Age is never a deterrent for veteran artist Ramesh Chandra Alandkar.
He calls it “my art journey that never ends.” So true! At 81, his hands and voice shake but not his desire to paint, draw and indulge in his only love in life. Ramesh Chandra Alandkar lives a quiet life in the bustling Barkatpura. “I am a modest artist,” he pleads. He indeed is; unsung and forgotten in a city that he preferred to Sydney.
His father was an eminent artist in Karnataka. Alandkar graduated from Osmania University in 1951 and took to drawing and painting as a hobby. “I never wanted to make it a profession,” he says. A diploma in drawing and painting from JJ School of Arts (Mumbai) took him across the country. His exhibitions were popular and earned him name. He was among the first to clear the journalism test at the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in Bangalore. That was in 1971.
His work inspired the young. “I loved working on styles that marked art style from the 10th century to the start of the 19th century. I love vibrant colours,' he observes. Family commitments took Alandkar to Australia where he popularized Indian art and did work with organizations that looked after children and some differently-able kids. His workshops were a huge hit. His best works includes the depictions from Hindu mythology and, of course, his personal favourites, the natural landscapes.
Alandkar's forte is working on paper and silk medium, highlighting the traditional styles. He wants to share his experience. “Not for money. I want the youth of today to keep the traditions alive. You can express so much through your paintings. There is an artist in everyone. It needs to be discovered and honed.”
The veteran artist's drawing and paintings are fascinating stuff. The precious ones have been put away in attics and cupboards. The walls in his house may not adorn his work but they appeal when you set your sight on them. He loves to experiment and revels in making a social comment through his work. A man of achievements, he confesses he could, when still very young, draw with both hands and feet.
Alandkar is adept at drawing cartoons. They depict the daily happenings. He wants to share them, not to seek appreciation. “I am past that stage in life,” he smiles. “I want to paint and draw to serve the society, not to extract anything.”
Well settled in Sydney with his son, Alandkar opted to return to Hyderabad. “I love Hyderabad. A lot has changed but it is a lovely city.” An inspiration for Alandkar to dedicate a series with a new theme ‘My Hyderabad.' Age is not an issue. “I am young at heart,” he says with an infectious smile.
Keywords: Ramesh Chandra Alandkar