And we move forward
by viewing our websites and reading our leaflets it is not possible to infer the price
that I have to pay for my lifelong project.
The projects that I have undertaken as my lifes work are very demanding on my
time, energy and financial resources. It is most important that I have to be totally
dedicated to my ideal and work to follow the path that I have chosen.
This factor of total dedication is not understood by ordinary people or by the
society in general.
So ordinary people and the society that are concerned only with the idea of their
profession and the interests of their families, can never understand the urge and the
feeling that prompts me to push on with my work.
For ordinary people, such urge to work without personal crude gains accepting
hardships and losses as daily routine is "eccentric" indeed.
Certainly this makes me a social misfit. The difference of opinion has broken up
friendships and relationships many times in my life but I never regard the steps I had to
take to continue in my journey.
I think that is absolutely difficult for a person fully dedicated to a cause that
would give no financial benefit to find a suitable life partner even.
Only those who accept me as I am, with all my plus and minus points can keep personal
relationship with me. So I have to be very selective in my personal circle of friends.
My dogs are great companions, loving and faithful and it is a joy taking care of them
when I am not affected by my uric acid problem.
Nature provides the best companionship ever. Wide and stretching with the mighty
mountain ranges, the Himalayas with all its glory and majesty, alive with flora and fauna
surrounds the Academy.
Green and blue woodlands roll down the hill flanks. I am lucky indeed to live in one
of the most beautiful areas of planet.
This area with magnificent scenic beauty and pollution free environment is ideal for
my mediation sessions.
I daily meditate and feel at one with nature. I have seen a lot of teacherous
behaviour and suffered losses at the hands of people I loved, yet the feeling of being at
one with Nature takes away the bitterness. Self-speculation is the best way to advance in
a spiritual way. Conscious attempts to rid the mind of harmful thoughts in a regular
manner create a peaceful mind.
Even when cleaning the dogs places I would often go on reciting naam. Being at
peace with oneself is the best way to find the real joy of life.
Each successful creative work, each write-up, brings a special satisfaction. An
artist who lives in his world of creative joy, may care little for crude joys of power and
money that are not priorities in his agenda of life.
We all create our worlds and my world is indeed a beautiful one for me.
Every month, lots of people attend my shows, enjoy my art works and books and view
our web sites, but personally I live like a hermit in my the studio at the Academy.
The studio at the Academy is the place where I stay, write my books create my art
works, make the visuals for the animations and meditate.
Arup helps me to do the house work and to maintain the canine centre when he is at
Bhamlada. The canine centre has sixteen inmates, dogs that are generally picked up from
the road and kept with loving care. Some of them have been born in the Ashram too. This
incurres a lot of physical labour as well as financial expenses. Moreover, keeping so many
animals that requires regular care means that we are generally restricted to the Ashram at
the Academy and when Arup has to go to Kolkata twice a year when I manage the canine
This implies cleaning, feeding, changing the water for the dogs and letting out the
dogs in the garden batch by batch several times a day.
From our experience we know that servants, even if highly paid do not take any real
interest in looking after the dogs and do the work in a shoddy manner.
So, we dont keep any servants. Arup and I do all the house work ourselves and
this implies household cleaning, cooking, washing and gardening. Some times we hire
gardeners to do garden work.
I am more than sixty two years old and often dont keep good health. I have
hernia problem. I had operation done but the problem has started on the other side of my
abdomen. I have uric acid problem that sometimes cripples me and my movements become
restricted during the bouts of hyper uricemia.
I suffer from fluctuating blood pressure, and have to keep my blood pressure medicine
handy, even when I go out of the Academy.
I live alone, as my attempts to setup a family life have been unsuccessful.
Financially speaking I have no savings at present except one Life Insurance policy of
one Lac under LIC of India under Jeevan Astha scheme. The academy has its own account,
that is kept for the future management.
My pay packet is nine thousand rupees plus one thousand for telephone and internet
M/s Orient Book Company maintains the websites and the canine welfare centre.
