as a illustration for a short story in the
THE VISITOR - 28 x 24 inches - acrylic on masonite panel - 1994
I blogged about this painting previously - you find some detail shots in that blog:
🎨 THE VISITOR
"The Monster in the Bed"
BY SHREEVATSA NEVATIA in The Indian Quarterly - a Literary and Cultural Magazine
Childhood can be a time of cosy confidences—or experiences so devastatingly adult a child can never share them. Shreevatsa Nevatia on the trauma of childish secrets
I was 13 when I discovered Chatropolis. Since internet connectivity was unreliable then, I began paying more attention to my dial-up modem. My anxiety would rise with the tempo of its beeps and whistles. But I couldn’t leave my room locked for long. The laundry would invariably need taking out, or my sister would again be curious about my whereabouts. I’d have an hour if I was lucky. The trouble with Chatropolis, however, was that it needed time. Its adult chat rooms were all categorised on the basis of fetishes or sexual preference. To get something going, you had to loiter, and I was always in a hurry.
Pretending to be a dapper doctor in ‘The Hospital’, I forgot my teenage plumpness. In the rooms of Chatropolis, no one asked about your everyday life. You were the pornographic cliché you wanted to be. For the first month, the conversations I had didn’t really go anywhere. I felt out of place in the ‘Nudist Colony’, and I could never muster the authority that other men seemed to have in ‘Office Seduction’. The sex ratio, I saw, was also skewed. For every five men, there was one woman here. Years later, I would tell myself that my decision to pick a female avatar was first influenced by statistics.