A Heart Touching Letter to Father on Fathers Day- Letter from Priyanka Sahani
A failure.. that’s what people thought of me. I no longer let perceptions of me affect my reality. Let me share my journey with you. Behold, its a tale of highs and lows – times when I went through periods of extreme happiness and bouts of depressions. Some think that words and thoughts don’t affect physically, but I know they do. It has not been an accident that I have gained recognition as a craftsperson. The lockdown of 2020, like for many others, has been a life altering experience for me.
I was introduced to the world of drawing by my dear father, Late. Mr. Bibekananda Sahani. He took my hand and taught me to draw on the floor using nothing more than broken pieces of colorful chalk. These early lessons with him unlocked a whole world of imagination within me, a girl who was still in her pre-teens. I made art my escape to reality. In my early school years, I was very active, participating in dance, writing essays and delivering elocutions. All of these never affected my studies, and I managed to maintain good grades. I was awarded on numerous occassions and my family would not stop gushing over my achievements. I was happy to have made my father proud. As I moved out of school life, I started losing interest in a lot of activities that were earlier a staple part of life.
My studies suffered, and I was no longer interested imn extracurricular activities. After graduation, I opted for MCA and started with some part-time gigs to keep myself occupied. This is when I was stung my dose of reality. My imaginary world was now shattered and I made some regrettable decisions that haunt me. Time had taken a toll on my father and he beseiged with illness and stress. I challenged myself to be his pillar and not give up this easily to challenges. I shouldered responsibilities while seeking divine guidance.
On the fateful day of 22nd Nov, 2019, my father met with an accident that bound him to the bed for the next few months. I was shattered to see my rock in such a weak state. I hoped that things could not get any worse and it could only get better from then on. Oh how I was mistaken. My father breathed his last on the 4th of May, 2020. I walked through the next couple of days in a haze. I couldn’t break down as I had to be strong for my surviving family. I was living a nightmare with a storm within me but could not flinch. There were vultures on the horizon that would swoop in on the slightest sign of weakness. As I let the pyre consume my father, I promised him and myself, that I would revive the skills that he nourished in me. I would be the ‘son’ of the family and be the ‘daughter’ he aspired me to be.
I put on a brave face, smiling to the world, while I was dying inside every moment of my existence. Social media platforms came as a boon for me. They let me open myself up and my talents to the world. I started posting and publishing online, and that brought me some recognition and a few awards. Mandala art helped me calm my soul and all the admiration I garnered made me smile a little easier. I have patiently, calmly and consistently worked on my skills learning new tricks and improved my trade skills. I have made a varity of mandalas like floral, dot, portrait, coffee and even extra large giant ones. Making mandalas is cathartic for me as I lose myself in those intricate patterns disconnecting myself from reality while I am working on them. Have gone through severe periods of depression, after my father’s passing, I acknowledged the calm and peace my art brought me. This made my resolve stronger that I would not give up on my art and would advocate for its healing skills. I conducted some workshops where I tried to teach these skills to eager participants.
I have now branched out into more works like calligraphy, abstract and impressionalist art, bottle design and decoration, food and fabric art, mask painting, face painting, terracotta art, rangoli,jewellery design and many more. I am constantly looking for new art forms, and incorporating techniques that I find interesting and unique. I also do commision works and portraits on demand.
My dream is fulfill my father’s dream, to make him proud and gain recognition as an artist from a small state in India, that made it big in the world. Life is all about change, the only constant. Accepting change is the only way you can deal with the chaos that comes with it. And your efforts are the only thing that can bring you recognition. There is no magical shortcut.
Happy Father’s day to My father and Father of this Universe ” Lord Jaggannath “.