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People

Devlina Padhye

“When we first met and drew our first morning, I remember adding the grey of a mist, it was the riddle I sensed. But you drew a rainbow, it was a laughter of the day. Then I added a dark brew, for I knew you have layers. You sketched waves and unraveled with a smile. Further I probed with a burst of acrylic on canvas yet you insisted on watercolour, stressing that you are but a bubbling rivulet. But when I held you close while dancing on a Jazz vinyl, I knew I was holding a storm that has been tamed, an ocean contained, the art of centuries deciphered, a mind that had me for its own, for now.” – Day 18 / Once Upon a Time

I have known Devlina Padhye since a little over four years. She has always represented a graceful restraint, and a measure of self assurance. We have met rarely, across Mumbai and London, it’s more of a half yearly or an annual ritual. Yet we tend to pick up from where we left it last. Oodles of mutual admiration and fondness keeps the best relationships going. From her expert understanding of scientific nuances in brand communication to her recently shored up passion in Mandarin, she has never ceased to amaze me with her ability to hold a thread and follow it through.

Devlina is a reminder of an eternal change that blows through our lives like the south west wind, yet with an anchor that keeps some part of us the same. Through words I probe her crustacean layers, delving within, as she nudges the prancing centaur to sit still and listen. A conversation with her is a gentle exercise in introspection, on taking a pause and observing what we have been through as humans, how a year seems like two.

She is a new woman every time I meet her.

Yet, the same beetle-black eyes, the same gusto for what’s next, the same warmth in every word. And I behold her in awe.

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