Fill up the teapot and meditate on mandalas

Simran Wahan who recently launched a meditative colouring book called Soulful Journey believes it will simply melt your stress away

Life is a kaleidoscope. Of moods, colours, emotions and journeys, and while sometimes it may be meditative and pensive, at other times it is joyful and exciting. Sometimes it is just about gratitude – for that pretty tea pot or the stack of tagged suitcases waiting by the door packed with clothes and anticipation of an about to-happen holiday.

These are the intangibles of her life that Simran Wahan has put into her drawing book for adults, that she calls, Embark on a Soulful Journey. “Every page in this book has a piece of me,” she said. There are pages and pages of drawings painstakingly done by Simran just begging to be filled in with colours of your imagination.

The book was launched by industrialist Vanitha Mohan who Simran called her lucky mascot and someone who has been a constant presence in her life since childhood. Mrs Mohan confessed she was initially sceptical about a colouring book for adults, but having gone through her copy, was now captivated by it.

“I found out that if I chanted my prayers while I coloured, my mind did not drift!”

Fill up the teapot and meditate on mandalas

Indeed, till then, many of those present had never explored the idea of actually engaging in something they had firmly put in their past. Colouring was a part of childhood, wasn’t it. But Dr. Srividya Sivakumar (poet and columnist) eloquently stressed on the therapeutic aspect of art. “Our lives are saturated with colours and yet we take them for granted,” she said. She spoke of ‘the aching yellow of mangoes’, ‘the in-your-face-red of tomatoes’ and ‘the special green of the bhindi’. Take time out and revisit the simple, innocent and uncomplicated task of colouring, and rediscover simple joys, she urged. .“Here is something that all of us can do. We do not have to be an artist like Simran. We need no special skills.” Most significantly, Srividya pointed out how art could give us the much needed break from our devices that took away so much of our time and kept us distracted all times of the day.

The book has been a labour of love and a few years in the making from idea to execution, said Simran. “Some of my best creative work is when I am sad,” she laughed. But it is from those moments and happy ones too that the idea took shape. A passionate traveller, Simran has observed and transferred her memories into the book. From cupcakes and icecreams to birds on overhead lines and potted plants, everything that has made her smile or pause is there for you to colour. From her journeys in Bhutan and Ladakh she has brought back meditative Mandalas. In her introduction to her book she writes, “ Amid the frenetic pace of our lives where we multi task, rush around and try to make sense of the drama surrounding us, art is calm balm…When you paint or colour like you will with this book, you take a break from your routine and pause, before running again.”

Fill up the teapot and meditate on mandalas

A nurturing city

The launch was a reiteration of what Coimbatore is and can be. It is a city of close friendships and relationships between people who look out for each other and care for the city. Shankar Vanavarayar, another old friend of Simran was there. He has written the foreword to the book and declared, “The city needs more art. We need more such gatherings and conversations about art,” he said to much applause. He reiterated that it was the ability to find beauty in the mundane and everyday things like Simran has done that would set us apart as individuals and as a city.” The evening ended with food, also artistically served, with cupcakes iced in the colours of the book. The decor reflected Simran’s love for art & craft, travel, the spiritual and the poetic. To borrow the words of her friend the MC for the evening Divya Sridharan: “Like Simran’s work, it was an evening where symmetry and whimsy worked hand in hand.”

Info you can use

Soulful Journey is priced at Rs 500 which includes a box of colour pencils so you can start colouring right away

The book is in a handy size and will fit into your bag, so you can colour on the go

It is available in Amaya on Race Course and online at https://www.instamojo.com/simranwahan/soulful-journey/

It’s also available on her Instagram account artist_simranwahan

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