We recently caught one of our favourite women Mamta Sharma or lovingly known as Boho Baalika in the bylanes of Kolkata city and we asked her our signature questions. She answered with a quiet grace and honesty. We love her work and her aesthetics and her fierce honesty towards what she does and why she does it. A mother and a woman truly owning herself that’s what she is for us. Here’s the beautiful conversation about love, passion, motherhood and Frida Kahlo.
What makes you truly happy ?
I generally find greater happiness in simpler things. A home cooked hearty meal. (Great if cooked by my mom), a good undisturbed 8 hours sleep (which is tenuity for toddler mothers). Solo long drives with some good music on. Rains, books and chai. lethal sort of luxury if all befall together. Warm long showers at night. These are few out of many, I am a sucker for happiness.
What would be the absolute perfect day for you?
Days when I am able to wake up early witnessing the sun rise. (Great if followed by a good invigorating workout ending with a scrummy breakfast). A day when I won’t procrastinate on my to do’s and if it turns out exactly the way I planned at the end of the day, I call it a day. I think that’s all looks like perfection at this age.
What is traveling for you?
We are not trees. There is a reason we have a human birth. The purpose of human life is to live it, to taste it, to experience it to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for nothing and richer experience and that can only be possible when you dont plan to stay at one place and why would you ? when you can travel. it brings you close to ‘you’, when nothing is yours except the essential things like air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the mountains , the sky. all things leaning towards the eternal. where materialistic things set you free, you embark on as a traveller.
What is absolute freedom for you?
Freedom is being you without anyone’s validation, permission or standards. Freedom is being able to express yourself in any form despite fearing anything or anyone. Freedom is letting go of grudges we hold against people, complaints, not getting enough, freedom is in forgiveness. If we cling on to anger, anxiety or possessions, we cannot ever be free. Freedom is a state of mind and I believe I am free.
What are you too hard on yourself for?
Trying too hard. On relationships, Parenthood and life otherwise.
What was the best thing about how your parents raised you?
I am single parent raised kid. My mother played both the roles effortlessly, single handedly. She is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and yet flexibly bent. The best thing she could ever gift me with her upbringing is, being fearless and being independent. She taught me that I am a born survivor and i need not be dependent on others for my happiness or for anything whatsoever. I may not have followed or believed it completely but now as I grow, All her lessons fall as wisdom droplets from the buddha. I just know we have come alone and we are going alone and all our answers are deep residing inside us. the door wont open unless we knock.
What do you most look forward to about getting old?
What are the best mistakes you ever made? Mistakes that turned out real fun?
Chopping off my long tresses one night in depression and next day getting a nice trimmed shortish bob. I dont think I ever had the courage to go bold and short but this one mistake taught me to try things we are often afraid to try on. You never know you can end up looking and feeling younger.
If money was no object where would you live?
If money was no object, why would i live at one place at all? I will probably wander the world.
What do you seek out of your work?
A good sleep at the end. Peace at mind and gratitude in heart.
Tell us your Happiest childhood memory?
When I held my tiny little younger brother in my hands for the first time. He was born on Raksha Bandhan. I dont think i ever received a gift as best & joyous as this one.
What makes you angrier then it should?
Patriarchy, unsolicited advises and judgments of any kinds
What does being an artist mean to you?
Being an artist is being real. Being true and unapologetic-ally yourself. The passion should drip through your work. An artist conveys its emotions and thoughts thru creating. The creation shouldn’t necessarily be mapped as beautiful, art may not be always beautiful, words may not be attractive always. It is a dance. A transference. An intimacy. Its to be felt not understood. It is to touch and awaken another human in a place they hadnt known before.
Describe your fashion sense?
Anachronistic and almost parodically feminine. My style is my own, it has nothing to do with whats in fashion and statements. Its also my mood and an extension of it .It can be a fluid saree or a biker jacket with torn jeans. The joy of dressing is an art for me. And I am my favorite muse.
15) What do you feel about sustainability and mindful living ?
Sustainability concerns the environment. mindfully living concerns self. The amalgamation of both is trump.I am glad that the whole sustainable lifestyle movement is coming back to human life but one should also practice what they preach and most importantly understand that sustainability, weather in life or fashion ultimately doesn’t lie only in organically prepared or environment friendly clothing, it is also in repeating clothes. Preserving food. Creating less and creating good. zero waste lifestyle is sustainability too. for me its a simple equation that leads me to mindful living too. refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. these are the five magic words that help you focus on where you started and where you are going.
16) If you could go back in time to any point in history where would you go?
The bygone years always intrigue me. Maybe the 60s. The timid romance. The high buns. The good meaningful music. The simplicity. When humans were smarter than their phones. When there were no benefits we seeked from friends and had no friends for benefits. I often feel I am born in a wrong generation. I have a vintage soul.
17) If you could get a chance to drink with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
Frida. Frida Kahlo. It would just be unfair if i took some other name. I can relate to her pains and stenuous life. She was a representation of an unapologetic woman something i see myself as too. I don’t think I can ever get enough of this woman.
18) Any song that is closest to your life?
“Thoda hai thode ki zarurat hai, zindagi phir bhi bahut khoobsoorat hai “ and ‘Mera kuch samaan’
19) What is the best thing about being woman?
Being both soft and strong is a combination very few can master, I am glad I am born as her.
20) What is the most unusual fear you have?
My only fear is convention. I cannot stay between the lines.
21) A quote that you swear by?
“Yesterday i was clever, so i wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so i am changing myself”