Sunday, 25 September 2011

Discovering Vasant Vihar

Uma and I had fixed to meet up at the KFI on greenways road on saturday afternoon. She was familiar with the place having been a frequent visitor of their library. I, on the other hand, knew where it was but surprisingly had never gone in before. I arrived at three in the afternoon and walked in through a winding tree lined mud track and as I walked the traffic noises fell away with each step. Suddenly this beautiful white building came into view through the trees. It was fronted by a lush green lawn - such a rarity in my city.

On the lawn sat Uma, sketching away already. Although the building looked inviting, we had to wait half an hour for them to open after their lunch break, and the lawn was cool with plenty of shade so I sat down and spread out my things too. As it happens, we never went in. We just sat there and sketched. The sunny weather and the huge trees all around and that lawn was just a great place to be.

Vasanta Vihar, which is the name of this building, was the house in which J. Krishnamurti stayed when in Chennai. It now houses an archive and library and is open to the public. The grounds are large and have guest houses, a book shop and a lot of green space which is such a needed lung in the heart of the city. What struck me most that evening was how peaceful it was. Visitors came and went, but maintained a respectful silence, a few glanced at us sketching, but no one bothered us. The usual Indian curiosity wasn't there in the people.

The black and white sketch of the building is what I did there, and the colours and some details were added later. The sketch of Uma is a very quick one. Light was fading by then and there was a beautiful orange-ish glow on the building and lawns from the setting sun. You can check out more pictures of this here. Once again I really enjoyed sketching in company and we have lots of ideas of where to go next. 


  1. Although I have heard a lot about this building I too have not been there so far. It looks quite nice in both your b&w as well as your colour sketch. I also see that you are getting quite comfortable at sketching people. :-)

  2. Amazing sketches, Kalpana. I love the way you have handled light on the sundrenched building.

  3. Love the line drawing here...very sensitively done