Pallavi Rao

Pallavi Rao
10×12 inches,
Acrylics on Canvas

I usually roll with the punches. But sometimes life and all its uncertainties hit you like a ton of bricks. I never knew Pallavi personally. We were friends on Facebook because we have a very dear friend (Riya)in common. Pallavi loved my work and had a kettle of mine that I had sent to her. I followed along as life and all its trials unfolded for her. As one does on Fb, quietly from a distance, always marvelling at this extraordinary woman. But I was busy with life and well…
Then came news that she passed away of Myasthenia Gravis last year. And the outpouring of grief from all those that knew her was overwhelming. I went and looked up all she had accomplished in her short life. Trust me – I can’t fit it all in here and would not even want to try. Just Google ‘C. Pallavi Rao. Radio Mirchi’

This painting is a commission from our common friend Riya as a gift for Pallavi’s mother… Riya tells me that the journey of my painting this portrait and the many video calls and back and forth on details about her has been cathartic for Riya. The painting is based on a photograph from long ago – before Pallavi was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and all the medicines took a toll on her body.
I understand both aunty and Pallavi’s brother loved the portrait. As aunty says –“Among all the countless photos of hers this had been in the opinion of my son and me the best of the whole lot especially because of the expression of hers. In that expression, my imagination finds a faraway look that is viewing philosophically the great beyond…
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The cover picture to this post is of Pallavi and her husband Rahul Narvekar in happier times.

The next two images are the source images I worked from. The one on the right is coloured corrected for her eyes to appear darker as I was going for a truer to life representation and not the sepia tined one in the reference image.

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