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  • Writer's picturePooja Bahri

The one that comes with all the questioning

We usually take comfort in reading about other people’s experiences, sometimes inspiring and sometimes scaring the shit out of you! Our lives as parents entails trying to give the best to our children. But when it comes to us, we have the same old “no time”, “no funds”, “how can I leave my home alone?”

I had the same inhibitions along with the most stressful- “I’m too old to go to Uni”.

But here I am since a month, living in a students’ accommodation, with students who are my kids’ age or even younger except some of my part time course mates who come in every Tuesdays and my course teachers!

My practice (and personal life) so far has been ad hoc- ‘fashioned from whatever is immediately available’. Working intuitively and not planning ahead. But definitely wanting to challenge the norms and shaking things up every once in a while.

Well from that attitude has come out one of my favourite works- BLOW HORN , a performance video where I dressed as a man and travelled in a truck questioning gender discrimination.

Have I achieved a lot as an artist? No.

Am I more experienced than my young classmates? Yes.

Do I need to “know” more? Hell Yes!

One tutor did not mince his words when he bluntly asked me ‘So why are you really here?’. It did baffle me - God knows how many times since coming here, did I doubt and ask myself the same question!!

Was it just for a degree.. What was it that I wanted to ‘learn’?

The answer came in that class itself..

I am here to unlearn.

Had to start on a fresh slate .. I had to wipe clean to absorb more!!

And the more I questioned myself the clearer the answers became.

What makes me unique? mature student, experiences, mistakes, hardships.

What do I want to achieve? To engage with my practice with questions. To include my own experiences and learn from the pool of knowledge here.

I’ve often said to my kids that the opportunities they have got, we didn’t even get an iota of it. The kind of education, we could only dream of.

Here I am. Giving myself the same education and chance.

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