When I take any extra money as overdraft from company, I have to pay that sum back to
So, we work with a very tight budget managing our work schedule and home front.
Our concept of happiness loss and gain are different and we have a different way of
When we are able to give the best of our abilities we feel happy. So far we have
never been unsuccessful in any of our projects.
With each programme we advance a step further towards our goal. We are thankful to
people who understand our aims and help us willingly.
Our concept of success is not a personal one but a collective one and this success
means a better society, better oriented in creative aspects.
We dont believe in the success of money minded social and political
oppertunists. We emphasize on the maximum of benefit that we can give to ordinary common
Common people in the rural area are often deprived of the privileges enjoyed by the
rich in the cities. So our effort is to build a better life for the commoners.
Problems come, and problems go or remain, yet the work goes on. My world has nothing
gained in terms of family life or financial savings. I lead a very tough life in an
overloaded studio strewn with papers, books, art works and art materials.
To an ordinary person it would be like a "dust-bin". Yet in this
topsy-turvy studio cum study, some of the finest works of art and literature ever produced
in the history of man have been born.
This topsy turvy studio is the nerve centre of one of the greatest cultural movements
of India as you can see from our websites.
I do not care for praise or blame at the social level. I know perfectly well that if
I cared for praise or blame at the social level I would not be able to continue my work.
I dont keep any connection with my so called relations and I am quite aware
that they are not sympathitic with my work and they dont understand my life and
work. So keeping in touch with any of them is absolutely useless.
Yet, I am not a social recluse as my family created by my work expands beyond my area
and spreads out to different countries even. I send out hundreds of greeting cards to
people with whom I have some connections and receive many calls from them.
Most people in my locality love me and respect me greatly and I love them too. Local
people take active part in my shows.
I know that we will be successful in our mission, and that success will not be
measured by the pains and pleasures of any individual that bore the burden of work at the
My work, my relationship with the majority of the people of my area and my canine
friends make me feel happy.
Most of all I feel a great gratification each time when I complete a project
Our work has created a platform for social awareness in this rural area and this
factor has far reaching impact on the society at this area.
The entire area understands that we consolidating our activities in an effective
manner very fast and this gives me immense satisfaction.
I have an indomitable nature that helps me to march on inspite of great losses and
This makes me confident of making my life worthwhile through my work.
Nothing comes free in this life except mothers love and Gods love. I
willingly pay the price of for being able to continue in my chosen path.
This is a path that has given a far wider dimension to my existence than any narrow
social value could have imparted.
It is a path of Nishkama Karma Yoga in true form. A path for my spiritual liberation.
Prabal Pramanik ©
The main aspects of the cultural consciousness
project undertaken by
Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts.
India is very often neglected when the propagation and orientation of sophisticated
cultural activities other than local folk arts are concerned. Rural area often lacks the
infrastructure for this sort of activities and the network for media often do not reach
Opportunities for rural children who study in village schools are often very limited
indeed and central and state Academy officials show little or no interest in understanding
that cultural development is vital for progress.
Without proper cultural exposure emphasizing on creative development proper progress is
This factor is vital not only in cultural sphere but also in socioeconomic aspect.
The skill to create objects that can be marketed is important in countering the problem of
unemployment. So, this is a project with a long term significance. Just creative skill can
never be enough for economic development, as the system to market the produced articles in
a way that the artisans receive the benefit of their labour is vital. Otherwise the fruits
of economic development would not reach the grass roots level.
The people who become conscious of their own creative capabilities gain self esteem and
the confidence to accept life on their own terms.
A vital factor in life is the joy of enjoying refined culture. This vital factor shapes
the personality, sharpens the mind and helps spiritual advancement.
To enjoy refined culture, proper orientation is necessary and for proper orientation and
exposure to refined cultural activities in a regular manner is absolutely necessary.
Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts give the local population in this rural area the
opportunity to enjoy and participate in sophisticated cultural activities in a regular way
through various programmes organized by Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts.
