someone saying "lVas /IIY vision lta ; ..... or f looked at the haze" - one's got to know that it could be from none else but the famous ;;oetcss, who has made a mark, in an alien languagc. ot Wordsworth, Keats .ind the like: gi\'inl! lndi a ;1 place i'~ the world of En~ I i sh poetry The' wr: IeI' ; n contention t\ i\[n'lla Chopra whose recent book

"A timeless moment of love let if remain that -




to figures and names."

But still she asks a question.

"Is it the treasure?

Will / find III.\' lost destiny there IVilll you beside me?"

Because what she wantsi s not supcrfiCi,ll love hut someone to recognize and discover the real "her",

"Have you el'er discovered


Illy primeval existence within you, recognizing


the woman ill me ... ?"

She knows thal despite becoming one at I he zenith of love "duality will remain" between them. And once the act of love is finished she searches for an inglc.

"Where'.!' lire ingle?

That killdled in a comer long ago."

At this lime she wants to be set free from any kind of bondage or disability "hoping for what-emancipation?" Finally she draws to a conclusion that unless the woman in her is explored and unravelled all acts of physical. conjugal Jove might signify anything but in the end they nrc merely means of evolution for mankind.

The book "Ignited Lines" thus presents a deep insight into the finer passages of delicate human emotions and inner meanings of acts of passion and love. It is a beautiful example of simplicity and reeling embedded together. obviously, by a very talented writer. The poems, on the whole, are charming pieces of more finished art which have surpassed the realms of literature because of embellishingly philosophizing of the subject,

There is present a wide range of stylefrom simplicity to the passionate reality of emotions - yet a general uniformity of force and fire in narrative is prevalent from the beginning rill the end. Few readers can fai I to observe the natural sweetness of the lines and the single-hearted straight-forwardness of the thoughts,

However. the poems, which from the wealth of the material and deep thoughts inherent in the simple verses, will not be fully felt or understood ,without some earnestness of thought on the render's part. But, in [he end. he is not likely to regret the labour,

As the writer says;

"/ know I will burn

till the [iro burns ill me."

And beautiful poetry, like the one in this book. will keep on coming from Mccna Chopra until "thejirc burns" I\{r.


1)", A,ra a 30S"I',.·/40tr. /996


Delhi Diary

April 1-7. 1988!

Paintings by Meena

The exhibition titled 'Constraint' by modern artist Meena, opens at Gallery Aurobindo on April 5t till the 16th.

Meena. a self-taught artist, held her first one persqn . show -et Triveni ..

Gallery fn November 86.

The exhibition was well received by both art lovers and critics. .She also participated in the


First Delhi Warned' Artists

Show heid in the capital in 86.

Passionately interested in art since early childhood, the expressions of herself and heir work have evolved over the years. About 16 canvasses will be on show. Thernatically work.ed 'Constraint', to quote the artist, "'A state of mind in the process of living ..... ".8 struggle,. a continuous fight within the self ... aneffort to break a.way from, one's own being and limitations ... resulting in agony and despair .... a constant effort to hope to rise and to achieve to live".



Vol XXXX No: 15 ~::::===:::_~A;Ugust 13 - 19, 1999


ART. ·SCENS:<···.

. . 0.·.·.. 'c -, .

Paintings by Meena Chopra

Paintings by poet and artist Meena Chopra are on display at Shr.idharani Gallery till August 22. The exhibition will be on view at India Habitat Centre

~ on August 23 and 24.

r Born in Nainita! Meena graduated in r science from Lucknow and studied I t~xtile designing .in Delhi- .She held he~

first solo show In 1986 In New Delhi and has since then held five more one: person shows in New Delhi, Mumbai I and London, besides participating in I four group shows.

~ Meena has been praised for her unerr- , . ing sense of colour which she uses to build the appropriate mood

Described as a spontaneous painter who paints from the heart, she use: luminous contrasting tones that merge into one another. Tension, easin; r snapping out of tension, striving and serenity -- these are some fo tht I states of being that she explores in her uncluttered compositions that tenc towards simple abstraction.

Meena Chopra

})n;III11:; ... ,

fall fro III uiiknirurn heig/lts into II dark pit dcuourci! by

Ihe hunger of light (1 vll~l

(/1:,1 "It i ma! c flux t~r sh"JDws 'lIhi(I. ...

n $,:<1 of

hiddell fire lislJlS will, (f sill(lky tl"t'rfd

to react: thc hcart « of enr/:; desires.

Col(1!11".~ Mi.\(,1 CiJ,l!1 Sl' I';"

,/ dirly 'r~l.Id finding sl'arkling

,In]}' of !=!01sI1illc !Jnurins /1"1'111

IIle sm ifiJlX sea of tile sky .~'·l+iF1g ,1 !=Iwrc

iJi th.: Inyslcrics

of the horizon.

(Front iHeelrn's comp osed collection)

"Art is il form to represent one's trucrnal Ieelings and is an inherent taler, tit, declares Mecna Chopra a young painter who's work poiray the i nde pI h of her feelings on the contemporary society. To excel in any ki nd of crcClli v ity one does not have to have the 50 called" academic degree". Talent erupts like a Volcano and leaves a mark. All that you need is a sensitive heart and an irresistible urge to express its ;(:clings on the canvas. Every stroke in Mecna's work bring:::outaninsighled feeling. "I used to draw from my childhood and [ arn a self taught painter reminisces Mecna. Graduating in science and grilcing herself with a degree in text 1Ie designing, she worked for a couple of leading export firms in Delhi. Presently, jointly with her husband, Meena is running an advertising agency called 'Bhurnecka Advertising'.

"lt is too risky il venture to depend completely on paintings", describes Meena and narrates her routine. "I usually paint at evening and try to fj nlsh off one piece before laking a short break for few days".

Hailing from Nalnltal the picturesque la nd she confesses" hills always call me and is the ~(',. rce of my inspira lion and vision",

MONDAY, ·MARCH 1, 1993

F ... '~ . ."..


"Art is a form to represent one's internal feelings and is all inherent talent"

She is blessed with an unerring sense of colour. Her expert pigmentation succeeds in building up the appropriate mood for

the artist and in conveying it to the vie we r.

Mccna will be' holding her Solo exhibition J.\~ehangir Art Callery, the Mecca for art ex hibi to rs. Born bay, from 8 March to 1-1 March 93, tilled 'a d rift ' \ ... -hcrc about 20 Can.v<15SeS (oil on GH1VilS) and W of her personal composed poems. ilS sIle plltS il "I'ocuc ('xprL'~:-:illn in colours", will be d is pln vod

.The show would be rcflecti ng a feeling or breilking away and being adrift. in the vastness of VClCUUnl : there is iI strong sense of the movement of the Iorm (objects) suspended in tho back drop of different hues. this is very apt in our present social scenario where wi t h I hestruggle for existence I he basic idenlily is missed out. According to her" A state of mind b the 11ro(C55 or living ... <1 struggle, ~ continuous fight within the self .. l1ncffmtlo break <1 \\'11 Y from one's 01".11 bci ng & limitations ... rcsu'ung in ilgony & dcspalr. .. a constant effort to hope to rise and 10 achieve to live". Her thoughts. aspiration, struggles and intcrnnl conflicts Ii nal Ialthful reflection in her works. She ls blessed wi th an unerring sense of colour. Her expert pigrncntatlon succeeds In building Lip the appropriate mood [or the artlst and m conveying l; 10 the viewer.

