Dualism is a word that most of us Rajput millennials know too well. We have grown up juggling with two parallel worlds. On the one hand, there is the bygone era of Rajput glory that continues to resonate in present-day rituals, folklores and songs. On the other hand, lies an expanding world of liberal ideas, freedom and change that we begin dissolving into, once education and schooling begins. No sooner do we come of age and return to our ancestral dwellings than that contrast between these two worlds becomes all the more apparent. It is no less challenging for our parents to ensure the mutual involvement of traditional restraint and liberal modernity in our upbringing. Some of us are more aware of this dualism than the others, but we are all mediating with it day in and day out, and are often torn between the two in terms of our choices.
22 year-old Jahnvi Singh of Rohet is no exception to this existentialist angst. She too shuttled between two distant but equally urgent sensibilities until one day, when she felt too exhausted to by it. Instead of constantly trying and failing to be in two places at once, Jahnvi decided to step away from playing mediator to becoming an observer. What started off as a tiny change in perspective ended up culminating into the most radical shift of perspective that she had ever made.
Jahnvi’s description of her younger self plays a major part in discerning this implication: -
“I was a shy, introverted kid. The cliché in every classroom, who sits in a corner with a diary drawing something she never shows to anyone. I wasn’t trying to be mysterious or pretentious, the truth was that I was so afraid of putting myself out there that I never ended up trying. This is something that I have recently come to terms with. Somehow through my teenage turmoil, I managed to stick to my pencil set, and that saved me”.
The budding artist then graduated to college, wherein that whole new world remoulded her reticence into a whole new self that was so unhindered and venturesome, that its misrecognition was indeed plausible. How could such a rapid alteration of an artist’s personality not reflect in their creative expressions?
“As a teenager, I put a lot of emphasis on questioning what it meant to be an artist. I wondered whether my skills were merely skills, or whether I could really become an ‘edgy artist’ someday. I don’t remember when I started drawing, but I remember doing it a lot. My lockers and cupboards were always full of sketches, there were more doodles on my math textbooks than sums”, Jahnvi says in hindsight.
She continued resorting to her drawing tools well beyond her teenage years and as the world unfolded in front of her wondrous eyes, Jahnvi’s art exceeded its graphitic confines. When she was no longer able to channelise her expressions through pencil strokes, she found meaning in paint, ink, pastel, and even installation, fabric, music, dance and writing. To her former self, these would have just been overestimated mediums that she never found herself to be capable of creatively deploying.
Stir some evolutionary ferment into artistic cultivation and, lo and behold, Jahnvi became the sought-after artist for MasabaByByNykaa’s cosmetics collection. Her freelance work is getting better by the day and she is also open to pursuing art commissions. Interestingly, each one of her works, whether for cosmetic promotions or alternative exhibitions is unmissable in depicting her inhibited essence. Just like her persona, one finds revelation in what her art board conceals. Being explicit was never her style, and her growing set of creations is bound together by an enigma that doesn’t give in the very least to its varied interpreters.
Jahnvi’s concluding remarks aptly explain this essence- “The unexplored leaves hope for more learning in the future and gives perspective to the present. Perfection only eliminates the chances of possibility. Four years ago, I would be uncomfortable with the idea of ‘not doing enough’. Today, the only true intention behind all my work is merely-to better understand’. And I am happier for it.
Whoever said existentialist angst wasn’t a good thing? And do introverts really see more colours? Not quite, they just observe a lot more than the rest of us.
To see more of her stunning work, follow Jahnvi Singh on Instagram