During my childhood it seemed a lot of people got married. Practically no Thursday evening was complete without following the heavily made-up women and freshly shaved men of our huge family to yet another wedding. As I grew up, my focus shifted from collecting the coins and sweets around the bride to imagining myself in her place. All the teenage girls would study the brides every move, so that it could be praised and copied or criticised and avoided. We all got older and it seems we all wore the white veil and walked through the shower of shiny coins and sugary sweets. All except Gohar. As she followed her employers for one wedding to another, serving tea and helping with the esphands and last minute food preparations, I wondered whats she thought about. Did she ever ask herself, “Why not me?”. Did she ever envy yet another bride walking towards a future she sensed would never be hers? If she did, she never talked about it. She followed us dutifully to each marriage celebration, always quick to help someone else’s big night go well. Years went by and Gohar died having never worn the white dress. So here, years later, I have made her a bride. The portrait, along with the dried rose of her bouquet, can now live on and perhaps people will in future believe that Gohar did also wear the veil and walk through the showers of coins and sweets to a different future.

Gohar 2009

Match boxes are misunderstood. They are thought old fashioned these days and have fallen into disuse. But they are very useful for storing small objects and can have a surprise element. You might open one and find inside only burnt matches, or a child’s tooth, or a bunch of hairpins. I also like the word MATCH. It has so many meanings. I want people to play around and have fun with my match boxes. I want them to match people up according to how they look, what they say, or both. Will it be a love match or a mismatch?

An odd match (2008)

Made in heaven I & II (2008)

“Is it love or mismatch?” (2007)

Love match I (2006), Love match II (2008)