first_imgHe has been the yoga guru of some of the best known Bollywood celebrities, including Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor-Khan. Bharat Thakur is also married to the famous actress Bhumika Chawla.Having come under the tutelage of his master, Yogi Sukhdev Brahmachari, at the age of four, Thakur believes in using his knowledge of yoga and other spiritual traditions, not just to discover one’s true self but to live life to the fullest.Moreover, Thakur has a doctorate in sports medicine and yoga, and set up Artistic Yoga, an evolved form of yoga almost two decades ago. But his interests move beyond yoga and health sciences, as the Himalayan guru is a brilliant cook and eco-gardener too. Now he has been bringing another of his interests – his paintings – to various cities around the world, including Dubai and London. And on Monday he will be showing some of his best works at the India Habitat Centre. However, he says it’s not an art form he’s taken up recently.”I lived in the mountains till I was seventeen studying Yoga and Tantra. In the hills we were exposed to the extreme elements – the wilderness, bitter cold, snow. It was later, when I was doing my masters, and subsequently PhD, at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education in Gwalior, that I got seriously interested in painting,” Thakur told Mail Today. “I used to work with water colours and charcoal then.”But for him the spread of yoga took precedence, even though he kept sketching and painting a little when he could take time out from his travels. He also loves to visit museums and lived and learnt with the street painters in Europe. So it was “only a matter of time when I would get back to it”. He says the reason why he paints is “clichéd but true” for him.advertisement “Do we ever ask why a flower blooms or a bird sings?” he countered. “A real artist would never be able to answer that question. I couldn’t keep art away even from my style of yoga – Artistic Yoga. So I guess an artist is just born to paint.” Even though his paintings consist mainly of abstract art and portraits, Thakur cites only legends as his influencers.”I am a lover of life. I like to explore and learn. I need to keep innovating myself. I believe an artist can delve into his own rich experience to create content that is rich too. I take influences from every aspect of my life, from the babas in the mountains to Bollywood celebrities – they are all part of my life. My insights into these souls, therefore, have to come into my work,” said Thakur. “At the same time I research a lot. So I just had to study the entire art movement. As influencers, I would put Paul Cezanne first, then Michealangelo. I admire the flair of Picasso and the colours of Monet. Then, there is Kandinsky, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, S. H. Raza, Raja Ravi Verma. But Paul Cezanne is my inspiration.”Abstract is his passion, he said, which keeps him evolving and offering more, because “it’s a language that I believe contains the codes of form, perception, illusion and reality”.Thakur said art and meditation have always been the air and water of life, as they have the same goal – to witness. As a result, some of his best-selling art pieces are portraits of sadhus, which will part of the Prayag – The Inner Journey exhibition next week.”The human being is one and the ancients have said ‘as is the universe, so is each unit’. The artist and the meditator live the same life, of observation. If you ask me how they are different, I may find it difficult to answer. Observation is the food for the artist while for the meditator it is his method. And having lived among them, I thought I could bring authenticity in the portrayal of the sadhus,” he explained.Thakur also takes inspiration from his beautiful wife and he tries to bring out “the inner life of an actor, her preparations to excel in her craft, yet keeping the essence”.But he refuses to talk about his attraction to his other muse, the legendary Frieda Kahlo.”They say the muse is shy as the work is still in progress. The fact that she was untrained but evolved a unique and powerful language to translate all the drama of her life into paint, into art, and the pain she went through is unimaginable to most human beings.”advertisementAlso read | Bartolome Esteban Murillo on Google doodle today. Who is he?Also read | 10 quotes by William Blake, the poet, painter and print-makerlast_img