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Nature is his best friend

Former Indian diplomat shares his love for nature-inspired creations

Published:Sunday | September 10, 2023 | 12:07 AM
A Jungle Tableau created by driftwood by Bimal Saigal.
A Jungle Tableau created by driftwood by Bimal Saigal.
An arrangement of sea ferns created by former Indian diplomat Bimal Saigal.
An arrangement of sea ferns created by former Indian diplomat Bimal Saigal.
Coral reef, sea fern and sea urchin turned into an exquisite artwork.
Coral reef, sea fern and sea urchin turned into an exquisite artwork.
A mother cradling her child - created from a coral
A mother cradling her child - created from a coral
Thorny lizard - nature inspired creation.
Thorny lizard - nature inspired creation.
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The expanse and depth of the seas and oceans have always held mystique for mankind. While the seas gurgle out some of their secrets from unfathomable depths in the forms of sea shells of different sizes, shapes, and hues, which most of us are familiar with, at times, the waves that pull out and whirls up crunches of corals, sponges, and sea ferns growing on the large beds of coral reef.

These remnants of sea creatures mostly unfamiliar to us invoke a lot of interest in them and we pick them up as finds from a treasure trove. As children or adults, all of us are attracted to those beautiful sea shells that dot the wet sands as we take leisure strolls on a sea beach.

But if you happen to visit some uninhabited or less visited island, you are bound to find several such interesting remains of marine creatures that may leave you spellbound, and you may be tempted to take them along as prized possessions. That is exactly what Indian diplomat Bimal Saigal experienced during his various trips to the beaches and coastal areas across Jamaica and the other Caribbean islands that he visited when he was serving as the acting high commissioner of India at Kingston some 15 years back. But the artist in him always inspired him to turn them into beautiful artistic arrangements for home décor, bringing the dead back to life.

FINDING LOVE

Another art that Saigal still practises is finding life in dead wood. With flight of his strong imagination, he captures interesting shapes of animals and human beings lurking in bushy branches and knotty roots of plants and trees. He was attracted to this fascinating art when he spotted interesting animal shapes in the cartloads of firewood that were brought to his house in Kabul, Afghanistan, for heating the house during the winter season while he was serving at the Indian embassy there during the late ‘80s. He has named this art Floral-Fauna, which he proudly claims to have pioneered.

He gives credit to nature as the creator and does not do any carving to artificially enhance the figure but merely removes the redundant projections that interfere with the shape. He has more than one hundred such figurines of animals from ant to elephant representing most of the animal species and humans in different moods and postures. Many of these figurines were made from the distinct vegetative growth on Jamaican soil. True, nature is his best friend.

His art has been reviewed extensively in electronic and print media in India and abroad and also showcased through exhibitions held at international level. Saigal retired from service and is currently living in India as he enjoys creative pursuits like writing articles and poems for several international magazines and newspapers.