I received a message on the website backend mailbox. It was from Neha Vora. She wanted to know how can she share the story of her parents' Instagram art page on this site. I saw this is as a great compliment to our budding site. I naturally checked the page she mentioned in her mail. It is an art & craft page, and created by her parents, who are both are in their 70s. It is so inspiring, after all! I wanted to learn more, and thankfully Neha wanted to share too. And so, here is about their page and their lives narrated by Neha.
"I am Neha Gandhi Vora, and my parents are Mrs Meenakshi Krushnavadan Gandhi ( M&K) and my father Krushnavadan Manilal Gandhi (K&M). I started this page @The_Artsy_Family on Instagram in August 2020, in the very mid of the lockdown. It was then that I realised I had to showcase the artwork that my parents have been doing since ages. For that matter, even I am doing lots of things since the past 20 years or so. You may say it is something that runs in our blood. We had so many art stuff to display, and my parents even at this age are continuing doing it daily. So there is no dearth of content, and what better way than to slowly but steadily disclose it on Instagram --the hottest platform on social media."
Can we disagree?
I wanted to learn more about each of the family members. A brief history of each person, any beautiful anecdote that she could share about the folks.
Dad is a civil engineer by profession. Throughout, he has been this patient person. After retirement, he had a lot of time in hand, to spare. He soon started taking delight in carving fruits and vegetables for special occasions and in making personalised hand-crafted greeting cards. Although he was not a crafty person, he learned the art with his utmost patience, watching YouTube videos and self-learning and then experimenting them.
We were so delighted to see him this involved, busy and enthusiastic that we soon started gifting him tools, pens and artsy stuff, which led him to experiment more. He has now kind of earned quite a reputation and also the moniker of 'Master Crafter' in his circle of family and friends. He gets invited for demonstrations and even to conduct workshops on fruit carving.
Favourite Pastime: To watch old movies, and spend time with family
Favourite Food- Anything that is new and good for health
Favourite Movie Stars- All the ones from the 60s
Favourite Songs - All the songs from the 60s era , reignited the passion of singing old songs too on Karaoke
Mom is a very dynamic person who always believes in learning and upgrading herself. A graduate from one of the most prestigious schools in Delhi, mom soon adapted herself into the role of a housewife in Mumbai, and maybe she got lost in raising two children somewhere down the line. However, she never stopped learning and enrolled herself in cooking and hairstyling classes whenever she got time apart from managing all the housework and kids single-handedly, while dad was busy with his job.
Once the children left the nest, mom joined the local canvas art painting classes and reignited the love for drawing and art in herself. Since the past 9-10 years, she is continuously drawing and painting and creating stuff. She sees to it that she makes one every day, even to this day and age. She loves making lists and makes her to-do lists for things to be done in the day (and we almost worry whether she makes a list separately for all her lists).
Favourite Movies - Love those black and white movies of the 50's and 60's and the 50 Bollywood songs.
Favourite Actors - I love all the film stars are from the 50's and 60's, like Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand.
As for Myself, I am also an art enthusiast thanks to my mom as she made it a point to teach me embroidery, mehndi and all sorts of artsy activities right from my childhood days. In fact, in those days, I used to want to go and play with my friends, but mom instilled the habit of pursuing my hobby right from the beginning, So thus started the journey.
I also enjoy creating drawings and bookmarks, mugs, fabric painting, and the list goes on and on. When my kids were young, I used to conduct summer camps for kids in the Diwali and summer holidays along with my students. My kids also learnt art and craft at a very young age. And as they say, the legacy passes on, my elder son has a keen interest in art and tries out his hand in watercolour and canvas painting.
Favourite Pastime - Reading books and discussing them , running a book club
Favourite Dish - Sandwiches, Pasta , Mexican
Favourite Place - Likes to travel all over the world
Favourite Songs - All the songs that I grew up with in my 90s like from the Movies--Saajan, Aashiqui and Sadak
The Instagram Page:
The purpose of this page was to take the talent of my parents to everyone online. Even if they do not create any new piece for the next few years, I have enough material to last some few years itself. So when I post them daily on Instagram, it is like revisiting their art stuff and acknowledging their efforts even at this age, which is rare. The response that it is getting is beautiful.
I want to reach out to more people to know that even in their golden years, they can pursue their hobbies and make the best of their time.
Questions to MK and KM:
Shouldn't you have started pursuing art early in life or are you happy doing it now post-retirement- Yes, we should have pursued our art hobbies early in life and not after 50 years' gap.
How do you fell about life currently, in comparison to the decades ago with today's time-Currently, life is at such a fast pace which is exciting as well as daunting sometimes, but both of us are tech-savvy, and we don't take time in learning new things.
Do you love the fact that technology is helping to share your art today-Yes, technology is helping us share our art pieces to our friends, which was not possible earlier, so that's an advantage.
What would be your message to anyone who is reading this- The main message is that retirement time is the rebirth of your life. So do not fret about it and understand that God has given this opportunity to do whatever you like and pursue your hobbies, now that you have got a lot of leisurely time in hand. Use the time to your advantage and make the most of the retired golden life.
The copyright of all art & craft pictures used in this page belongs to @the_artsy_family