Land of 1000 toothy smiles

VIBHAV SINGH

A smile is enough to brighten a dull day; a perfect beam, thirty two teeth glinting with pure glee. How often do you see that smile?

There are so many thoughts and emotions behind that one smile. It could be a smile of encouragement, a gentle push, an incentive to seize the day. Carpe Diem.

That smile could be a precursor to rumbling thunder clouds; a smile of anticipation. A smile in face of great adversity, a smile of defiance in face of opposition, overturning regressive ideas, a smile to tell bravely, "Not today." It could be a smile of a six out of the park, a goal, perfectly matched socks, a sip of ginger-tea in the morning, a chance encounter with Shah Rukh Khan, listening to Gulzar reciting poetry, a generous dollop of ghee over parathas, a bargain well made, a marathon completed, a book written, a song sung.

And it is all here, in India, a land full to the brim with such smiles, a land with cultures so diverse that coexistence is second nature to its people. Adjustment comes naturally, like breathing air. We haggle, we argue, we 'scooch over', and then we adjust with a smile. This artwork presents just that. The acceptance of our differences, yet blurring boundaries, sharing, smiling. Together.