Vicky, as he's fondly known to all of us, is the fourteen-year old schoolboy whom we'd mentioned in our last editorial as being probably the first young lad to have just got his own first computer from amongst all the other young lads and lassies in every house visible across the entire upper Bhimtal valley from our own little cottage nearby, in the lower Himalayas of Uttaranchal, India. He's a shy boy (which is why we don't have his picture here) living in idyllic near-isolation on the hill slope alongside our cottage: five kilometer walk to school; no internet connection; no one to really interact with on using computers; no window to the wide world of freeware and shareware; no computer magazines with their free CDs; and nothing of so much else that we take so easily for granted as part of the 'general' progress of technology and tech-awareness in the city.
Not surprising, all Vicky really knew about computers until an uncle assembled and sent him the computer from Delhi was just a bit about programming languages like C++ and FoxPro, alongside a basic notion of how GUIs work ~ all of which he'd learnt mainly from archaic school textbooks. And his school is in turn probably one of those one-in-a-hundred or less who have any computer-classes at all, built around similar ratios of about 1:100 computers per students or less (i.e. with almost literally NO hands-on time). Needless to say, English is still a pretty exotic language too in these parts.
It may very well be that one of Vicky's earliest notions of the vast still-hidden creative empowerment that his computer has brought him came when he first browsed through a copy of The IDEA on it some months ago. For starters at least, it's prompted him to explore basic imaging, from which his first pictures are reproduced here. And this is what he has to say about them:
"Expressing oneself is also a great art and after I come up with thoughts, I feel that something is lacking, as I didn't express myself fully. Then too I try to express myself. Some may try to do this by pen, some by canvas and color, but now people are doing it with mouse & virtual color. When opting for this media myself, I do think it has come late to me, but then I also hope I'll improve and come up. A few months ago, I got the PC and now only with one software I'm trying to do this.
"I'd like to get PhotoShop, which I've heard so much about, and then make a new set of images which I think Barua uncle might put into IDEA #6. Nevertheless, till today I think only a small percent of my thoughts has found its place in digital world. I don't know why I love the sea very much even though I haven't seen it yet, but then also sometimes I start dreaming about it, and taking photographs of sunsets and all such things. So, to fulfill my desire I've started making images of the sea myself, but due to lack of experience I never could state fully what I think.
"If you are a nature lover then please try to find some mystery in my work which I assure you is very much there to my own mind and eyes. I don't know why people are going away from nature as I think only peace of nature can give joy to man, and in this respect I know that I'm blessed by god. The valley around settles every mite of dust in my mind and makes me happy, I hope this reflects in my paintings."
C/o D. D. Bhatt
PO Bhimtal, Nainital