Valentine’s Day, Google Doodle, and a bunch of roses :)

It’s Valentine’s Day today. I happen to have spent two years studying at the most prestigious Fashion School of India (don’t ask me the why and the how of my being there – artists are crazy – and they do stuff that won’t make sense to any left-brained individual,) and it was there that I first realized that there was indeed a festival that celebrated love – an emotion that should be experienced to be understood. Unlike anger, sorrow, happiness, and many other emotions, love can exist without expression, but when expressed, it flourishes. This day is about expressing your love for another being…doesn’t matter how.

So that brings us to the Valentine’s Day Google Doodle, which plays a sweet animation, in which a boy tries to win a girl’s heart by giving her a rose followed by an array of gifts, but he fails – and then he realizes that it was really a lot simpler. All he had to do was skip a rope with her. He realizes that…

  • He didn’t have to order a glass of wine worth $6000 (of course, there’s a diamond at the bottom of the glass),
  • He didn’t have to gift her a car,
  • he didn’t have to buy her an iPad or an iPhone,
  • He didn’t have to buy her an apartment,
  • He didn’t even have to buy her a teddy,
  • or even a rose…

all he had to do was find out what she liked doing and tell her that he cared for her enough to understand her.

Yet it was all the way backwards for me today. Today, I celebrated my first Valentine’s Day.

We had gone to the market to buy regular stuff – a diary, a few folders, a couple of books, and grocery – but I, who wore a steel-plant helmet and would receive hand-crafted ceramic earrings made of refractory bricks from him when we had first met…today after spending two decades of his life with this cartoon girl and caring for her every day of their lives together, he gave her roses! We never celebrated this day, because we thought that being in love was celebration enough – but this Valentine’s Day shall remain etched in my mind forever, because when he gave me those roses, I realized that traditions become stronger when celebrated with symbols.

I wish all my visitors and readers a Very Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

And yes, for the Love-Cynics…

Here are Romeo, Juliet, and the… … the extra!
A Caricature, Cartoon, or picture of Romeo and Juliet, the characters from Shakespeare's drama, in a modern balcony scene.

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Takashi Murakami Twisted me out of Shape.

I am not keen on abstract art that doesn’t explain itself. Art, as I once said, should result in multiple interpretations. Everyone who looks at an artistic creation should take away with him or her, something personal – sometimes, this takeaway isn’t all that personal and unique (take the example of caricature art, the kind I do,) at other times, it’s so unique that everyone has a different takeaway – even among such art, is the art that cannot be duplicated and that demonstrates unsurpassed skill. Takashi Murakami’s art is of the latter kind.

I being the unaware, uncaring, artistically-un-inclined, forever cynical artist, don’t go out looking for art that I like, but once in a while fate throws it into my face, making me feel ashamed of my cynicism. This is exactly what happened about a half hour ago, when I switched on my computer and opened my browser, which defaults to Google.

Google Doodle by Takashi Murakami.

Google Doodle by Takashi Murakami.

(Note: I’ve added a low-resolution screenshot here, because I know that this image will be gone by tomorrow.)

I looked at the First Day of the Summer “doodle” by Takashi Murakami and became curious. Then I did the next obvious thing…I did a search on him – and then I was hooked.

Even if you disregard the semen and the milk, you still are left wondering how he visualized his creations, and then when the shock of his idea wears off, he mesmerizes you with his skill. You’ve got to see this strange combination of colors, geometries, figures, ideas, and presentation methods.

I leave you with the following three links: