December 2, 2008
Meet the correspondents: PUNE, INDIA > Milind Mulick
"In India if you see so many steps you can be sure either they are leading up towards a temple or leading down towards a pond.
A sacred tank surrounded by four hundred-year-old temples and modern skyscrapers. Nowhere are Mumbai's paradoxes more evident than at Banganga. Part of an ancient temple complex, the water in this tank is believed to come from the Holy Ganges. It sprung forth when Rama, the exiled hero of the epic Ramayana stopped at the spot five thousand years ago, in search of his kidnapped wife Sita. Overcome with fatigue and thirst, he asked his brother Laxman to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water gushed forth from the Ganga, over a thousand miles away. Although the story is the stuff of legend, the tank has always been sacred. On pious occasions, thousands turn up to take a ritual dip in its mossy waters, and offer flowers at the ancient Banganga Temples.
While I am sketching or painting outdoors, a sensation arises as if I am watching a movie or dreaming. I am fully involved with the scene, but somewhere inside, I am different. It is like being relaxed in my armchair. The beauty of the world becomes enhanced. This is a very pleasing sensation, euphoria and, I think it is one of the best gifts of being an artist."
• Milind's website.