Repeated programme create an impact on the entire local society. Even those who dont
take part in our programme or even dont attend them are absolutely aware that
cultural activities are going on in this area every month.
School children enjoy the workshops immensely and ask for more programmes. This is very
important as this shows that a hunger for refined culture is spreading in this area.
The extra curricular activities that we conduct for the school children are a great helps
for the village school children who have very little opportunity to attend such programmes
The creative art programmes and workshops that we organize in a regular manner are
educative for the school teachers too and they too often take active part in our
workshops. This helps the teachers to teach and guide the children in such creative
activities in future.
One aspect of life is basic. Refined creative art touches the hearts of most people
irrespective of age and gender.
This I have witnessed several times in real life. A beautiful picture, a soothing piece of
music, a thought provoking piece of literature enliven most people and create a positive
appeal. This factor helps me to plant seeds of cultural appreciation that would bear
fruits in future.
I give most importance to the young generation as they will shape future. The young
generation will grow up with better sense of creative art and most likely would want to
teach their children in future when the time comes to do so. Change is the law of Nature
and when the change is in a positive and more creative direction the society will be a
The change is not just a cultural factor. The entire value system is influenced by regular
creative activities at the grass roots level.
We have a better perception of life when we accept creative art as a necessary part of
This important and efficient way of creating a better world is often overlooked by many.
Yet I know that art is a very powerful tool to bring about social change in a fundamental
way. So, I take up project after project for social development and progress.
I understand that to create a better world with healthy culture I have to overcome many
I am experienced in navigating the boat of life in rough sea fraught with dangers. Again
and again I had to face problems caused by negative elements but such bad elements have
not been able to deter me.
Every project undertaken by us have been successful and have created positive impacts with
far reaching positive results.
So we confidently progress in a our way, with the blessings of Almighty to a better
Prabal Pramanik ©
How we manage our work at the
is an article of interest for those who speculate about our work after seeing our websites
and pamphlets. Those who may be interested in knowing how we function and move on with
multiple projects going on at the same time and produce positive and constructive results
of high quality may be interestest to read this.
So this article may answer many questions in the minds of many. Now I will state the
facts clearly and truthfully. When I talk about our team at the academy, I mean the people
who are actively working on the projects of the Academy on a regular basis.
There is a core committee and there is the Kolkata office. Furthermore we have an
active art club in Kolkata with members participating in our programmes. Some are regular
and active participants and others are occasional participants. There are area wise
convenors who assist us in the functions.
The core committee has to work the hardest. The core committee has to manage the
ongoing projects and plan the mode of working.
Since we work with a very limited manpower, the core comittee provides the main
manpower for the multiple activities for the projects.
The printing work is done at Kolkata according to the instructions from the head
office at Bhamlada. Every active worker has his say and the suggestions of each co-worker
is carefully evaluated.
The core committee and the Kolkata office group all work in M/s Orient Book Company
in their professional capacity.
All the work done for Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts is voluntary. For this
labour of love we dont take remunerations and our Academy is a nonprofit
Our Academy does not accept any financial grant or donation from any source, and this
is a firm policy. The money received from the sale of books and prints by M/s Orient Book
Company financially supports the Academy and the projects run by the Academy.
We have learnt to manage a lot with a little amount of money as we have to understand
the limitations of our small budget. Talent, dedication and coordination are the three
pillars of our organization.
We recognize the talent of every co-worker and allocate the jobs according to the
talent and ability of the person concerned. Dedication is a must for every one in this
organization, or else that person finds it impossible to work with this team.
Coordination is the base of the team work. In a coordinated team each person has to
know his place and his authority as well as his limitations.
These three aspects of the team work in our organization we accept very seriously and
I provide the basic material such as art works, articles and most of the other
literary stuff. Mr. Arup Chandra provides the technical know-how, internet expertise and
photography, movie and still both. Mr. Arup Chandra manages the internet work too.
