I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red. I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence, there were blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city. And my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety, and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

And that is how Edvard Munch describes what he felt while drawing the infamous painting, The Scream (1893). He saw the sky turn blood red, and he felt anxious. If you can see the artwork, the first thing that comes to your mind is ‘anxious’. The art flaunts out, speaks out anxiety; everything about that piece of art communicates some fear.

Edvard Munch describes this about Oslo, in Norway. There was a lunatic asylum near that location which admitted his sister for her disorder. Many interpretations tell that it was this asylum that he referred when he said: “scream passing through nature”. He describes how he felt anxious when he was looking at the blood-red sky. Many thought the blood-red sky was just a metaphor.

Historians explain that a nearby volcanic eruption causes a dramatic red sky in Oslo for a few days. The red sky he saw might be in one of those days. And it is only natural to feel anxious after looking at something unnatural. But if you look closely at the figure that is in the painting. It is screaming, now that figure is metaphorical. It is in-human and looks something close to what we call a ghost.

This figure might represent nature in a personal form. The personification of his feelings when he passed that area made this painting necessary. It is a crucial artwork in history because it is prominent for the movement: ‘impressionism’. People consider Edvard Munch as an expressionist artist, but this specific work is impressionistic. 

Impressionism was an art movement in the 19th century. The impressionist artists chose to draw or make a piece of art not by merely depicting something as it is. They would instead create an impression that had been in their minds while looking at the specific inspiration. You can see how it fits the profile of The Scream!

Many historians also claim that it was not just a lunatic asylum that felt like a scream of nature, but there was also a slaughterhouse nearby.

Later in life, Edvard Munch stopped consuming meat and felt it was cannibalism. He, however, continued to eat fish, but he was outspoken about turning vegetarian. ‘Vegetarian cult’ he called it. Historians related his thoughts on vegetarianism from his early ‘Scream’ days and said the ‘scream of nature’ might also refer to the screams of animals from the slaughterhouse. 

It does make sense to think of it as the screams of animals because, in his later life, Munch describes eating animals is cannibalism and they are our cousins, brothers, sisters and aunts. He is against the idea of eating closer relatives such as animals, and he supports eating our distant relatives who share different anatomy to us, the plants!

Both interpretations have something in common, the scream—screams of lunatic patients and animals from butchery. Both are innocent; they have committed no crime to suffer such punishment. It is humans that mistreat people with disorders and animals for food. The setting seemed odd, slaughterhouse one side and the lunatic asylum on the other, and the blood-red sky. It was a scream of nature; man, animal, sky, plant and everything around screamed at that moment in his mind.

If he drew this as ordinary landscape painting depicting it as it is with regular people on the bridge, asylum and slaughterhouse on either side, would it have created such an impact? Would you feel anxious when you look at it? Would you understand the scream of nature? You would need some description to figure out the motive behind the painting if it was an ordinary landscape.

It is because of the impressionistic choice he made to personify the scream, to draw the sky wavy in a surreal way, and that makes us feel anxious to look at it. It is as if it was his anxiety that he put into the work, and it transmits to everyone who looks at it. Such is the beauty of Impressionist and Expressionist arts. It is not merely capturing the movement as it is, but it is capturing the feelings that come with the moment and scenery that makes a painting and artistic painting!

Firstly I love eating and watching cooking videos which made me watch a series called “just add magic” only because they add some magic ingredients to make magic with food. I know it sounds stupid sometimes, but once you are completely into it you will love it!

**Remainder: Playing in the kitchen doesn’t include a volleyball nor a bat and ball.

And I meant to play with some ingredients to come with some delightful dish; only if you haven’t added much salt/sugar/spices!! And you don’t need to be a chef to make it yummy. It just takes a few minutes to get recipes from mom or grandma and probably from youtube as well!!

Well, I played in the kitchen, not for some time but for a long time especially during the lockdown period and only then I got to know that it helps to reduce stress, give much more energy even before eating it.

But before you start cooking, you got to make sure of somethings:

Set up your kitchen:

Make sure that you got all the right tools to make your food because you can’t make puri over dosa pan.

Self-criticism:

Well, the foremost thing to do is skip the self-criticism. Mistakes in the kitchen are compelled to happen but never fail to learn from it as well. Maybe you tried to bake a cake, and it was burned or overcooked, or may not be it hasn’t turned out as the ones shown in the video, or maybe you got a little heavy-handed with the baking soda because you thought you didn’t need to measure out one teaspoon. Then your food was a little bit overcooked. It happens to everyone! Remember, you’re not expected to make complicated meals a week after you start cooking or maybe never. So stop criticising and try making yummy cakes day after the other day, but don’t stop making cakes!

Know the basics:

Knowing some basic cooking methods will make your life significantly easier. If you know how to make the perfect rice, saute vegetables, then you’ve got multiple meals you can make! And moms make the recipes in a way better if you are making them. Try not to miss their suggestions.

