January 1st, 2021 - February 20th, 2021
“Dharti ko bauno ki nahi,
Unche kad ke insaano ki zaroorat hai,
Itne unche ki aasmaan chhu le,
Naye nakshatron mein pratibha ka beej bo le.
Kintu itne unche bhi nahin,
Ki paanv tale doob hi na jame,
Koi kaanta na chubhe,
Koi kali na khile.
Na vasant ho, na patjhad,
Ho sirf unchai ka andhad,
Matra akelepan ka sannata.
Mujhe itni uchai kabhi mat dena,
Gairon ko gale na laga saku,
Itni rukhai kabhi mat dena..."
- Excerpt from 'Unchai' by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
‘Unchai’ by the late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a poem which speaks volumes of the
introspective requirement from individuals in places of power. This introspective need and
capacity is elaborated in his verses about the power of a person’s character and the humility in
People with a towering personality have the most humble of demeanor and simplicity of thought.
Taking on from here, Ajay Lakhera builds the imagery of his current body of work. He draws
parallels between Vajpayee Ji's poetry, and the towering stature and humility of our nation
builder Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to create an archive of the times we live in.
Lakehra uses his artistic liberty by juxtaposing images with poems to discuss the various issues
we are experiencing. The work forces the viewer to introspect on the proceedings of current
times. One can't but help to imagine the reactions of these two great leaders watching us from
Walking through the works, one is confronted with their own ‘protected ignorance’. The work
with a toad on a pedestal with two roosters watching it, has the line by Saeed Rahi, “Mere Jaise
Ban Jaoge, Jab Ishq Tumhe Ho Jayega”, accosts our ignorance and stupor. While the work
with the men churning the rope, with the line by Nida Fazli, “Subha se shaam tak bojh Dhota hua apni hi laash ka khud mazar aadmi” forces us to rise from our slumber.
Lakhera’s juxtaposition of poetry with penetrating imagery heightens the viewer’s interaction
with the work. It is here that the title of the exhibition Mera Bhesh Mahan, strikes a chord with
the viewer. It is here that the exhibition becomes introspective in its character.