A few years ago, when I acquired some old paintings that I knew nothing about but loved enough to acquire, I was directed to speak with Shri Jagdish Mittal from Hyderabad if I wished to understand these paintings.\nI was a \u2018noob\u2019 in the world of art and this was my first impulsive step into this world. And so I dug out the details of Jagdishji from the net, called him up and we established a rapport.\u00a0 He examined the paintings that I had acquired and affirmed that they were indeed collectible and of value to the world of historic art.\nMy first acquisition transacted totally on the basis of my eye\u00a0 \u2013 without any support from my knowledge \u2013 had been affirmed by a noted art historian and scholar. I was thrilled!\u00a0 Jagdishji and I had one or two discussions at that time and I resolved to visit him & his wife Kamla Mittal someday.\n\u201cSomeday\u201d came in the form of a work trip to Hyderabad in Jan 2014. And I scheduled an evening specially for a meeting with him.\nI arrived at their home at 6 pm and was delighted to find that he was very similar to other octogenarians that I revere \u2013 my very learned father-in-law \u2013 late Dr. Bhagirath Mishra and Shri Pukhrajbhai \u2013 a noted numismatic expert and now a dear family friend. The character of these gentlemen is very similar \u2013 austere, sharp, humble, and learned. And the immensity of their knowledge combined with their humility is humbling and makes them role models for me. They have lived through the freedom fight and are very conscious of the Swadeshi culture \u2013 and their dress and their homes reflect the Indian character.\u00a0 And so I met Jagdishji smartly attired in his kurta and lungi, sitting cross-legged with an upright back.\u00a0 A perfect Guruji visual.\n\nSurrounding him were hundreds of books, the knowledge of which was held within him. Most were on the subject of art. Very daunting for me \u2013 as I have not read even a single book on the subject.\nWe chatted, for 3 hours. We discussed his life and his collecting. He gave me tips on how to go about selecting art pieces and what I must do in order to gain expertise in the subject. He spoke about the commerce of art, market trends, and overpriced and underpriced segments. I showed him some of the paintings from my collection that I loved, and he liked them very much too. The fun part was that he was so interested in everything I was saying and showing! It felt like he was\u00a0 enjoying gathering some more data and more perspectives and a peep into someone else\u2019s world. He never seemed bored and led the conversation with questions to me \u2013 even though there is a vast difference between my aukaat (capability / stature) (no perfect equivalent exists for this word) and his \u2013 he is a giant and I am an ant. I guess that\u2019s how the learned become learned \u2013 by soaking in everything that everyone brings in.\nHis wonderful grandchildren support his effort and organise his materials for him. His late wife Shrimati Kamla Mittal was probably a great partner as she is always by his side in all their photos. And he was recently recognised by the Vishwa Bharathi University for his outstanding contribution to art.\n\nIt\u00a0 is my good fortune that I met him \u2013 it is my good fortune that I was able to live my dream/plan.\nUnfortunately, the years that came between the plan and the implementation, took away Mrs. Kamla Mittal. I wish I had come sooner. Life is fragile and it is so important to \u2018make\u2019 time for the things we cannot afford to regret later on.\njm\nJan 2014\nThe post An evening of learning with a Guru : Shri Jagdish Mittal appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.