Thukral & Tagra
Page 62, Swatuntar Kumar Sharma, 2011
95.5 x 66.5 cm
6,600 DKK framed (KLUB ARKEN price 5,500 DKK)
The lithographs by Thukral & Tagra are meant to look like pages in a passport with their characteristic rounded corners, pagination and watermarks. The lines of text running lengthwise and diagonally across the prints are written in Gurmukhi schript. Gurmukhi is the most common script used for writing Punjabi, one of the twenty-two official languages in India. The writing tells little personal tales of longing to go travelling abroad. The tale in this print follows in English below.
Story number 1. Swatuntar Kumar Sharma, age 62 (priest and small stone seller)It’s 7 p.m., I am sitting in the office of my friend’s son in Delhi waiting for his driver to take me to the airport. I have lived all my life in Jalandhar (Punjab) with the dream of going abroad. I was in Muscat in the eighties for a year working there as crane man. I came back to see my father’s illness. But couldn’t go back abroad. My parents got me married, and now I’m living with my wife and have two daughters and a son. He was born after so many prayers.
I apply for visa every year, but no luck till now. Last year, I applied a visa for Canada, I had high hopes and also informed all my relatives that I would succeed this time! But after six months, the embassy returned my blank passport with a red stamp on my page number 62. I’m 62 and I've never built my house, because I always thought I would build it abroad. I still have my fingers crossed and hope to go soon! My daughter Shilpa is coming today. She is coming from London after two years! Maybe I will go with Shilpa one day, and the four of us will be able to settle abroad. Okay, I will see you later, I don’t want to be late!