A visit to Lee Road, to meet a friend turned as a pleasant surprise for Somashis Gupta when he met Joy Kar. In the second part of the story he describes the incident where he finds lots of unknown facts about Mr Kar.
“JOY DAA…” I almost whooped and hollered out of excitement as I rushed towards the man who was an inspiration during my banking days. I was not just the excitement to meet him after so many years, I was equally astound to know that he is an artist.
“How are you?” is the only question I could ask in spite of having many in my mind.
“I am good” he said “happy to see you here in my exhibition.”
That answered my question on ‘who is the artist’ but took me to my next as I asked “When did you start sketching Joyda? I was unaware of this talent of yours.”
“Well you see after the initial escapades in school for our art classes, I have seriously started dabbling around since 2015 onwards, if I remember correctly!” he replied “and a little ‘more’ seriously in the last 3 to 4 years I would say…” he smiled.
“Great to hear that Joyda,” I expressed “what inspired you?” I asked.
Life my friend life”he said “Life is an inspiration and the people around me more so.” he continued “charcoal has been my favourite and only medium ever since I started to dabble around”
“Why so?” I asked
“Well primarily because the absence of colour, apart from the mere black and white and its many shades of gray have always excited me!” he expressed
“Very interesting, tell me more” I said
“I think there is a lot more character created in a charcoal format as it lends a lot of depth to my pursuits… which is why I coined Karcoals as a format for my Charcoals – using my surname as well!” he winked
I smiled as he continued “In particular, nature – as in the crow as my favourite bird, the eyes of a person and societal norms and culture and my interpretations have formed the bedrock on which my inspiration has been nurtured.”
“You were with American Express what happened after that ?” I asked
Well I have been a banker for more than 2 decades having worked in several MNC banks,” he continued “and then switched to turn entrepreneur and financial services and wealth management professional in the last 14 years after having started my own company.”
“Ah! Great, so you are a banker with a brush,” I complimented “What inspired you to do these paintings?” I asked pointing at the charming ensemble.
“I think all of us are born with certain skill-sets” he started “of which some of them are dormant waiting to be awakened at the right time! For me, I was already writing poetry since the days of high school – I guess like every schoolboy of my age.”
“Oh! You are a poet as well” Joyda surprised me further
But now the words that I pen, I try and picturize them into painting forms in most cases – the human face, the eyes in particular capture my imagination – I think it is magical – and nature has its own magical charm capturing the strokes of gray with the harmony of the written word” he informed.
“Joyda you surprise me each instant” I expressed “tell me more about you.”
“What should I say, I am just a simple student of art, since I have never been trained formally through any Art college.” he added “another man on this planet – with a loving family that goes beyond the limits of my biological one”
“So you are a banker and a poet. What else do you have in store? I asked.
“Well I am a poet, a painter, and a social worker – I love life as it comes- and breathe easy as I stride into the sunset of my life…if in the process it brings a smile to as many people as I get in touch with me..it makes me happier and thankful to the Almighty for having chosen me also as an instrument of serving the needy” He said
“Social worker?” I asked
“Oh! Yes I have a NGO called ‘Girl2B Foundation India’. It is a small fledgling Trust which was started with my schoolfriend a few years back. G2B focuses on the girl child primarily to make them Learn, Live and Grow” he answered.
“Ah! So nice” I was touched
“…we provide education support with multifarious support experiences, health and hygiene awareness camps in the communities that the children live in” he continued “currently we help support 3 Education Support Units with our partner organisations in Anwar Shah, Russa Road ( where our main office is also) and Majerhat.”
“I see, so how can I know more about it?”I asked.
“You can visit our website www.g2bindia.org.” he answered.
“Okay I would surely” he noted.
“This is my giving back to the society that I belong, grew up in and am what I am today…and I am grateful to my family, friends, patrons and clients who have all supported and given me the confidence to do more”
“I am touched with these thoughts Joyda. What inspired you to start your NGO?” I asked
“Look, the girl child is a focus area today – and should have been a long long time back too.In the urban areas, the poorer neighbourhoods have children who go to formal schools run by the municipal corporation or in some cases very small private schools where the quality of education leaves much to be desired.This gap between the premier schools kids and the poorer ones is so much! ” Joyda said
“So true ” I agreed.
“Our attempt is to bridge that gap by providing the soft skills, communication ability and understanding and appreciation of all things around us – be it literature, films and music – just as our kids have been exposed to.” Joyda informed.
“It is indeed a noble thought” I expressed.
“In the process, I have been encouraged by my family, friends, colleagues at the Hope Foundation – and last but not the least my friends – Alfonso and Christine Paradinas of G2B USA, based in NY, USA.” he acknowledged.
“Small steps we have taken so far – but we sleep well in the knowledge that we are growing from strength to strength” and he also suggested “I will welcome you to come and visit one of our classes and meet with the children – tell them or read them a story book ! that is enough….to make a difference in their daily lives”
“I will surely” I said as I made a note to do this shortly.
I left the hall that day with some great amount of respect for this humble man. This experience of meeting Joyda jogged my memory to what Albert Einstein said….
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value”
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.