“Sometimes there is a small chink in the Kashmir blackout and we get gleanings of the people,” writes Freny Manecksha. “I heard they were resisting despite the cage of razor sharp concertina wires, trying to cope amidst shortages of drugs, mass incarceration, excessive force deployed during protests and the presence of almost a million troops ready to kill or blind with pellet guns. I hear the women are standing up and not cowed down, and this, my salute, comes via Rollie Mukherjee’s powerful painting.
“In her own words, here are her thoughts for the painting shared in 2016: ‘Title — Drifting, size 43×29.5 inches, execution 2014… This work shows Kashmiri woman as witness to the gruesome reality that Kashmiri exist in, day-to-day rowing through the misery of death of their dear ones… The carpet conceals the human skeletons… There is an evocation of numbness in this painful stillness. Hence the title frozen. This also defetishises the imposed exotic colonial gaze…'”