Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Meal


This illustration wasn’t created to depict my hosts as a rhino and a bird, that would be far too simplistic an explanation. Instead, what I am trying to show in this picture is how much of a divergence into the strange my experiences in Montreal were for me, somewhat like stumbling into a forest full of unusual creatures and vegetation. Of course like most urban Indians who have traveled and are brought up on a diet of Western films, the settings of Montreal were familiar, however actually partaking in rituals within those settings made me sometimes feel like an aberration. I should have been outside watching this on screen.

Montrealers, at least all those kind and lovely people I met, went out of their way to introduce me to their culture. The question I was asked most often was: Do you like it? There was my friend B who looked at me anxiously while I partook my first artichoke, ‘do you like it?’, there was my loony Montreal flatmate who handed me Maple syrup poured into a spoon, ‘do you like it?’, there was The Mushroom Hunter who watched me cautiously try squeaking cheese and asked  ‘do you like it?’, my friend J gave me  green smoothie one morning and asked ‘do you like it?’, there was my kind proprio, benevolent as always, who handed me something, one of the many things she handed me while she asked ‘do you like it?’ Everyone showed me something, handed me something and always asked me anxiously, ‘do you like it?’ while I, new immigrant, utterly, totally overwhelmed and bewildered by it all, never knew what to say…

5 comments:

The Mushroom Hunter said...

The trick is to tell your friends RIGHT AWAY that you like/dislike the thing they are force-feeding you. DO NOT look at them while trying whatever they want you to try,and DO NOT give them time to ask THE QUESTION. Let me demonstrate. I will not wait for you to ask me if I like this picture : I do. Very much. The colours are amazing and, as usual, the eyes of your characters say it all. I confess I kind of see me as the rhino ('cause he looks real smooth) and my girlfriend as the bird (maybe because her beak is in the wine...).

Priya said...

Thank you Mushroom Hunter. I must remember your instructions next time the natives of a strange land force feed me with their hospitality.
Also while it does stretch my imagination to convert a Botticelli angel into a Rhino, if you think he looks smooth, then that's fine.

zoe said...

the illustration is really lovely, striking, i just had to come and comment--and your explanation along with the comments made my day :)
thank you :)

Priya Sebastian said...

I am glad you came over to leave a comment :)

Karine Swenson said...

Love the illustration and your story behind it!