Comfor I able w] t h () 11 colon rs, MeenOl'~ wo r ks <how 111,,1 there i~ co nsid crablc \1l1;lgin,llillil ill (ill' h"I1c1lil1f~ ur cnlour:::. She I~ naturally inclined tovvar ds the scrious and i~ deeply emotive. \Nilh irnaginativc and erupting bnck ground, she IW5 ()I~() prod uced some unique works wi th semi-abstract st ylc. P<l5t i ng wood cuts between her paints.

Commending the prc:=-enl trend of a rt awareness JJ1\llng people she remarks "l IS a heJl\hy sign". She has aleadv sold her work to private glillcric::. and hotclS<lnd the ~)ria.' r.:lnge h~t\\"Ccn 1\5. 7UOO, 1 :;, OO() . 11 H'<1 ~ d U rill ~~ one o( her ~()I(\ exhibitions in Delhi tlvat princess of Kuwait Ai:='5<111 So bha ,:is ned the C"I!en' approoaicd her \,'orb and lx )u~~hl fel" of her work.

"Ma v be [am subconsclous!v influl'l1~cd bv some one, but ~I

. put my O\~'n fecling:, and imng ina don on Canvas," ad nuts Meenil and declares "[ have to go along way".lnclccd she h<l~ to go a long W,1 y a nd ~hc can 5Cr\'C ,15- a beacon light for inspiration to the y()unger gl'ncrJtillll of artist».

5alkH Ne(Jgl



VAL Frlnllf

-s'uns -


ahuja apparels 15A!38, 1st Floor, W.E.A., Ajmallplan Road, Karol Bsgh, N. Delhi· 5 Ph. : 5743663, 5743'336

MARCH, 1993 VOL. I NO~ VII Rs. 6/-


EvtHJing /VtIWS

DB1.,· t)OINGS

. . ~;::

.\prH 6. J 9~~

By O. P. Bhagat


From Clouds to Constraint

, , TIS an effort to break

LwayfTomooe'sown being and limitations." says Meeoa about ber second ~xhibit,ion qf paintings.

- Constra int , as it is called, opened a: Gallery Aurobindo

As regards art exh,,'Hions, let me tell \OU there au: some which ceria in iy deserve your aucntion and incl ude those of Meena, a self-taught f'alnler at Gallery Aurobindo, Sharon Gowans Anthiolt at India Inter

A painting by M~!I&·

on April 4. It will con1i:nueup

to April 18. . "'.

The theme of Meena'sfirst ! exhibition (1986) was ~ ... ' poetio-douds.lbey we~ meaningful douds. depicting the artist's aspirations-

Meena is a self-taught painter, though she has done a course in textile designing. She worked as a textile and fashion designer for two years,

Now sbe, aJongwith her husband, runs an advertising agency. Sometimesduringber

busy day she has literally to run around,

Then when does sbe get time to paint? "I am free on Sundays." she says. "There an a few other holidavs too, That gives me enough time to stand and stare--and to paint."

However. Meena is more than a mere Sunday painter.

national Centre and abQ-an exhibi-

_ lion of the private colliction .of the noted artist Krishen Khanna and his wife Mrs Renu Khanna which ron~ists of works by M.F. Hussain, Gaitonde. Akbar Padamse and F.N, SoUl.J among others, This is on at CMe Art Gallef)', 1 Ring Road. Kilokri. opposite Maharani Bagh.·So much IS there 10 see and experience, Isn', it wha; vou would like 10 visit 1'> \)( l'~Ursc, vour privJlege, So de-

,-Ilk about ,hai and start. I

_ARTADDlCT : ._-.J

I~' -!J


Ajeya's homecoming

The dramat is per~on a of the infamous St. K Ills bank account forgery case of the late eighties . Ajeya Singh, SOil of Vishwaruub Pratoo Singh is now in lndia.

He will now be slaying in India as the Countrv lie-ad of Lehman Brothers, which has recently opened its representative office ill New Delhi.

Ajeya Singh has come to India after a gap of 19 years and during {his period he

served different international high profile finance companies in various capacities at the top level.

Here at the Lehman Brother'sIndia office, Aieyu will be responsible lor overseeing the provisions of invest-

bankillg and -retared ser- .

~ .... '''''''''o ~"cn'ts tnrougnouf the .. - Indian sub .. continent, in addi-

:~:_ tion to advising international

. .clients on opportunities within ':'. the region.

A different Liz

It seems that the recent divorce fran) husband uo. 7. Larry Furtcnsky. has not only left movie- legend Liz Taylor with a heavy heart but with n bulging Ii gure also.

That seemed to be the case

. when the 64Lyear-olu actress wore an OUL"ilZe jacket and baggy trousers during [I ba:-ih ill the Los Angeles. Gay" and

Lcsb ian Centre

However. her fans d.dn"r seem to mind Jrcr new wardrobe and gave her a huge welcome to lift her spirits.


I ~ ;1


We will show you a pair of eyes. Of a famous person, Recognise them and wiri Rs. 300

Send your entries to:


Contest No 58 Evening News

The Hindustan limes 18-20, K.G. Marg.

New Delh i-11000 1

Mirror, lnirror~.on the wall, \ ..... -bo is the lairest of them nil?

This seems to be the most vital question being asked these Jays in our good old BotJl,iwood_ And v v iin new faces join lng the race everyday, the choice t:-; surely becoming a ditTiL~ult ol;e.

\A'ell, the ccntestnne, for the most beauti fu! of the new breed of actresses in M umbai, included hot tavourites like Aishwarya Rai , Manisha

Koira/a and Suchitra Kris/ltJamoorty among others.

Unfortunarcly, old timers like Madl",'; and Sridevi did not figure among the list of coutesranrs .

A nd who do you til ink was vored numcrn uno by the panel of judges? Obviously Aishwarya, who else?

l I" you too thought that, then you are in for a big surprise.

Believe it or notbut the panel ol"jlldges which included the hot-shot photogrpaher

Sumeet Chopra, actor-produccr F ero'[. Khan, the famous writer Shobh« De, make-up artist iHichelle Tung, the ck·.gunt Simi Gercwat and Sav',y editor Trupti Kotecha, all chose the reJgnlng Bollywood queen and Princess from Nepal. !\f(lni.'~/Ul Koiraiu <!." the fairust of them all

And running a close second ..... as, of course, the qUC:":1l of many hearts and lcrmcr M i.,.'-\ World.the gorgeous Aisttwaryu Roi.

PIPELINE: . - . _ . _ ' ." - ' - . - ;'MONI

! ni .

~' I

• II' I

2 .,11

Meen a Chopra

"l'.o,'as boru and hrollght up in Nanital, and can.c to Delhi 111 ~ 9-;6 to pursue 'an as Ii career.

"Delhi in those days \Vi:JS il very beautiful city, especially SO~lh Delhi area, The -vho;c C~!: \Vas verv clean lind green \\'i:1I wide roads. Driving at that tirw used to be a pleasure a s there were Vel'.' few vehicles nru. the traffic was very disciplined.

"However, now Delhi has become ve~/ claustrophobic. Even a few vears back the suuation was qufLt! tolerable, but all of ,1 sudden there seems to he II lot oftension and living has become quite difficult, Moreover, the problems of pop-

ulaticn and pollution nlDng with heavv traffic have worsened the situation. Om: really has to thinl twice before one decides to ~o OUI. especially during peak - hours. There is 110 rraff.c sense an1C1Jlg pcope WJ~h the result that )'Cill hl!,d:y gcr Jolly space : d-ive And all rhis makes YO'I r\.!~i SG tensed that vou cal;·r ~:l}Py (':Ilytllirlg cis;.

