Around 1983, I started to paint the village fairs or melas that I had seen in my childhood. It began as a series that would express the joy and the happiness of ordinary people enjoying themselves at the seasonal fairs. But then terrorism broke out in the Punjab and shattered the lives of the people. Violence and fear were everywhere. The color of life turned red and gray, the mela was set on fire.

In the Mela paintings I have used motifs from the hand embroidered Fulkari and baagh, the most celebrated expression of Punjabi culture, as a pictorial space. The distorted motifs appear as the visual space ablaze on fire.