Here in Bhamlada in addition to regular activities of the Academy we have to look
after the canine welfare centre that requires daily attention.
This is a very demanding work in involves a lot of hard physical labour that have to
be reudered with love. We have no servant.
Our publication work is coordinated by M/s Orient Book Company, we often setup and
design the book here at our multimedia studio at Bhamlada and send the matter by internet
to Kolkata office to be printed.
The business in Kolkata is fully computerized and every working day sale reports and
other business reports are sent by the internet to Bhamlada.
We lead simple lives, so we manage in our modest pay packages. Work is important yet
the attitude for work is more important. Our Academy work is done without the thought of
Our projects are carefully planned, so that they are low budget programmes. We do all
the hard work physically ourselves ensuring quality in low budget. We go about ourselvs on
a scooty pasting posters, distributing leaflets and invitation cards. Since we render free
service for the society and never charge for our workshops, many eminent artists and
musicians work in our programmes without charging money.
Many people understand our contributions to the society and cooperate with us in a
nonprofit manner. We never overshoot our budget and limit our work to our own
infastructure. We have an exhibition hall that doubles up as mini auditorium at Prabal
Pramaniks Academy of Arts at Bhamlada.
Our movie productions are in house productions and the Academy has the basic
equipment for movie making. We maintain a neutral image and shun the company of
politicians and arrogant officials.
Our work is with the common people at the grassroots level and we prefer to organize
our programmes at the common persons level, for the benefit of the common person. In
my opinion, only when culture positively influences the common people, the cultural
activity is a successful one on a wider scale.
Compassion and love for the common people are necessary when conducting cultural
activities at a rural area in India. Sharing the joy of artistic appreciation without the
thought of financial gain is necessary when one wants to build a better society with
When we hold shows outside our Academy, we seek out really cheap or free venues.
Often we use temple premises and hold functions at schools and colleges. So we save the
money for rental charges for the venues.
I often hold puppet shows. I am the puppeteer, puppet maker and the narrator of the
puppet shows. When organizing film festival, our venue is free. We use our own projection
system, and have our sets of chairs in the gallery that acts as the auditorium.
Several Institutions in Eastern India cooperated in an understanding manner. In all
our Cultural Festivals our "coordination management system" works in a smooth
manner. Since our work is not primarily money based but based on mutual cooperation, our
mechanism works in such a manner that many villagers come to help in voluntary manner in
organizing the shows.
This free and voluntary cooperation is a benefit that is not enjoyed by professional
event organizers who organize events for huge sums of money.
I keep my scissors and paper ready and I am ever willing to give free lecture
demonstrations to people who love art. People from different parts of India and even from
abroad come regularly to our gallery just for the love of art.
We never evaluate art in terms of money. We evaluate art in terms of its artistic
excellence as we evaluate our programmes by the amount of joy the programmes give to the
It is to be noted that even in this remote village, many villagers have purchased
quite intellectual books from us. People from Kolkata come at times and cooperate with us
to hold the shows.
This cooperation is very valuable as this joins this little village in the Himalayan
foot hills to the mega metropolis. We never try to manipulate anyone and avoid all
cultural hypocrisy and dirty politics.
We manage to work within our budget limitations creating our own standard and we
dont care to live up to a standard dictated by others.
Since we spend the money that we earn ourselves we are very careful about the
spending and the wastage that is common in government organized programmes and corporate
organized programmes is absent from our work.
We limit the number of people we involve in our programmes to the amount that we can
manage budget wise and space wise without compromising with the quality.
We keep full and detailed account of our work as we would not be able to keep within
the budget without proper accounts.
Programme by programme we make the budget and keep our accounts. For example a free
workshop for fifty students at out locality would involve the cost of fluorescent sheets,
the petrol cost for coming and going and some invitation cards and posters that we may
print using our computer and printer at the Academy. We keep the sets of scissors for
repeated use by the students.