"[n this respect, r fed that Murobai i." much more disciplned. Even tougl- Murr-bai ,JI~~ bas a large number of vclnclcx, bul everybody drives in then ·O\VI) lane which results 1;, <i xmoc.h f.o-v o f traffic. I \ ... -ixh ':, could have lhe: same killd (1rl~i_~ in Dtlhi tOC\

"De-lhi otherwise, is it very vibrur- city. It has a lot to (1ire~ in every li~id nrtd :hi,,; is one l11 i1~ 11);).;c-r :Jt:r;lcJOI1. ():I~. of the innSl important reason why; rcallv like staving. in De.hi is rhfact rl1::!t it ofl'ers ~h~ best in lern~s nf facilities 31lJ iufrasuu. lure. Being a pnintcr. 1 feel that l)dhi is one of' the best pluce fo-

all artist

"Some of my lavouru.: piaces tn Delhi include IIC, Tri veni Kal? Sangam and l.odni Gardens, I also (11.IOY going ~() the various last-rood centres (l[HI re5([Iur(irILs like fUji·Y;: are Ill~' favouricc

"With a little effort from our side, r til ink that we {;311 rea II" make Delhi ~1 great citv." T If.l told to )/~L'IIU Ralli

(~1t'i!/'I;'1 (:,'l(.'[HU i s a wrli-iruswn p(~"'r{eJ·.;

EV&ning NIJw$

By O. P. Bhagat

From Clouds to Constraint

, , TTS an effort to break

.l.away from one's own being and limitations," says Meena about her second exhibition of paintings .

.... Constraint, as it is called,

opened a ~ Gallery Aurobindo

on April 4. It will OOIltiDue.~ to April 18. . ..

The theme of Meena's firsf; • exhibition (1986) was~··· poctic-clouds. They were meaningful douds, depleting the artist's aspirations.

Meena is a self-taught painter, though she bas done a cou~in~e~grung.She worked as a textile and fashion designer for two years.

Now she, along with her husband, runs an advertising agency. Sometimes during her

busy day she has literally to run around.

Then when does she get time

to paint? "I am free on Sundays," she says. "There aft a few other holidays too. That gives me enough time to stand and stare-e-and to paint."

However, Meena is more than a mere Sunday painter.

Evening News Jan .. 23,1997

True, Ms Chopra, life is meaningless without passio~l.Jt1!hout

it one is no better than a zombie. But how many people are so lucky as to be able to paint ones poetry and write ones paintings. This is what Veenu Bahal felt on meeting Meena Chopra.

7t.e ~ '" t4.e

di4"#J.e4lf.. tK ea.d ~ wk_

ekdtt-~~t4 ~ ~ eua '" ~ fr.uIo ~.

((AS a child, nobody is quite

sure of what one wants to be or what will one become later in life. Though, the creative impulse was vel)' strong in me right from my childhood, ! had never thought of earning a living out 0/ my creativity.

pletely, and 1 started having {he urge to do something more meaningful, something creative. As 1 had always been inclined towards writing as well as painting, so in 1983, I decided to take my interest in painting seriously.

As ! progressed with my painting, J found that it gave me a lot of satisfaction and joy, especially after a whole day IIf hard work. Then. around six or seven years back, J started

book ofverse titled Ignited Lines. in London along with an exhibition a/my paintings.

As [ar as inspiration is concerned, nature has always inspired me. It seems to give you a sense of freedom, 0/ breaking free and aspiring/or something higher in life .. Art is a kind oj philosophy, a growlh which gives you an insight without which art is meaningless. In/he case of my passion for both painting as well as

1 decided 10 learn about lextile designing and fashion designing, after which I worked with some of the reputed export houses of Delhi. However, after my marriage, both me and mv husband decided 10 do something on our own and so we opened our own advertising agency.

This work was enough to make a living, but somehow J always had the feeling of lacking something. The work did 170t seem to satisfy me com-

writing poetry also. As I progressed with both writing as well as painting, I found that most of the lime my poems would complement my paintings. It was as if these lines were a sari of explanation/or my work-another medium of expressing my inner self.

Moreover, whenever J used 10 exhibit my works, f would also display a few lines/rom my poems, framed along with some caricatures. Then in 1996, f came. out with my first

writing, f think that/he element of fire which comes out in painting, gets shaped into sound which takes the form of words.

If you ask me about the importance of having some sort of a passion in your life: 1 would simply say thai without

it life is meaningless. Because in the end, it is my-creativity atone which will help me in my strife/or something more meaningful, something higher

in life. _




- .-


,M~ Tri.~'Mi

M~a :1li0lli _N~~rml, h~s, ~'m~ ~W1[:ii;gs" .mtm !o~,~, as aloo 'pa'l.'I'U· ~;n!p prQlfi'J'5~, ort,b~5, la~(~.e:~ ~~n~'~~e ~, 't!l:!l3l~, ~Id be saId ~:jl' th.u ~ he" collie}!!'!'!" :fidl! ,of' :Rllillrnkr n has, po~tnl'i:IiJ ~il'!li1,ise:.

'Ke,hili~; M,B Iii k:

I _ _ _ ~'~-'IIIl"'" ~~.,~ .... ,. .. - ''i'i',~


IT' , ,. ""-11~"""',' H" - ~...L.,.

I I, !ifrij!let'1ii ~.:!!!;!!t'. ~I~' W'VlI";':' ore'

serni-.oOstroo ..

! : ••• '. She:~in~ ,c~ent;lralte'~S Of1! broken e~,t~ iMn tlhiE!; poif'!i~ir!gs," 11i;e: 't,~~ed' 'i~, Or,!! wel'I:·

le'I~e(;1et;:1 in 'hei"works. .

H - ""Ci ~~ ~ - . "-I 11 "." I:.. "

ieI' ~rlng JI"IIO i rs 5P.10'W,u"gJ

Q hl.!tPOOfi bodf i'mngil!1g,. The sod irno.gce !o,inUfin(!jn, Ireiilotij,Ot'!:!I, '!has, been Sihowril in lher' (Jrt

'In IIJI"!!, eHortlQ :prQCl'i~' I'M ,ral1 cd poir'ding., M.eenahoiS ~e ICI, 911100'1' 'efi'QIii to iiimb~be 'iQl cencln degr,ee of

'OOSihe'tie,iS; in ~, {in', .

Her poinil"~~1 No. 10 with b~u~' S!.l'l"iI!;;JJcJ@ C!II"!iC1 t~ g,~e:y~:soh ~IF'OO,' '~Qrm. pr€'~t S ,(,)l: lpoetic 'S,!ooy;

~,,.~·,1 f~!!

'. I

~~;Q!~i~:ptlsed'~ ,

Mth a.)IOOredi OOn:C01i1:.Jff!!::!i,.M Ir,t"

~·h ... ~~' d'" kryed '. ."

'. - '" ,'" roo' ."i 0 -_-, _'.- ,,_',_.-'_' ','

.... q;. ~. gJ. . .... !;5p •....... Ul tile goI~

le1iy~, ~ . ~ - ,!


