img_1404It’s been a little over a month since I left Stanford. There are some friends that I keep in touch with everyday, and others not quite so often. However, the frequency of correspondence has little to do with the strength of my relationships.

When I first met Muskan, we immediately clicked. Although we had very few interests in common, there was something about her that made me sure we would be friends forever. We were interested in pursuing different fields, we liked different music, and watched different shows. Yet somehow, we connected so well. My biggest regret was not getting to know her sooner, for now she has gone back to Kashmir, about 11,558 km away. The times we spent together was not nearly enough, and now we are only able to talk once or twice a week, at best.

Kashmir has been a location of violence and unrest as of late. Muskan’s schools have been closed for a little over two months, so since she came back from Stanford she’s been studying on her own. There are a great number of protests, and she can’t even leave her house. The networks go down at random times, so sometimes I won’t hear from her for a week or two, and I was only able to Skype her for the first time last weekend. The most I can do is hope that she’s ok.

Despite all the unrest in Kashmir, Muskan hardly complains. Instead, she turns the situation around into something beneficial for her. It’s motivation for her to get into a good school, study hard, and make an impact in the future. Why am I writing about this in my blog? Because she’s the most inspirational person I know. Despite her unfortunate situation, she doesn’t complain. Instead, she spins the situation around, saying it’s helping her grow as a person. She views herself as lucky, that she has food and water, a place to live, rather than complaining about the conditions she’s living in. Furthermore, she is not giving up. She continues to study hard at home, completing her school curriculum and working on applications to go to school in the US. Furthermore, when she has time, she posts on her blog to try and increase awareness of what is happening. I strongly urge you all to read her blog, thedebaters.wordpress.com.

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about Muskan, hoping she’s ok. I know her future will be bright– she’s going to make a huge impact and will achieve all the things she strives to do. She’s the most caring and humble person I know; I talked to her today for the first time in a week, and I was so worried about her. However, after assuring me that she was fine, she changed the topic around to asking how I was, and how we lost our snap streak because the network had dropped. Our snap streak. The only person I know who would talk about dropping a snap streak in a situation like this is Muskan.

Despite how hard it is to contact one another, she’s one of the best friends I have. I look forward to the day we can meet again in person, once she comes here for college.

I created this drawing of a Rodin sculpture at Stanford, using a combination of my 2B and 6B pencils as well as white charcoal. There is a collection of about 6 Rodin sculptures, but for some reason this specific one spoke to me the most. When creating this piece, I sat in scorching heat, among obnoxious tourists, for hours upon hours. I could have easily taken a photo of the sculpture and drawn it it somewhere more seculsive. However, I’m a firm believer that in order to capture emotions in art, you need to feel those emotions. This sculptured man looked miserable, like he had experienced the deepest of pains and felt extremely unstable. The best I could do was place myself in a miserable state (being ¬†extreme heat and rambunctious crowd) in order to capture these emotions. Of course, my situation paled in comparison to the emotion displayed on this work, but it was the best I could do.

Rather than using typical lines to create this piece, I did everything with small scribbles, giving the piece a more unstable look. Furthermore, for the lines of the bricks, I only included a few  and I made them by holding the top end of my pencil, so the lines were very shaky. This piece was the last one I made at Stanford, and it really showed my growth over the quarter. When I had first joined the class, my art style was very careful and meticulous. I would take my time with everything and make sure each and every line was straight and as accurate as possible. However, over the weeks, I grew and found my own style: a mix of dramatic, sweeping work paired with tiny details.

This piece took me over 18 hours, however, it was composed of quick and imperfect lines. Yes, my drawing is not a perfect replica of what I was seeing, however I think that makes it all the more valuable. It shows that a human made this piece, not a camera. The purpose of art is not to capture what we see perfectly, but to capture the emotions that we feel when we look at something, to illustrate the things we feel that we cannot express in words.

Since I’ve returned home, I haven’t had much time to draw. Life seems a lot more fast paced here, and I don’t have 18 hours to spare. I have a few unfinished pieces that keep calling for me to return, but I have little time to give them the attention the seek. I hope once college applications are done I’ll have time to finish these pieces and create more.

Thanks for reading, and please check out Muskan’s blog.


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