India gave a spiritual birth to me
The first door was Indian culture which is so spiritual

When I was a young girl, I loved the sound of Ravi Shankar’s sitar ; in the 80’s, I discovered Najma Akhtar, an English artist, on Radio Nova. It was entering a new world. Her voice, the way of singing, the sarangui sound, the tabla sound and rhythms, the harmonies and the melody touched my soul deeply. The door was open, then I dived into Indian music, listening to many artists and styles, the punjabi one, the qawwal singers, the classical indian ones : Kishore Amonkhar, Udit Narayan, Pandit Jasraj who is my favorite, the Tagore songs and the Bollywood singers (Talat Mahmood, …) and composers (Sneha Khanwalkar who is very talented), the hindu temple music (Udit Narayan who also sings for Bollywood movies) and the sikh one (Bhai Harinder Singh Ji) and the tamul tradition.

A book changed my life when I was 20. I bought a book about Indian Gods and Myths by Alain Danielou, a french man who studied music and philosophy in Varanasi in the 40’s. The first chapter was about Brahman. What he was writing about the guna, opened my mind and changed me forever. For the first time in my life I could understand who I was, where I was living, what really moved me. It was so clear that it helped me to be all all my life and it still does.

Then India structured my body and soul as I practised Baratha Natyam for 4 years and Hatha Yoga for many years and still practise.

Pandit Jasraj
Pandit Jasraj – performing in Bhopal (India) – is the voice of India that touches me the most.

During my second trip in India, I was in Varanasi and I was sick. Then I had a yoga lesson on a haveli’s roof. The teacher asked me « You’re a teacher ? » « No. » « You’re a teacher ! » I said no again. « You’re a teacher. » I believed him. So I studied the Hatha Yoga in Shri Mahesh’s school in Paris for 4 years, and I’ve been practising Nidra with André Riehl who is linked to Swami Chandra.
I read indian poetry and litterature, I like Tagore, Kabir, Bulbul Sharma most, I watch Bollywood movies, and I’m a very big fan of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, I think he is one the best actors around the world.

India helped me to live, to grow up, to give.

When I paint all those faces, I’m in contact with Bharat spirit, I’m in contact with something very deep beyond the shape of faces, something which is made of Light and Love. When I paint those people, I try to transmit what I felt of those souls, and I hope it will help people as well as India helped me.

That all our donations may be highlighted
and incarnate in matter,
nourished by our work, our patience, our love;
that they enlighten our lives and the lives of others;
such could be the prayer of every human being, such is mine.

Emma Chedid
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