Thinking Outs_ide the Box: Beyond Boundaries

Beyond Boundaries 2007 is slated for Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, in the Burnamthorpe librarY Theatre, Mississauga, main intersection Dixie and Burnam~horpe.

OR Mississauga-based Meena Chopra, President of Crosscurrents IndoCanadian International

Arts, it has become a life mission to bring about a growing awareness . of the importance of the arts in strengthening the cultural-fabric of

Canada. . .

The idea of Beyond Boundaries 2007 took root in Chopra's fertile mind. A group of like-minded people met a few times to discuss how they could put together a twoday festival to highlight the ties' that bind Canadians together. Even

lin the initial stages they knew that they would have to combine the vital force of not just visual art but r also poetry, drama and dance.

For Chopra, this is not new


territory. She formed Crosscurrents

almost as soon as she moved to Canada three years ago. The mission is simple but powerful: to purposefully bring diverse cultures and .origins to one common platform through all arts in search of a unifying factor'.

In the space of three years the ,non-profit agency has already organized several successful events.showcasing the culture and . diversity:ofCaniida. These include Unity in Diversity Childrens Art


........ "" "., " " ,.

"Canadians have been talking about multiculturalism for some time now and everyone knows that Canada's ethnic minorities are growing in number," she says. "But we have tomove beyond that. The world is being torn apart by racial tensions and it is a country like Canada that can lead the way by showing that different people can live together in peace and harmony:" Meena Chopra, artist. .

. ,-- -,-.-~",.'.' .. "" """'.------~-, ~." .. ,' "'" -,-_._----_ .. _ _.- .


Competition (2006), A Poet's Death (Tagore's Poett¥-200S), Dance Workshops on Odissi and Chhau Classical Dance Forms of India (?OOS), In Love with the Divine (International Dance Performance- 200S), Confluence (Art ~xhibition in New Delhi, India-2005), Peace and Harmony (Visual.Art;· Poetry and

Music-2004) and Beyond

Boundaries-2004 (Art & Poetry).

The festival will be inaugurated Friday evening by Mike Coile, _ Minister of Immigration and Citizenship and supported by the Ministry and the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC). ,

In the curated arts section, around fifteen carefully selected; artists, photographers. and sculptors from Canada will display their work in the hall adjoining the theatre. Their art will not be ordinary, ,it wi-ll push the-limits of the imagination in an effort to make viewers ponder and disseminate the visually challenging mosaic of the Canadian environment. Abstracts, realism, impressionism and portraiture will provide a stunningly memorable experience for the spectators.

In addition, well known artists from the subcontinent, including :Tatin Das, Sangeeta Gupta and Naresh Kapuria will also be showcased, giving buyers. a rare chance to acquire some powerfully rendered pieces of work. .

Crosscurrents has teamed up , with Sawitri, South Asian Women's inter-cultural Theatre and Research Initiative, to produce a 40-minute play entitled What Now? which wiU highlight the differences between people and how toresolve them. Via . this interesting platform, Sawitri hopes to highlight its mandate . which is to change the way society perceives the role of men and

women.. - /' .J

By Kumkum Ramchandani

I 81 - PTON: Shweta Subramaniam won

he final round of the first ever Surtarane

orth American Singing Talent Hunt here ast week. Organized by the Kala Sangam :ultural Association, the competition wa ield at the Lester B. Pearson Threatre at the 3ramalea Civic Centre, and featured the best If talent from Canada and the US.

"This is a great achievement for me," said ;hweta who was also one of the winners of the Bollywood Star Hunt held in Toronto last nonth. She will be traveling to Delhi in Feb.uary to perform at the 29th annual Surtarang [alent Hunt competition.

Shweta (23) xis from Ottawa and has been learning music since the age of five. "1 have learnt Karnatak music for over 12 years. I now want to enter the entertainment industry and be a playback singer," she said.

Ten-year-oldAnahita launches first book

I TORONTO: Anahita Sondhi, a 10 year-old student of Davisville Junior Public School, launched her first book, The Dog who Came from India, on November 15. Showing a glimpse of India through a puppy's perspective, Anahita read excerpts from her book and gave anecdotes on becoming a young author. The- Consul General of India, Satish C. Mehta, joined others at the launch.

Anahita was a little over eight years old when she came to Canada with her family. Two years later, she is Iooking forward to joining some of the world's youngest authors. "I know what it feels like to leave your home and come to a new country. Where everything is different and you stand out because of the way you talk and look. But if you can be true to


Mississauga panel debat - 5·9% property tax hike in ' .-

I MI.SS~SSAUGA: There is not very good news coming ill for the hundreds of Indian Canadians. who have made the city of Mississauga ~hel[.home. A 5.9 percent property tax increase IS being debated for ~ext year for Miss.issauga homeowners I! the CIty council approves the recommendatIon by city manager Janice Baker, That translates into a $53 increase in CIty tax for the owner of an average home assessed at. $32~,OOO now paying about $900.

. New ImmIgrants corning to Canada espec~aIly f~o~ India have found the city convenient WIth Its close proximity to the airport a half hour .drive to downtown Toronto a~d plenty, of jobs to offer. Now according to Bak~r s overvIe~, growth in Mississauga is S!owlllg as land IS used up and rising labour

costs re~resent the singl~ largest cost pressure fo~ ~~e CIty, followed b~ illc~eases in fuel rates, utilities, repairs to aging lllfrastructure and downloadmg by provincial and federal governments. The city froze taxes from 1990 to 2001, bu~ n?w beca~se of the various cost pressur~s, MISS?SSauga IS looking at higher than inflatIOn tax Increases in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Born in Nainital in India, ess and a painter who now Ii in l .. U-"':""""4' The artist draws parallels between place and Canada. "1 find the rene ings of my birth place very imilar to Specifically the immenseness ofthe glory of the setting sun with its e er colors and the unlimited wide expanse earth stills my nature within,' he sa

Chopra started her career as a fin 1986 when two of her art works got

for the Delhi Women Artists Show by Sahitya Kala Parishad, a parallel . body to the Canadian Art Council. then, she has had 8 solo art ho - in

gious art galleries o~ I~dia. A!ter immigri I MARKIIAM: The Shirdi Sai Mandir will welto Canada, she par!lClpated III 5 group J come 2006 with the blessings ofShirdi Sai Baba.

that were well received. Day-Jongcelebration has been planned on J

She s~arted writing poetry in, the, earl uary 1, which includes puja, abhishek, bhaj:~~ and her first book of verse called 19m1ed I and more. For details visit www. the hi di was published in 1996 and released in Lor. aimandir. com or call: 64-7-444-4724. . S lr. lS-

~r~ ;!HI~.~


New Year celebrations at Shirdi Sai Mandir on Jan 1


n Tcronto June 8, 2007



Greater Toronto

• 'Beyond Boundaries-2007 International Arts Festival' Artists of various disciplines from India, Canada to present work at two-day -exhibition.

A n exhibition, 'Beyond Bound, I\.aries-2007 International Arts Festival' is organized at Mississauga's Burnbampthorpe on June 29-30.

The exhibition organized by Cross Currents - Indo-Canadian International Arts is scheduled to feature several artists from India as well as about J 5 Canada based sculptors, photographers, poets and artists. Bringing diverse cultures and origins to one common platform through different art forms is the - aim of the two-day event, according to Cross Currents founder and director Meera Chopra.

