Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The interconnected life of Brinda and Alfaz Miller

Read Time: 2 mins 30 secs; Viewing time: 4.26 mins

The bond between the artist and her architect husband is a meeting of two creative minds, fuelled by the enriching crosscurrents of drastically different personalities.

Brinda Miller doesn’t own a set of anything, be it furniture, clothes or jewelry. “If you ask me, I’d want each of my dining chairs to be different,” she says, “but I think Alfaz would freak out.” Her husband nods, explaining that he prefers to keep things functional, simple and no-nonsense. 

D├ęcor takes on a monumental importance in their South Mumbai home.  Art and masks vie for space on the passage walls leading to Brinda’s room. Alfaz’s room, sparse in comparison, is enlivened by the singular presence of a beautiful rug imprinted with one of Brinda’s works. Then, there’s the sheer number of items in Brinda’s collections, from brass to Christian figurines, that outnumbers those in Alfaz’s. A collector of vintage cars, picture frames, easels and art nouveau furniture, he says, “As I get older, I want to live with less and get light with my collection. 

It’s only been a few minutes into the conversation and we’re beginning to understand that they have about as much in common as a fish does with dry land. An observation that emerges in the subjects they talk about. The need to carve out their own spaces, for example, is a recurring topic. “We give each other space, the artistic liberty to indulge in individual hobbies,” explains Alfaz, who cherishes his me-time by immersing himself in non-fiction reads, playing golf or swimming as opposed to Brinda, who enjoys spending time with friends in the evening after painting all day. 

But with two strong creative personalities with varied interests living under the same roof and even working out of offices in the same building, be an ideal situation rife with discord? We learn that no such clashes occur between the two and that bits and pieces of their personalities have rubbed off on the other. Brinda admits that while she used to lose her temper in the past, she is much calmer now, like Alfaz has always been. There has also been a meeting of sensibilities over time. “We started with different aesthetics. I was more structured, clear-cut, minimal; while she was wild,” says Alfaz. 

The connection between their practices is obvious - one is a fine artist; the other, an architect. Both have an eye for art, enjoy collecting art, spending time in museums, and admit to have two left feet when it comes to dancing! 

Between the few good similarities and the endless differences, how do they strike a balance between togetherness and independence, then? “We’re both temperamental but there’s definitely a synergy between us, artistically,” says Brinda, “Even though we are opposites in many respects, we take each other’s opinions on projects seriously.” Alfaz agrees, adding that they’re both passionate about what they do and practical at the same time. A classic case of the sum of the two parts becoming so much greater than the whole! 

Interview & Editor-in-chief: Savitha Hira
Text: Beverly Pereira
Videography: Sadaf Khan & Robi Mehra
Video Editing: Parag Phatak
Sound Engineer: Neal Shenai
Music Funny Song from Bensound.com.
Social Media: Avinash Yadav
Concept & Creative Direction: Lalit Hira

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