Backache, Hydrocodone and Dry Pastel

Harshad Kulkarni
May 5, 2019 · 2 min read
Hard dry pastel on tinted paper

This last week of April has been one of the worst in recent years. I hurt my back while running on the treadmill. Drugs muted the pain but what getting me through this phase are my dry pastels.

For the last couple of weeks, me and Yogita (my wife) are experimenting with intermittent fasting. The first time, us foodies are focusing on eating healthy and less junk :)

Week one, was excellent and we felt fresh. Our energy level went up. I thought of complimenting the diet with exercise and started working out in the morning. That’s where things went wrong. I should have held the horses but instead went with the flow.


Wednesday, I was rushed to ER as I could not stand, sit, walk or even roll on the side. After spending almost eight hours at the hospital, we came back home. I knew the next couple of days were going to be painful.

To pass the time, I had a couple of options to choose from. Start watching a new television series, listen to a podcast or acknowledge the pain while lying in bed. I tried catching up with a couple of television series, but it was too dull. All passive ways.

Something pushed me to paint with dry pastels. Friday was the first time in the last 48 hours, I could sit for around 30 mins. That painting helped me almost to ignore my backache.

Hard dry pastel on tinted paper

I shared my painting experience with Yogita, and she reminded me that, the same medium helped me to navigate through the visa issue last year. That’s when I realised that painting with dry pastels is therapeutic for me. It takes my focus away from the pain.

Here is what I would urge to you all. When you are going through a tough time, emotionally or physically, push yourself to find an outlet.

Some activity, it could be exercise, playing an instrument, painting or anything, explore what takes your focus away from the wrong thing. That activity will help you to navigate thorough the unbearable situation.

There lies your passion. And the pain is helping you to discover something new about yourself.

One of my artist friends is pushing me to express my journey through these sketches. I am focusing on a technique, but the journey will make these sketches more memorable. Isn’t it?

Thanks 🙏

Harshad Kulkarni

Written by

Design to me is not limited to producing beautiful artifact but systematically removing hurdles to improve human life.

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