Pick your favorites:

When I wanted to cook something delicious, I always make sure that I’m in love with it. Even the food I make mostly has cakes, pasta, dosa and some spicy foods that make me say ummm…..yummmyyyy!!! So make sure you have your favourite dish on the list. But never make them every single week.

Don’t fail to do an Experiment :

Found a new recipe? Never fail to try it. New vegetables or different cooking methods. Change your cooking methods like steam, saute, bake, roast etc. Alter sides and flavourings; try different spices, try with a new vegetable. But be sure that you have something other than this dish as we all know that some firsts don’t taste as good as they look. Never fail to keep an open mind.

I know that cooking is not something that everyone enjoys, but once you start cooking, you will feel like making more and more. The magic in cooking is that it just makes you feel so pleasant even if there is so much sweat on your face and all the stress we had fly’s away like dust particles with the wind.

Not so convinced right? Check out how.

Sometimes, breaking through your stress is as simple as reasserting your dominance at the top of the food chain. Confused? It’s just like chopping vegetables, and butchering hens can take the edge off of the most stressful times. Had the worst fight with your boss? Imagine that onion is his face and chop it into how many pieces you want to.

Conclusion:

Next time when you had a terrible day at the office, pick up a solid knife and fresh veggies and chop them as finely as needed. Cooking is a hobby that eases you, and that has the bonus of being nourishing, too. Skip the social media, gossiping, and so many blahs for relaxing. And get eased with the old-fashioned way: in front of the stove.

Vincent Van Gogh grew curious towards butterflies and moths between 1889 and 1890. He liked the metaphorical representation of human transformation through the Metamorphosis of insects, and especially Moths and Butterflies. When he was drawing such transforming creatures, he found this beautiful Moth. He described this moth as ‘Death’s Head Moth’ to his brother in his letter. Also in this letter, Van Gogh said he wouldn’t like to draw it because to draw it, he has to kill such a beautiful creature. It did take him a lot of thinking, but in the end he drew this Great Peacock Moth and added to the collection of his Butterfly Series. The thing that made Van Gogh curious was the shape this Moth carried on its back. It looks like a human skull. And the colors of it; dark greens and grays; it looked like death to Van Gogh.

The reason behind his interest in butterflies, as we stated earlier was his metaphorical interpretation towards human transformation. Van Gogh believed that humans have the capacity to transform; not physically, but mentally. He wanted to symbolize this characteristic of transformation by pressing on to the concept of Butterfly and Moth metamorphosis. He used his butterfly series to symbolize hope and transformation in humans. He wondered about the possibilities present in the universe when he started drawing butterflies. He used to think about the prostitutes in brothels that he used to meet when he thinks of metamorphosis. He talked about hope referring to prostitutes and butterflies. “Like the caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly, imagining the various possibilities in the world, what may these prostitutes become in the future?” he wrote in a letter to his friend.

The Metamorphosis

Crawling on the green leaves,
I saw the kids joyously jumping and playing with the butterflies.
Looking at all the colorful cousins of mine, 
I decided to be the one with most of the colors on me.

Every time I chew on the leaf,
My only thought is to progress.
To progress enough,
For me to fly high, with the wings of my own.

Crawling inch by inch and eating all the leaf,
I shed my skin in the hope of gaining new.
Each time I shed my skin,
I think the time has come.

But each time a new skin comes,
The more disappointed I become.
The pressure on me is un-imaginable.
The stress to be the best.

Have no thoughts of becoming something else,
Have no plans of what to do next either.
But my goal was just to thrive.
To flap my wings and make people smile.

Saw my friends shedding their final skin.
Saw them build a nest,
Saw them break it out,
And saw them fly away.

Each day passes,
I become more sad.
Is this my final form?
Can I not transform?

But thinking about it made me hate,
Hate the thought of not transforming.
Swallowing the grudge that I carry,
I started despising the colorful winged creatures.

Began to wonder my unique nature,
Began to observe my difference.
By now there is no confusion,
It is evident that I am different from those who crawled with me.

Somewhere inside,
Even when I don’t want to accept,
I know that I am not one of them,
That I can never be a butterfly.

Days have passed,
And the pressure increased too.
Shed my final skin,
Built my own shell.

Curious were the kids,
To see what color that I would turn.
But I don’t wonder anymore,
That I already know that I’m different.

Days passed and changes began.
I don’t like myself anymore.
The darkness sucked me in,
Into a big void.
And soon it became me, the void.

I tore the shell and came out.
Shocked were the kids but I don’t care.
I heard a cry instead of a laugh.
My reflections didn’t look colorful.

But I knew it long back,
That I will turn up gray.
I don't want to cry,
Because not my mistake.

Being a butterfly,
Would be a mistake.
For I was never one with those color winged things,
I have always been the Great Gray Moth!

Mistake was mine,
To dream of being them.
But no matter what you think I’m,
This is my Metamorphosis.

This is my tribute to the thought of Metamorphosis of Van Gogh. For him it was hope, and for me it is change. Change that you have when you finally knew yourself; the true yourself!

Skip to toolbar