The total expense for such a programme will be about three to four hundred Indian
rupees, yet at least fifty children will be benefitted and would learn a sophisticated art
form. The venue is a free of cost place.
For the puppet shows we just carry the portable screen and the puppets. We provide
the sound syncronization on a small amplifier or villagers who attend the shows provide
We keep careful records of our work that people can view from our websites. Maximum
benefit to maximum people with minimum cost is our motto.
Modern technology has cutdown the costs immensely. For digital cameras the recurring
and ever increasing cost of films and developing is gone.
Editing and D.V.D. writing is done conveniently at our own lab by us and by doing our
own work on our own equipment we save a lot of money too. Fast and cheap e-communication
and the internet portral for our movies world wide make distribution extremely cost
efficient. Our feedback collection and follow-up mechanism is very strong indeed.
We are masters of design ourselves and any one can see that from our websites and
publications. So we dont have to pay for the desiging and layout work.
Since I do the artwork necessary in our work and I am the resource person in our art
workshops, we dont have to pay anything for the artist too.
Being masters of our own subjects we dont depend on others and do a much better
job than other people. Finally, the love and dedication that we give for our labour of
love can never be accounted for in terms of money.
I just need a few sheets of paper and I can turn out complete sets of visuals for
animations myself. Arup will do the stop frame cinematography. We will synchronize sound,
and a complete animations is born.
One can check from the internet that amongst paper cutting animations our animations
are very popular. Just two of us will make informative and artistic documentaries and we
always add our own special touches that make our productions extraordinary. I write the
scripts and lyrics and will even narrate or provide voice if necessary.
Voices I provide myself range from the roar of a dragon to chanting of Sanskrit
Sloakas. Music mixing is done in house by Arup and we just take everything as a game that
we play with a lot of childlike joy bubbling with creativity. Books on art, literature,
poetry and on serious articles on current affairs and social problems I write myself and
Arup does the typesetting on his computer at home.
We design from the cover to the tailpiece ourselves and dont pay anyone else
for that job. Only for Hindi typing we have to rely on others.
I paint, draw and make paper cutting art pieces regularly adding to the art
collection of the Academy. We are not deterred by blows that life deals out often in
unexpected way. We push on with full faith in Almighty and work to our full capacity.
I addition to all this I have to cook, clean my utensils and wash. Arup and I both
look after the canine welfare centre at Bhamlada.
When guests come, Arup accommodates them in his own house and his wife Dipali
graciously looks after them. I pay for the cost of extra food.
I believe that we are doing all this by the will of Almighty. So he will guide and
protect us now and in future.
: The general dictum of success neither bothers us nor do we accept the
materialistic way of defining success.
Since we work in an area where there is very little ready infrastructure and
orientation for refined culture, we had to create our own infrastructure and teach many
local people cultural appreciation concerning refined cultural presentation.
Often just a few people may turn up as guests at a function for which we may have put
in a huge amount of effort.
We think that this is natural in north India as the hunger for refined culture in
sincere manner is not easy to find in this area. Especially when a programme is organized
without the thought of financial benefits or social benefits in the crude sense of social
milage, many people attach little or no importance to such activity. Yet, we are not
deterred as we know the quality factor is far more important than the quantity factor.
A crowd of insensitive people who are not really interested never make any function
successful anywhere. Those who appreciate our work in this area attend our functions.
Though we work with a very slim budget we work successfully as we keep within our
limits. The factors that generally others can never match with us even if they have a
great amount of financial resources, are our talent and dedication.
With an unlimited imagination and the ability to get the most out of life, we work
with an unflinching determination.
These qualities can never be evaluated in terms money. We make mistakes and often
have to make repeated efforts to get a job done, but we never give up.
M/s Orient Book Company by taking care of the publications work and by bearing the
expense for the canine welfare centre helps in a vital manner.
One thing is certain. It is the blessings of almighty that allows us to work.
I feel that a divine hand guides us in our projects to reach a predestined goal.
Prabal Pramanik ©
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