The nature of my work also allowed me to spend endless hours drawing. My employer had a stroke that has paralysed him, so needs assistance throughout the day and night. But there are long hours when he is resting or sleeping when I have to be nearby looking out for him, but do not have any real work to do.
And that is the time I spend making portraits of loved ones, and of strangers I admire. Each portrait can take anywhere between 5 to 15 hours, and I lose myself in the work during that time. It is therapeutic, to just forget the world and disappear in my own creative space.
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When I eventually return to Nepal, I want to take up art professionally as a full time engagement, and am grateful for the years in Bahrain where I was given the space to hone my skills, and have a mentor who encouraged me to keep at it.
Taking care of the same person for years, especially when the family treats me like their own, has meant I have become rather fond of my employer. He is now 81. We tell each other stories of our vastly different backgrounds. He talks fondly of his childhood. He used to be a football player when he was young and loves to show me the scars in his knee from the time he hurt himself while playing.
But he is not always cheerful, especially when he has to come to terms with his current reality. For someone as accomplished as him who has lived a successful life with a loving family, an artist who has made phenomenal oil paintings but can no longer paint, an engineer who is stuck in his wheelchair, he is often despondent.
When he is especially down, he talks about how this is the end for him, how things will only get worse from here on, and that he is just waiting to die.
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