|Don't Hurry, Don't Worry [multi-frame]|
|Rangpur, video still|
In Health, Wealth, Name and Fame [Rangpur] Gautam takes us through his journey to the remote
village of Rangpur in , where his grandfather was born. He traces his antecedents to a humble farm and tells us his grandfather made good by virtue of an education. The soundtrack is an amalgam of conversations recorded over 6 years, digitally pieced together, where his grandfather is dreaming of going back, recounting details of his childhood. In Health, Wealth, Name and Fame [Maheshwari Udyaan 1&2,] he unravels history that is buried in the past with his grandmother’s recollection of her father and his role in the Quit India movement and that he has two parks named after him. The fact that they left the very land that his maternal great-grandfather fought for, to migrate to U.K. - the land of the colonizer that was ostensibly being ousted, is rather ironical This becomes all the more powerful when we are informed of how proud he was, that he did not attend his daughters wedding because he was not allowed out of jail on his own recognizance and refused to go with a warden in tow. He went to jail nine times, was a staunch supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and educated his daughter who then spurned rich suitors “for a graduate girl must have a graduate husband” and both grandparents speak of this with pride. India
|Health, Wealth, Name and Fame [multi-frame]|
The recordings are candid but curiously censored, revealing nothing that could compromise the family, nor say much about Gautam or his parents, or who is the vocal, self proclaimed new-age Californian spiritualist etc. I felt as if I was invited to visit and then told to stand on the side-lines while he decides which frame I can see. So while he reveals aspects of the inner sanctum he is not entirely uninhibited about it; projecting selected memories.
|Stills from 'I'm Leaving' [ multi-frame]|
|Dal, Bhat, Roti. Shak [ 12 prints]|