Beyond Boundaries is supported by the Ministry of Citizenship and A painting by Meera Chopra, photo inSet, founder and director .of Cross Currents - Indo-canadian Intemaliooal Arts Immigration and Mississauga Arts which has organized 'Beyond Boundaries- 2007 International Art Festival.' Council, according to a press release. (Photo, as they appear an www.geocities.wmlcrosscurrents_ca)

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.ART=- =============================================

Your vilJid stroke etched in iny memory

bestirred my stark white canvas. A passing night clasped me reple~e wi'th colours.

Raw tmpulses U~€ ,(I,u;a12e spla~bed' ~~bades

timing tbe sbea

ton ing the mom/s.

A 5plendot~r bedded witb me aU night.

I A river

oozed ouS in beat.

~v opaque ~)ision grasped ~he.forthco:mttlg ,dawn. A fatigue

la-Tried witbi~rz m'e tbr(Ju~~botlt the day.


Her )eel strcmg

firm, I):ngm.u'ld.

The eanh ,StlPPOI1S bel'. me' real/JI' her

l:Ongs to he

r-euealed Lbrough layers S6fl'kin;g ~d'mt~ficat£(Jm fcJndraped

in til' ftgureless ftwmless ,exirwnce


• I

es . Ions In co our ..


wnrks were bask expr·essiolls of my'ls bur soon these canvas es became an 'ende<l\'om to. break, away from my OWJl limitations, from my own being",

Painting wail. her chlldhoed passion which CAme nanu:alty '10 her as nefther of herparents had lIny giFt for tile a r I:li. But her vision wa. defimJrelr III fluenced by the picturesque hhll'l~ lOr Nalnital, as is evident from the

ei' palnnngs reflect 'her personality - mol. and calm and her poems explere bet aspirations. hopes, fulfilment, desires, pain and strength . .A prolific painter" MeenA Ciloprn is also a good peer. ' he ,p3ints when she reds I.ik.e palming. wtthOl.llt a pre-eoecetved idea and ·writ,es wnel!l. illl solhude Borh the P'U,fSlllts compliment 'each

other, In pailltings mere L'i a

poetic beauty and poems

are 5t lOng 11'.1 and spontaneity. And batil type of work are Intense in movement. Meena. S3JyS about her ow_nw(ijill~. "[ always had a restless Cfe-.dhrc: sireak in, me wh ich wanted much more Out of me, 50 I began pla.y:i:l'l:g around with co1o!.lfS whjle I: worked as <I. textile and

f:ashiofl deslgner, My ~dy




Ore ~illg el'lf?'I'l,jll8. Shades 0/ black Ja'dt~8. Stat"k'1e5S of night. Ne.IJ!l~aUty spread

all. otleY or~"'laces,

un re;cognisavie.


landscapes on the peste rs a nd canvasses of her early works, Her journey from the green 'Of the hills to the urban concrete transformed her from an 1?'~:;Umt: landscape painter 10 3 serlous abstract one. She Wi!.' yt!t to realise her pOHmlial '!IS 1'L professio(\:;tl painrer. But rille encouragement and cooperation of her husband, she wouM never have sent her painting 10 lh~ Sahil}fi\. Kakl P,;,ulshad exhibil:Ion, "II was really a gre:u f,eeH!'\g, to watch .from distance, the' viewers rnaFVdiing at my palll.ting.sand leavin . few remarks 1'1'1 apprecianon" she f'I:!c!lII:'L Even th reali<;3tlOfl of her poetic porentillJ dawned 011 her lonly arew ye-ali"S .3:go.

One clay, while' he was waechlng 01:11: of he,r lale palnungs and trying IiO reJ~He herself (0 it, '5uck!euly she found !t so dose 110 her rlrs[ poem written years 3150 in the wimers 0 199Hl2: ...

The diffitsim~ (if .~/llJm::e de:adfy

'in moments ,of pa '~/on breaks 1m slJredcS fused logetber


$J.~~i,e 0/ ~l! QCe4rl sub:m Ii'd

,deep i'tliO "be 1ifX(J.~e..~ hidde'J h~arI~

where l$otbi'nStUJSS

u:mgbt p:unu~r. Be ides being a housewife, she has joined hands with her husband In runnlng an advertising agency, 'Bhumeeka' where she i', Involved in 'fisualising, lookmg, after die ;1 r! department. med la and overall management, She had done 3 C01J[se in textile de igning frurn Delh i and 'W'Otked as ,II textile designer, fashion ('OClrdin.Jl'lor :lnd design r For 5{:ven }'ears,

firs! lime she held 31l exhibi(jon of her works Wit!; ~n. 1986 ill'! the: fj,rn~ Ue]t1i W,omen ArUsts· show by Sahitya K:! P3rjsilad.~flc.e then, she.has had .four solo exh!b~t[oi'ls. Meena Chopra is now mounttn J 011 hel I1flhsolo i:Rnibiliol1, on Or! C(lnvas, al the Nehru Ce;riue London trom Jut}' 20 to August 7 this yeu. Thj is her fir. lover ea exhiblnnn,

,'Illblimw /'ftJtb'li in'~1 t dUI'" 1111 dl-'I'iJIII-ed hJoIIH;Wf r4' fiRM

can reach 1'1) wake

tbe deep :sifMp ... the rising aap.

Ins[inCllVe In her ,colour sense, she ususlly go for vib .. anl oolour.:. - red. blue and green. WhJle at times she also prerers purple, brown; grey and wh:il~ mmeuTI1eS III contrasting toiles and 5QmetI[\.U~2'l bl,ending perfectly.intQ ea It other. Ttle' f,io:rtmy powerful emotion' .•

A, seieoce gradune, .Meena, is ;I, self-

On display areabout . '.0 canvas'es a no 20 poems along-with drawing'S, The rl:<limlng..'i 1n the .d1iow renCC[ a feeling of breaking away and bein~ adrlfl in the "'aSh1A~' of vacuum searching, .. somethlng within one's own core'.

Her fmt book of pQelllS wiD also be' released si,m\Jh!'l!leO'~i!ll'~' wtlh the lnauguratlon of ibe exhibhio~. Her coil ctlon of poem ealjed 'Ign.ited. IJnes, L~ published by Virgo puhlications, NeJ.V Delhl,

• •

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• ~ ~fIli'

Arts & Entertainment

The Mississauga- News - Friday, December 9, 2005 39

Words and visuals help artist to express herself

./1 _


Flowing prose meets splattered paint at the ongoing artistic exhibition Residual Dreams, presented by Mississauga resident Meena Chopra.

The mixed-medium exhibition features snippets of poems penned by Chopra and a dozen of her abstract paintings. The show runs until Dec. 30 on the second floor of the Mississauga Central Library.

At the show, there is no general theme for the works. However, Chopra said her ·inner_creativity couldn't shine through in just poems or paintings. _

In response, she decided to put on an

exhibition that allows her to express herself through both words and visuals.

"The two forms tend to compliment each other," said Chopra, co-founder of the local Cross Currents Indo-Canadian International Arts. "Art exists as a way for one to truly understand oneself I present art for my own satisfaction and personal growth. I find that you have to

. move outside to create something found on the inside."

Pictures of the dream-like and colourful an can be found at www. Also available for perusal are selections of the poetry.

One sucb poem is White Canvas. "Your vivid stroke/etched in my

memory/bestirred my stark white canvas. A passing night clasped me/replete with colours."

At the exhibition, the framed poems are strategically placed next to the paintings. Sometimes, the poem will relate to its respective painting while other rimes, the placement is seemingly random.

