Zen Black, Zen White

‘This new bamboo shoot hangs over my neighbours wall

– hasn’t yet learned about boundaries -‘ /Satish Gupta/
 
Whenever I end up in Delhi, the first thing I do is to go to Connaught Place and start circling around till I find a newspaper wallah to buy a copy of the First City. It is a monthly magazine of listings of events and places to go, but nothing like the usual expat magazines you find in big Asian cities. More of an upmarket publication on culture and art for the people of Delhi with some amazing columns and interviews. My favourite column is Satish Gupta`s Zen black, zen white, a painting and a haiku (or sometimes a longer thought) arranged perfectly on a whole page. Every time I`m so excited to see it, that I have to open the magazine already while handing over the money, and only then I`m able to walk to a cafe and read the rest. Satish Gupta is an Indian painter, sculptor, writer and poet. In the 70ies when studying art in Paris, one day he walked into a second hand bookshop opposite the Notre Dame, and came across a book called Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Since then Zen philosophy moves his brush, pen and chisel. Now that I`m back in Hungary repacking my stuff accumulated during the last few years of travel, I found my diary written in 2003 with this haiku above and his ink painting of a bamboo. And it moved me just the same way as seven years ago.

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