Art Feature: Smoking Chilum

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A painting by Dhea Kothari’22.

Dhea Kothari, Contributing Writer

‘Smoking Chilum’

Mix media on paper 16” x 12” 

India has been on a strict lockdown since the 24th of March. Due to this situation the economy has suffered and the daily wage workers have suffered even more. 

This painting is inspired by workers like manual laborers, farmers, domestic helpers, waiters, tailors, vendors, and auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers. These daily wagers often get paid by the hour or on a day to say basis. A lot of middle class employees have also been let go off as companies haven’t been able to finance their monthly salaries. This has caused a lot of distress and panic among the masses. This painting depicts the wage workers who aren’t able to work during this quarantine period and all they can do is wait out this lockdown, drown their worries while smoking ‘chilum’ (hookah/sheesha) and hope that they are able to feed their families everyday till this lockdown ends.