In 1996, Chopra had a collection of her poems published as a book, Ignited Lines, which was released in London, England. Chopra, a past secretary for the Poetry Club of India, has had her poems translated and published in Getman and received an honourable mention in the Mississauga Library System's 2003 Poetry Writing Contest for Stillness Moves.


:\prlI6 •. I 9~~'


national Centre and ~'an exhibi-

_ lion of the private collection of the noted artist Krishen Khanna and his wife Mrs Renu Khanna which. consists of works by M.F Hussain. Gaitonde. Akbar Padarnse and F.N. Souza among others. This is on at CMC Art Gallery. 1 Ring Road. Kilokri. opposite Mahardni Bagh.e So much is there to see and experience. Isn', it. What you would like 10 visit !'-, or course. your privilege. So de-

~'!dCdhoul ihat andstart. I


As regards art exh,,'llions, let me tell you there arc some which ceriainlv deserve your attention and incl udc those of Meena, a Self-taught painter at Gallery Aurobindo, Sharon Gowans Anthiolt at India Inter ..

, . t ,

. .-

// /

A painting by M~~'

.; Herald Entertainment, Jan 19,1997

Her themes are usually on different emotions and it is colour that helps her bring out the emotions, blending .them with her forms. Then movement and forms become the strong point in her work.

In September 1991 Jain Gallery expanded and opened Jain Marunouchi Gallery in New York City, the most well known art centre in the world. Jain Galleryjoined'with one of Japan's most prestigeus art gallery, Marunouchi Gallery. as Jain Marunouchi Gallery of New York City. In 1995, Marunouchi Gallery of Japan entered into other vi'ntures and

with this exhibition. Meena

. Chopra, book of poems.

IGNITED LINES was released by former Defence Minister

K.C.Pant. .

Painting has been Meena Chopra's obsession since her childhood. Dabbling Into hom realistic and abstract art" ultimately setting for abstraction.

In Jan 1996, JMG of New York City opened its door as India's first overseas art gallery in New Delhi, exposing

·intemational artist from many countries such as Argentina. Australia, Austria, Brazil, . Canada, China, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy. Japan, Korea, . Mexico, Peru; Singapore Spain. USA, rto name Do few. according to Mr Ashok Jain director of JMG. It isthe aim of Jilin Marunouchi Gallery offer the public an Opportunity to see the works of artists from all over the world.

JMG will be opening other branches of its gallery in other parts oflndia and Nepal over

. the next several years.

MID-O" Y. April~. 19~

A quest for Ilberationss-

-By Our Art Cridc -. amply demonstrated by Mecta. a being and liri,itations whi'le under-

You don't have to necessarily go , self-taught painter, whose second going the pangs of agony and de-

[0 some art college or any other in." . one-woman show begins today at spair, She addsthese are "constant

stitution to learn the subtleties of Gallery Au rob indo. efforts to-hope to rise and to achieve

the medium of painting. All that Talking about her I ~ paintings '10 live."

you need is a sensitive heart and and four sketches "enritled "Con- Married to an advertising entre-

arid an irresistible urge to express its straint" which are on display there, cpreneur, Meena hails from Nainital

fl.:dings on the. canvas. This fact is she says "mypaintings are an ef- ':a'nddidhergradualion from ITCob,

fort to bretk away from one's own lege, Lucknow. Later she did'Ji~

. . . . . "c!

'. ~ ..

textile designingcourse in Delhi in !

f9 77 and presently assists her h usband in running his agency called "Bhurnika Advertising" ..

Though Meena cans her figura- ; tive paintings "constant", all show- , • ins female nudes in various kinetic .; positions, jhey in fact express pcr~l haps a strong urge to liberate on~{f::'l from theclutches of this maten.alisr. lie world. "'.1

A' There is a dear ~uggestion o(the~:J

Dance of Joy" In most of her.": works. What particularly attracts I in her paintings 1~ .. the lyrical and melodious rnovernerns of her subjeers. A II of her works arc in oils.

EVtHling . NtfWS. I Monday A.pnf 11 79881

. ,

Mccn .. rx.hibitJ her paiolmp 41 rbc

C ... lkr) AUI<.olnM. 7h HUll Khii"> , Iill (he 1(, of Ihl1;nlOOlh. Her (<In~'a-.c, ,h,)w her ra. ... '10na.( tnICf("!'( HI hr r .... 'If~ 'COf\\\f<!HlI' 1.h£ lh<'m<lII(!'lh r c pr c sc ritc d 110'0(1. ~ lh<hum~n '1IUR;,k 10 fI\,(' She c~lh 11 JI 'lOnHnunu, 11,.:111 .... ,.than the '-CU. ller (anvu·c). olh<lut Ih in nurnbcr , lymboliK !Tun') 1I .... ·~y hom hmucli and hn lllnlUllon~

RJ t u T llJ)Cja


.. taught painter, Meena Chopra Virdi, has been involved in creative pursuits since her childhood. Even now, leading a busy lifestyle of a media woman (she runs an advertising agency with her husband), she finds time for her canvas. Painting at night, Meena has come up with yet another of her artistic ventures. She will be putting up a show of her 20 paintings and 20 poems at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay from 14th-18th March, 1993-titledAdrift

feels her scree perfor mances display just a fraction of her potential. Not to say that she has a great deal of confidence in herself and thinks that

she can per- L-=:......~ __ -"""'""--'--"---'--"-=""--'-'~'-= form better than her average performances. A,s luck that she was born ari So she says. Only if better luck in getting

present it's her actress. she had roles .

. does have a wild side. Meet these women who discovered th¢ir love for the wild and are making a living out of it. 33 year old Natalie OsbQrn's having a trumpeting affair with tuskers. They perform as a teQm and are reat eye-catchers. Doree Sitterly provided francis Coppola with 200 rats for his • Drajula.The pride of Hollywood, this 37 year old cracker-jack-trainer has lions, leop~rds, monkeys

and wolves tucked away as her assets. '

JoAnne Basinger is very much in love with a pair of see-liens. at the New York aquarium. Besides she's played surrogate mom to infant otters as well.

Jill YJ,THIl£LjHn~\)~C~-~Ii:'~~I:\ll:\ _


- 1i AUGUST1 ~ 15, 1999

Verses and moods in colours

A short tete-a-tete with her does make one ponder wh qard her as a portist or as one at the vagarare reasons since she is

one .an ' . has 'excelfed in the role of each one of them. And that is M e e n a Chopra who is all' set to organise two 'One Person' shows in the Capital. .

The first one, a 1.1 day exhlbl-

tion will

open on

August 12

at Shridharani Gallery while the next one will be spread over 2 days on August 23 and 24 .at the India Habitat Centre. The exhibition at IHC will be a notable event since it will coi ncide with a mini film fest featuring the great maestros from the world of arts.

Thus Meena,- born and brought up in the foothills of Naini Tal, can be described as

a versatile artist. After bagging a B.Se scroll from the Lucknow University in 1976, she did a course in textile designing from Delhi and even

worked as a fashion designer. The 'Seven years itch' in vlsualising fashionable concepts took a break in 1985 as she sought to ineract

with the society through her colourful notions of paintings and oil pastles on paper.

So far. she has held nUM merous solo shows both at home and abroad. She has also participated in 9 ro up shows. Art critics have penned -their comments on her abstracts, in commendable words which indeed, reflect the trio of genius in Meena Chopra.

