Born in Baroda, India in 1966 and growing up in Ahmedabad, Ashesh had nothing to do with Art in young age. “Aurangzeb”, he used to call himself, moving right hand on his imaginary beard.
It was only when he read the books of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that he understood what place Arts hold in life. In 1987, he joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. With the practice of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, with the inner harmony growing, gradually various Arts began flourishing in him.
First came poetry, it just came - spontaneously, without much trying for it! With it came interest in various writing arts. And he wrote and wrote thousands of pages, poetry, songs, articles, essays, novel… whenever he found time. So, that was good.
Painting always held a fascination for him but, he was a known failure in this field. His hand was bad and whenever he tried learning painting, he was discouraged, at times by his recently chosen teachers! In 1994 he even spent many afternoons with a very good artist but, could learn nothing.
Over years, he tried learning watercolour paintings by himself and generously gave laughs and roars to many friends. However, in the year 2000 during major part of a night, he felt a concentration descending upon him and his hand kept making various strokes as if moved by a higher force. Next day morning, he made a small card that received, for the first time, some faint glimpse of an appreciation from his colleagues. Encouraged by this, he made several copies of the same! Gradually, adding a bird here and a flower there, he continued making more paintings and gifting to his friends and to everyone who appreciated them!
His cherished memory: Huta, a senior artist, chosen and trained by the Mother for making paintings on Savitri (Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem), who saw his miniatures on his table, enquired for him, met and conveyed her very warm appreciations to him. As was customary, he presented one freshly made miniature painting to her. After several months when Huta saw him again, she asked if he continues painting, saying that she very much liked his paintings and he must continue because they expressed something from the Mother. Then she gave him a compliment that he cherishes till the day. She told him that the bookmark he had gifted her, she had kept in her Savitri. Astonished he asked, ‘Really’? She added, ‘Of course, because it deserves to be there’! After one more year when they met, she reconfirmed its place! Appreciation from people he respects gives him deepest joy.
Ashesh continued painting while developing skills in various Arts. In 2007 he moved to Auroville. Lately, he has been discovering the use of acrylic – his studio in his balcony is in a splash of colours!
His paintings are displayed on: www.asheshjoshi.com