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JOURNAL - 2008

DECEMBER 31, 2008: During the month of December, 12 paintings were completed in Kerala and Goa

NOVEMBER 17, 2008: Receipt of the The MONTREAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD presented at the Chateau Champlain with 120 guests present. It was a momentous occasion with an opportunity to tell my story, unveil my new painting HEART, show 9 more of my recent works, meet many interesting people, be surrounded by special friends and sit on the head table with my sons, Andre, Carlos and Miguel. See speech under WOMAN OF THE YEAR album.

October 28: Interviewed by Khady on CJNT MONTREAL TV (en francais) about my art, the upcoming calendar and exhibit at McGill. (Details in MEDIA album) November is devoted to INDIA on the program LE PONT which discusses Montreal's cross-cultural connections.

OCTOBER 17: Opening Speaker at the 2 day SOUTH ASIAN CONGRESS at McGill University. Topic: "WHAT IS A DESI? DEFINING OUR IDENTITY". In speaking out about my own life experience growing up Christian in a Muslim country, our own prejudices as well as those of others, the complexities of being an artist/woman/mother in the "desi" context, I tried to leave the audience with pertinent questions that they themselves could address later. The next day we broke up into discussion groups to further debate the topics. I found it all in all a very thought-provoking 2 days.

October 9, 2008: Global TV wanted to followup on the Salvation Army story, so they filmed us playing at Cafe Griffintown on Thursday evening. I wore a blue saree for the occasion. See RELATED PHOTOS

October 6, 2008: McGill University: With 3 paintings, I attended the presentation of grad student Mani Kakkar's paper on THE HISTORY OF BHARATNATYAM with specific emphasis on the devadasi courtesan dancers of South India. Professors Davesh Soneji and Elizabeth Elbourne participated. SEE RELATED PHOTOS

Song-Writing Workshop with Connie Kaldor at the Atwater Library, sponsored by the Quebec Writers Federation inspired a melody to my poem

September 24, 2008: HOUSE GUEST on Home Run, CBC Radio One FM 88.5. Lively 2 hours with host Bernard St. Laurent at the CBC studios on Rene Levesque while he quizzed me about my life story through India, Pakistan, Italy, the UK and Canada. Quite a treat to meet them all in the flesh including Michel Godbout, Frank Cavallero, Jeanette Kelly, Joanne Bailey, Nathalie Walther. Thank you to Bernie and Sarah Buck for making me feel so much at ease in the studio.

Link to their website:

September 8: Recorded a CD of my piano playing - 30 songs - on a Bechstein grand at Studios Epilogues, Montreal.

Sept. 2, 2008: Involvement with SAWA (South Asian Women's Aid) at McGill University, whose focus is to bring the plight of South Asian women to the attention of the Montreal public through art, theatre, film, dance and literature. I gave them permission to use PURNIMA and DARING, CARING, SHARING, on promotional posters to advertise their banquet on September 19 at McGill. An exhibit of paintings is planned for November. I am delighted to be involved with SAWA as issues concerning the South Asian woman are especially meaningful for me and the theme is a thread that has been present in my work from very early on

SEPTEMBER 7, 2008: The paintings: FIVE SISTERS REUNITE, SALUT MONTREAL, MARCHING FORWARD, PURNIMA have been shortlisted for the U.S. coffee-table publication "INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY MASTERS of 2009"

More good news: I have been invited to participate in the INTERNATIONAL BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART in Firenze December 5-13, 2009. The UN has recognized the Florence Biennial as an official partner in their "Dialogue Between Civilizations" program.

After travelling to India, Australia, England and California earlier in the year, it's now back to Montreal, where the creative process continues. I have stuck this nudge on my easel from the German writer Goethe: REST NOT, LIFE IS SWEEPING BY. GO DARE BEFORE YOU DIE, SOMETHING MIGHTY AND SUBLIME, LEAVE BEHIND TO CONQUER TIME.

In early July, in the Salvation Army on Notre Dame Street I started playing a piano that was up for sale in the window. It sounded good and people seemed pleased, so I returned often, playing a classical and easy-listening repertoire. I suppose it was a "happy story" which made Mike Boone write up an article in the Montreal Gazette followed by stints on CBC TV, CBC Radio and GLOBAL TV (see Media album for link) and talk of recording a CD. The sudden limelight was short-lived. The piano was sold at the end of July. However, I did record a CD and now play once a week at the Griffintown Restaurant on Notre Dame.

JUNE 2008:It was refreshing to attend the Open University forum at Concordia, Montreal (June 15-20) where like-minded individuals gathered to explore and exchange ideas, where we were encouraged to soul-search on how each of us could use our gifts and talents as a force for social transformation. At the session I moderated entitled "What role does art play in provoking change? " I was excited by the number of people who attended and shared their views. Each had a strong conviction that art, more than anything else, is and will always remain a powerful tool because it touches at something very basic, our emotions. Emotions invariably cause reaction which lead to transformation. Therefore as artists we have an obligation to be pro-active, engaged in society and remain open to this vast expanse of universe. The horizon moves as we move forward.

Come move with me during 2008........and let us transform ourselves and the world........ one brush-stroke, one song, one poem, one moment at a time.....