Unlike many other artists who title their works, Meena

who presently owns an advertising agency, has her short poems to radiate the essence of colourful thoughts. For instance, so run her versified thoughts to depict, complementand supplement the 'Entwined Dimensions' .

UnreveaJed mysteries coloured wide spaces entwining dimensions.

The vacuum

became horizontal.

Lines deciphered.

Core looked for its peripherv having fallen out from

the centre.

Searching -

The centre or the periphery? She has brought out an edition of her poems, titled Ignited Lines. It was released first in London, irr 1966 and later in India, in 1977. German versions of these verses have appeared in Austrian 'Zenit' and (Capriccio' in the land of Ruhr. Literary-cum-

~.. l

computer bu1fs could SCEt!j-lt I

he r poems on the internet too. Perhaps the day is not far off I when her colourful abstracts too would follow suit!


R E V ·1 E W 5 .... .

Meena~ a self taught

painter, was on view at the Triveni Gallery last week. Last seen at Gallery Aurobinda a few years ago. Meena con-


•• - ++1 +T - .

tinues to persevere with her kinetic colour explorations. The sincerity of effort is commendable and, as the artist suggests admirably in her paintings, some Quests remain

elusive, m

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. I ri! ure's w·on:d rOU!Si .spec:tael!l1l! mtr~~ UI!:S IUSWI1:h illS nlchnesS c;r !Colour, ~l:leme5 .~ll'lid t~i'ttl,;lri!!!:!li--·U,ev,aSUi!~ orlhe:~pa(:e,. ihCl rn~.e!rl!:;;lty ilJIl· U~e mOI!J'!'1I~arn5'i I ~jJ brill "ant hues IOf flO'Wer5, ItlEii vel,'!.I'cl: lextlJ.lJii;; IOf tll~ ·grF,e,en So" ~he. "'v,a5"in!a5s 011 vaauym" i ,et!li!. Ms!ena, d:c p~11 O'f !he W'EU~'!$. e~_~;:U~ll!l5. 1lI1I'if,~!1!f!- !!!i\i(pmaSlS'BS; II. :~to. !b-raautifull,Y ..

rmU5 W'~.:i's. inwtnch N!;Illj,;!~~ :lrIIS'p1r:,€::!!l. ,.

1M!i:!I~ na Cholu~1 \n ~di, 'bairn in Nanite!; ,ii:!Ilili! idsl: 'tine lFiIatl":lfal S;LI ~ifO!!Jli1iding'~

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vpil1:ne:u --E'r ~llC~ )ij Vllu": . ~ I"".. "'"

lafLdlsrt.l,P{!oS!, So Jirmly' has it g@t 'Iltct~Qld on ,liIeJ m~nd loot il: ke eiP~ on h:l'!lm"/ri1£1 her ·!rom i:!tI!f'feelt 'to oi""::U'"Ai!=i;,_:2!I~rQm one ;tIirtl: mediwti to ano~ Il~'r, fri:lfn {lif'll!:!' IQi'U1 ~D. ifI:. p-enmen~in91 wJ~h .::;o'l,l'iI:!!iE!I.

f ser l:ihi~dhood pesslon '~~J painl·.· jJl 9 kInd :5Cii:ipi3!!i got a rlGthew dimensson '''''I~:(;n she chese t~lt'ltf1(! E!esIQl~ ~n!] :J~ her· clUes r and touild lis, i;, ,,\~., 1J'E.~or' iin her d'~5iQ:i1!i"i9 .~Jli31 co- '

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. )

Sunday Mail :

, .

At)dl 3-9, 1988

I • Painting

1 'Constraint'

1 [ I!

i i



Iluddlllg painter Meen;1 C. Virdi rI10lln(~ her recent \\'(lrks :11 the AurohinJO' G:tll~f) from Apnl

flh till l~th. Mrs K.C. 1';111[, wlk

t If the Defence Minister, will be: ill;lugtlrating the exhibition ·a~

"':3u pm on the 4th of April.

A.hhollgh Mecna has given till" title 'Collstralnt' [0 the

; <:xhihiriull, (Jilt' (~111 see '

1 il"K:r:llion' in thern. There is a. (iv;lr indiration of the Dance of {iI\' ill 11l0~1 of he! worb .

. 'l<kena is a self-taught painter and this is her second solo - ~';n'

J ~."'io" ,

dlsplaj·. \Vllereas there was .::~ , . t'

agony ip her last I?ainting ,.:,i};,. :

exhibition, thereIs ecstasy H1' ,;

.. the pr.esem one, . r

The theme according to her i

, ,

-ts ~A slate of mind in II]\' . "" ••• \: I

~ r;;oces.s of living; a ~truggJc!"':t', ,

conrinuous light withiu ~1"k'~S<.!W . andan efl=Ort to break aw.rv

. fromon~'~?k.n being ,11ll1 . '1lllliw(ions wllile going 11\1. )\,-:11 LagclIlY and despair with .;

'CO[lstant ~':Ton hopillg. II, ri:« ~

-indto <I(I\IC\:e t(I.rI\'t:. \' "" ~

" _ >-_. _".I _. ~.~ .. 1- .. _ ,_, •• rL:......_. __

APRIL "'1993



Meena Chopra, head of 'Bhumeeka', an advertising agency in New Delhi, and a self-made artist, recently exhibited her paintings at the Nehru Centre, London. It sure was a memorable experience for Meena as her first hook of poems, 'Amidst Metaphors' was also released on the same occasion.

A science. graduate fnorn IT college, L~cknow, Meena did a course in textile designing from the New Delhi Polytechnic. She says, "I was interested in painting right from childhood but got seriously involved in fine arts only some years back. And I wanted to prove that in spite of being a housewife and running an ad agency, one need not detract from expressing oneself in the way one wants. All you need is a sensitive heart and an irresistible urge to express your feelings on canvas. My paintings are aneffort to explore my aspirations, hope, happiness, pain, resistance and strength."

'Brealti'l'lg' Ml!e1la Chopra

. "-.'.--~---.-.-"--"'- .- I

... In Meena Chopra's poetic explorations'

of the floatingand drifting nature of human life, through her paintings and verses on display at Jehangir Art Gallery, She breaks away from the conventional in her use of lumlnous colours and


pieces of driftwood superimposed on :

her abstract paintings to suggest the feelings of being adrift, tethered, bound; or the freedom of breaking away.

.-... . -

Maria Louis.

All rounder- Meena Chopra

Savvy September 1996

_ •••• ,U·


II. ~~ :: .... .c , .

..., f:


Her canvasses have a fluid grace and character.that is reflected in her persona too. A cool and calm woman, .he is a self-taught artist who rose from the ranks of a .ored housewife to become not only an equal partner in ier husband's Delhi-based ad agency Bhoomika, but also l painter of no mean repute. Meet Meena Chopra Virdi vhos paintings are as intense as the poetry she writes. 3ut what's a science graduate doing in the world of oils? 'I always had a restless creative streak in me which vanted much more out of life, so I began playing around vith colours while I worked as a textile and fashion Jesiqner. My early works were basic expressions of my :houghts, but soon these canvasses became an endeavour :0 break away from one's own limitations, from one's own )eing," she explains.

