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May 4, 2004

Inspiration for the day

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  SHAJI: POLIO STRICKEN ARTISTíS CREATIONS IN GRAIN AND MIDRIB OF COCONUT LEAVES
Shaji, Venkulam, Nellimood, Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapruam

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Look at his limbs, and one would notice deformities, but look at his creations and they would reveal perfection and symmetry.  Shaji, a native of Venkulam, Nellimood, Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapruam fell victim to polio at the age of 2.  But instead of withdrawing into himself, he wanted to play his part in the world with his own uniqueness and contribution.  With confidence and will power, he slowly learned drawing.  With self-confidence born of that training he has been creating temples and other models using the midrib (eerkil) of coconut leaves.

Recently, after more than 300 days of effort, he has completed the model of a temple using grains of rice.  Shaji, who has used more than 86000 grains for the work, pasted the grains together to create the 59.5cm perimeter and 33.5 cm high model of the temple.

Earlier, he had made many models like houses, flower vase, household articles etc using midrib of coconut leaves.  Though he has only a modest income from the screen-printing unit, which he is running since 1997, he is loath to sell his creations in grains or midrib.  He cannot think of losing the result of his months of labour.

Shaji had learned screen-printing when the need to stand on his own legs financially became prominent.  Thus he joined the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, Thalanchi in 1993 and learned screen printing and drawing. 

It is when he is not busy with his screen printing works that he tries his hand at artistic endeavours.

Shaji's temple made of rice grains 

 

Courtesy: Mathrubhumi, April 14, 2004

Contributed by: Administrator

 

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