The day began at six in the morning. I woke up thinking about a picture that I had completed yesterday. The picture is of Kali, the mother goddess. I drew the original line drawing a few years ago. It was one of the earliest pictures I drew as an adult amateur artist. It had been the picture that I had spent the longest time on in my life up to that point. Kali is special to me.
I spent yesterday evening touching up the picture. I added colour to it on my tablet. My tablet is about the size and width of my outstretched hand. I have been using it for drawing for about a year now. It is not a graphics tablet. It is a general, all-purpose tablet. It takes a great deal of patient work to produce artwork on it. I have promised myself a better digital easel in the future. But that is for when I have improved to a satisfactory level. A bad workman always blames his tools. However, it took an absolute age to colour the picture. I was happy with the end result and the amount of labour that I put into it.
The Kali picture which I coloured is the first picture I have digitally coloured. I have some other black and white drawings which I also wish to colour. It was a fun learning experience finding out how to digitally colour such drawings yesterday. I checked my Instagram account and was pleased to find that ten people had given a ‘like’ to the image. I always check to see what other people think about my productions. Sometimes I am surprised that they liked something or didn’t. However, as a general rule, I trust them on their opinions. I use their opinions as feedback to try and improve my work.
After browsing through the news articles on the BBC website, I finally got up. I brushed my teeth quickly and wolfed down my usual breakfast. I opened the door for the rush to the train station and was struck by the cold. It seemed that there was ice in every molecule. I rubbed my hands together to keep them warm as I walked down. I was listening to music on my smartphone. I decided to go for some eighties Hindi film soundtracks.
On the train, a beautiful young woman with black hair and glasses stood directly in front of me. She was shorter than me by a few centimetres. She had pale skin and black eyes. I was thinking about the extent and conditions of our will and self-control. Here was this lovely lady just centimetres away from me on the train. Instead of trying to communicate with her, I was standing there in silence pretending not to look at her. Instead of reaching out to touch her, I was pretending to ignore her. This is the society that we live in. There are no connections between people, only divisions and separations.
I got off the train and began walking. It was not as cold now. I was immensely pleased to see three very beautiful women on the street as I walked down to my destination. There was a beautiful brunette with glistening blue eyes and a lovely blonde as well. Sometimes I walk London for hours and never see an attractive face. I had already seen four very beautiful women today.
I got into the refugee centre just before nine. I printed off my materials and set out the tables and whiteboards. I talked to one of my work colleagues who had cut her hair very short over the holidays. Two students came today for the beginner’s class in English. There was a middle aged woman from Darfur in Sudan. She has scars cut across her face and wore a purple head dress. She has been coming to the classes for a long time now. Today she was telling me how happy she was about the class. When she was in her home country, the women were not allowed to go to school. There was also a young man who had just turned twenty from Spain. He has been in the country for six months. I taught the students how to construct and answer questions in English. At the end of the lesson, I got them to talk about a story from their childhood.
After the lesson, I put back all the tables and chairs and whiteboards. I filled in some forms and then locked up the building. I walked back down to the tube station listening to some more music. I was musing on the music. There was a song about freedom and its relationship to the tyranny of love. The male singer said that love was a cage made out of gold. The female singer said that the man should not wander the streets like a gypsy. He should accept her love. The man said that his freedom was dearer to him than his life. Terrible tyranny of love!
I wandered the shops looking for a lunch. My first choice was a packet of hot fish bites from Tesco’s. They had run out. The store assistant said that they would refresh the stock in about forty minutes. I walked down to Sainsbury’s instead. I bought some chicken tikka masala. I do not usually eat supermarket-made ready meals. I am suspicious of their ingredients. However, there wasn’t much else that was cheap and hot. And a man of Indian descent always prefers Indian food. I carried it back to university and ate with the other researchers. There was a woman from Sweden and a man from Italy. She has black hair and dark brown eyes. He also has black hair and brown eyes. He is also very tall and Italian. I remarked that we were eating in stereotypical fashion: I was eating an Indian dish, he was eating an Italian one.
The conversation moved to dating patterns in society. We began discussing the older men who marry Asian women from places like Thailand. There were different views on the relationships between these people. One position was that the women won out in the relationship. They gained every benefit such as freedom from poverty. The man had to go to another country and get a wife from there. After a while, his wife could just leave him. Another position was that the women were the losers in the relationship.
My own position was a lack of understanding. I couldn’t understand why someone would marry someone that they weren’t physically attracted to. The others explained to me that the rational course was to think of a relationship in terms of costs and benefits. If the relationship bought wealth and security, then that was why it was working in those cases. There was some speculation that women didn’t care about things such as physical beauty. However, I was thinking about what it must be like to be a woman in that relationship and subject to the caresses of an old man.
Afterwards, I read through another draft of my introduction. I prepared a lesson plan for next week as well. I printed off the materials. I sat and read through the headlines on the news. I then typed up this midday diary.
My plan for the rest of the day is to walk around London. I enjoy the walk. I also enjoy taking in the city and its people. I keep an eye out for beautiful women. The varieties of beauty are so great. I try to keep the faces in my mind like a photographic album. I enjoy walking around London in the night. The lights of the city are intoxicating. As always, I will be listening to the music on my smartphone. As always, I will be thinking about the song lyrics. As always, I will dream of adventures that will pounce upon me and lead me onto strange paths.