Essentially interested in modern art, Meena has an .nstinctive colour sense. Thus all her paintings make effective use of vibrant colours. 'Breaking Away' her recent exhibition of paintings and poetry at the Jehangir Art Gallery. Bombay reflect the feelings 1hat the separation evokes, Fragments of wood painted in electric blue, floating in space, also reflect the search for an independent identity. Does she feel constrained as a wife and mother? "No," she laughs. "1 am a very fulfilled Individual. And whatever vacuum there is in my life is filled up by my paintings. I think If there is any search for more

_ --.. ._. __ I'.r_.. r .•• , -. ._ ••• _ •.• ~_ ..... __ •

"I ama very fulfilled individual. Whatever vacuum there is in my life is filled by my paintings. If there is any search for more it is in my SOUl."

Breaking away from boredom - Meena Chopra Virdi

In the ad world, her work "is restricted to visualising and copy writing, while my husband does Client servicing. It does become difficult at times to visualise products - something as unaesthetic as a truck, but work is work and a creation is a creation." Kudos to this kudifor rising above the mundane and seeking refuge in the esoteric

world of art.


Snapping Tlas Artist: Meana Chopra

Oil on Canvas (30 X 40 in) Price:

Rs 16,000 Collection:

Indian High Commission Kuala Lumpur

Contrasting tones, conflicting moods come together in the 20 canvases which the artist is to exl:llbit at the Ne"titu

. Centre,

London. Displayed

alongsld~ will be 20 poems, for the ina~guration on July 26 will also mark the release 01 her first book 0f poems. And what Is common to the canvases and the poems'? A fierce yearning for space, for freedom, a deep desire to b~eak away from Objects floating, adrift although tetherid to their moorings, is a recurrent image, then, conveying a sa . ~e of movement in suspended forms.



Artist, Meena Chopra

She feels she is lUCky m the sense that since she didn't have have any formal training in painting Which is wrly her paintings do not consciously re fleet any oa rticular SCi1QOI ol painting.

Under the auspices oi the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Mae· na will be exhibitina her paintings and poems at the Nehru Centre in London from: July 26 to August 5. Her book of verses Igntred Lines will be released Ion the opening day. And thai adds another feather to her

R a~ely cces one come across a painter who also happens to write poetry with considerable elan. Meena Chopra's poetry nurrors ner acute sensibilities whici1. ill turn. enmesh witl1 her deft stn:::k.;;s on :;2IiWas. An accompll$,lled artist she nas i'lad solo exrllbi\IOnS 111 various gallenes, tne r.1L~~ rlotab!~ O:ie~ bemg 8.1. Trive:1~ Ka't:. S3::'IQan1, Delhi Z:flO Jer.angif Art Galll'"ty. !vlumL)OL A rm.llli-faceted pe,'<3or" ivleena along with her 5lIPporuvs husbano, Bhupinder, funs ,1"\ advertising agency' and she also handles the accounts of her ad agency. A surprise considennq ner eclectic interests and this she herSGlf avers, is sctzmatic,

Meenz: '.'Vas born and brought up , 111 Naniml but she graduated from lE.abelia TIloubern College, LucK- 1'10'.11. She went on to study textile dEsigning in Delhi and worked as a textile designer .and tashion-coordinatcr for seven years before she learned up with her husband and formed an ad agency.

"l've been painting since! was a small kid but) delved deep in10 the finesrts only around 1983," says Me€na. She started off wiih sculptures but quickly shifted to 011 paintmos. Her first exhibition was at the sahitya l<ala PariShad in 1986 at the first Delhi women Artists show In 1986.


3D The WeeldyVoi~e, April 2 - 8, 2004

.Meena Chopra Takes Art Beyond Boundaries ..

'An' interesting art exhibition and poetry reading is being organized, by one of India'swell-known poets and arti~ts, Meena Chopra, currently a resident of Mississauga. She calls it Beyond Boundaries. "Religion these days is seen to divide people. Art on . the other hand brings them' closer,"

Chopra offered the rationale behind the show. She' has put together a team of local artists and poets that include Baoxing Zhang, Dianne Mascherin, Gayaui Manchanda, Kajal Nalwa and Mira Angel Korsic. The poets present will be Peter Jailal, Sheila Hyland and Minnie Grewal. A couple of the participants . like . Chopra herself express themselves through both poetry and art.

The event is an effort to bring in the contemporary art of dive;se communities, original cultures and countries together on a common platform to understand each other's uniqueness with an underlying spirit of the everlasting undying factor, "An happens within the limitations. of life's canvas but is always giving us. the

glimpses of some thing which is intangible and beyond all limitations," says the cerebral poet/artist. Beyond Boundaries is being organized by Cross Currents - Indo Canadian International Arts and CHACS Hindu Immersion School. Opening reception and poetry reading session April 17th 5.30 p.m. Exhibition open for public from April 18 to 25th. 3.30p.m. to 7.30p.m. (weekdays) and lOam. To 1 p.m. (weekends), For info, call

+ Meena at 905 507 2579


Dreruns Flo"W" in "the Pain"tingsof Meena Chopra

An art exhibition of paintings and poems "Residual Dreams" by Meena chopra are on display in Central Library, City Center Drive, Mississauga till 30th of December (9am to 9pm, or Library timings). Meena has exhibited about 12 paintings and 12 poems with sprinkling of verses around them.

The first thing that strikes you about Meena Chopra's works is precisely a sense of quest; there is a

search, a yearning, which reaches out to you from the canvas. Accompanying her paintings are her verses, and these two complement each other. In fact, they often seem to flow from and into each other, making one wonder which came first, the word or the image. The heightened passionate quality of her verses imbues the images with strong emotional power.

A recent immigrant to Canada


Laser Centre Salon de Beaute 700 Balmoral Dr., Unit 7, (Southgate Plaza)

MISSISSAUGA - 3050 Artesian Dr. Unit 4

Meena says," Serene Surroundings of my birth place in India 'Nainital' a hill station have been a source of inspiration to me always. Strangely enough the beauty of Canada reminds me of that a lor. Specifically the immenseness of the sky, the glory of the setting sun with its everchanging colors and the unlimited wide expanse of the earth stills my nature within"

Meena has held more than 25


She was running an advertising agency in New Delhi, India before she immigrated to Canada about two years back now lives in Mississauga.

After coming to Canada she along with some artists and art lovers started a not for profit organization by the name of CROSS CURRENTS- Indo Canadian International Arts, which has a mission of embracing diverse cultures and origins and bringing them on a common platform through arts

solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally.

She represented India in the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Artists Meet, New Delhi in December 2002

Her first book of verse titled 'IGNITED LINES', published in 1996 and was released in London U.K. Her poems have been translated & published in German as 'well. They have also been published in

there by 'taking arts beyond boundaries'. The organization has had

. - .

Woman's Era. North Edition. March (Second) 1997

Skyscrapers by Meena Chopra.

Born in Nainital (UP) and graduated in Science from Lucknow, Meena Chopra is presently running a Delhi-based advertising agency named "Bhumeeka Advertising." She has participated in many art exhibitions in India and abroad.

In the work of this self-made artist at Jain Marunouchi Gallery, one can notice a poetic Meena Chopra. beauty which mirrors her

keen feelings. There is a

strong sense of move-

ment of the forms sus-

pended in the backdrop

of different hues of lumi-

nous and bold colours.

Her canvas has a fluid

grace and character. She

unveils simmering faces

of love, possession,

mind and self- with sen-


She says, "I was interested in poetry right from childhood but got seriously involved in fine arts only some years back when I wanted to prove that in spite of detractions one can express one - self in the way one wants."