Say your piece with AD Podcast II: Sawab Mukhtar

We are proud to bring you episode II of ‘Say your piece with AD’. AD engaged Sangamer Sawab about her muses and her journey as an artist. What we hear is a  love affair with her motherland Kashmir.  Sawab speaks of how pain, suffering and, loss were turned into artistic expression. Her valiant effort which speaks of Kashmir from the perspective of a Kashmiri is powerful! So take a deep breath and dive right in!

We would like to apologize in advance for the audio quality. Sawab was speaking to us from flood effected parts of Maharashtra. Climatic conditions caused some network issues.

Secondly, we respect Sawab’s opinions and truly sympathize with the plight of many in Kashmir, Jammu, and Ladakh, but we hold no political opinions or affiliations. Sawab’s opinions are her own and deserve a platform but don’t represent RTS in any manner.

Find Sawab’s art at:



There’s a pretty woman, with a summer hat and a dazed look on her face. People who look at her would see that she is surrounded by what they can see, but she sees so much more. Birds and dolphins dancing around her, colors floating around, her imagination paints a pretty picture over the mundanity of her life. And through said mundanity, she wears a small smile on her face because she is a daydreamer.

By the Water

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”51″ gal_title=”By the Water”]
Water is one of the essential requirements to sustain life and to survive. But it also helps us live, embrace life and see the beauty in it. Here are a few paintings I have made, with water as a central theme and tranquility in mind.

Rendezvous II

Remember yesterday?

…when I forgot to meet you –

I didn’t forget!
I just waited behind the gulmohar tree
To see how long you would wait for me!

You don’t know how much it pleased me
To see you count the clouds
To wind the hour forward.

In the end – I just stood there;
My feet aghast; my chest frozen in a dull aching fire
As I watched you drag your shadow behind your drooping body.

It had all been just a little harmless game –

For I had often stood where you stood last dusk.
I have memories of waiting tattooed on my feet –
The hours I spent
Counting all the leaflets of a fallen gulmohar fern
Were as fresh as my ears burn from guilt today.

It wasn’t revenge –
Or payback.
It had started as a simple curiosity
To see if I mattered to someone –
To see if I was more than a mere question
…soon to be forgotten
Under the sediments of fresher questions.

I wanted to be more than a forgotten inquiry;

I wanted to be the henna curling around your arms –
A jali of brown roses that wafted of my perfume
Each time you looked at your watch.
I wanted to be those broken-translucent snakes
Swimming in the corner of your eyes
Every time you looked at the sun.

Picture by Rohit Tandon (Unsplash)

An Evening with my Father

Two silhouettes are seen exiting an old monument, a father who has brought his son out for a day of sight-seeing. Few words are spoken, for the man does not say much and the boy is overcome by awe. And yet, despite the lack of conversation, the boy will always cherish this memory. He will always remember this evening that he spent with his father.

A moment in Time

Note: The nature of this piece mirrors that of a writing experiment paired with a visual artwork of my choosing.

Trigger warning: A vivid description of an intrusive thought that may be triggering to individuals overcoming or dealing with any and all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

A fire ant is crawling down the back of my left thigh. I run my index finger across the landscape of what a back-of-a-thigh entails and I cannot seem to find him.

My green and purple striped bed sheets are six days out of a fresh laundry wash, tainted by the smell of a mild vanilla comforter liquid. The fragrance is leaving its confinement infrequently and quietly. It refuses to be contained.

The first person to abandon ship — the ship being my body, bone, flesh, blood, soul, all of it — was me. I am still trying to find my way back home.

The artificial orchids on the coffee table are catching dust. The remote control for a wide television set rests beside it in silent companionship. I would like to think they are friends, in the way that inanimate objects can be well acquainted with each other after years of coexisting above a shared panel of wood.

The cable bill for August reads like a mockery to the numbers that dance across it — must pay immediately.

My gracious mother of twenty three years is seated on the floor, reaching for her cellular device which will aid in forging a chicken curry recipe. She follows her quest by resting her head against the curved frame of the sofa.

It rained forty three minutes ago. The curtains shiver coldly on the onslaught of a slow evening draft.

My intrusive thought for the day:

• Imagine a fruit peeler, the kind with a worn handle from years of constant use — or don’t.

• Take the instrument to your ankle of choice and press down on skin until the air tastes of blood.

• Now, gently peel upward as you would with a plastic razor caging shiny metal blades.

• The peeled skin curls into itself — bashfully, almost.

• Rinse and repeat.

Today, I drew the portrait of a famous British musician. I scarfed down three packets of Chinese angel-hair taffy.

I did not envision an emptiness that is draining — like a vacuum in the middle of the Arabian Sea.

The pedestal fan squeaks hesitantly, as though it is fearful of life.

I drink hot water from a stainless steel cup.

I find my bearings.

I am alive.


I find Chess to near-perfectly illustrate life. There are those that hold unparalleled power, while others serve merely to provide a line of defense or as collateral damage and some can jump over their obstacles while others can only move straight ahead. Yet, regardless of how strong you are, if you put your mind to it, it can be your victory, your checkmate.


Waves crash onto the shore, erasing the footprints of those who had walked before. It is a peaceful sight to observe, the sound of the ocean calming. The colours are vibrant as the blue water births pure white foam against the golden sand.

खुद को भी तो वक्त दो

खुद को भी थोड़ा वक्त दो :- आज की तेज़ रफ़्तार ज़िंदगी में इंसान इतना व्यस्त हो गया है कि वह अपने घर -परिवार, स्वास्थ्य और स्वयं के लिए भी समय नहीं निकाल पाता है और पैसे की होड़ में जीवन की सच्ची खुशियों को भूलता जा रहा है । हम सभी को अपने लिए कुछ समय ज़रूर निकालना चाहिए क्योंकि  जान है तो जहान है !

करो परिश्रम चाहे कितनी

घर परिवार चलाने को,

खुद को भी थोड़ा वक्त दो

सेहत तंदुरुस्त बनाने को ।

करो कोशिशें चाहे कितनी

व्यापार समृद्ध बनाने को

खुद को भी थोड़ा वक्त देना

स्वास्थ्य अपना बचाने को।

पढ़ो जाग दिन-रात  चाहे जितना

परीक्षा में अव्वल पोज़ीशन लाने को

थोडा वक्त ज़रूर निकालना

दिमाग को तरो-ताज़ा बनाने को

करो विदेशी यात्राएँ चाहे कितनी

टारगेट पूरा करने को

थोड़ा वक्त खुद को भी दो

सेहत अपनी बचाने को।

कंप्यूटर के आगे बैठो चाहे कितना

प्रोजेक्ट रिपोर्टस बनाने को

थोड़ा वक्त खुद को भी दो

जवानी अपनी बचाने को।

पीज़ा,नूडल्स , बर्गर ,पैप्सी मंगाओ

पार्टी- जश्न मनाने  को

थोडा वक्त सेहत को भी देना, बीमारियों से खुद को बचाने को ।

Picture by Aron Visuals (Unsplash)