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Updated: November 15, 2013 18:24 IST

Colours of life

Neeraja Murthy
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Visually-challenged Sudha paints a lotus. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
The Hindu
Visually-challenged Sudha paints a lotus. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

A few visually-challenged youngsters take a shot at painting

Hers is a unique vision- she cannot see but can smell the colours. “Red colour is for anger and it smells like a rose. Green stands for victory. There is warmth in yellow and smells like lemon. White, which smells like jasmine is for peace,” says Sudha, sniffing the four boxes filled with colour. She takes a brush, touches the drawing on paper and smiles. By holding the paper with her left hand, she dabs some blue paint and colours each petal in red. As her other visually-challenged friends Divya, Yesamma and Anand from Spoorthi Jyoti Foundation sit in silence, Sudha shows the gathering her finished image. Applause fills the air and she beams.

Her strokes might seem amateurish but considering she is a visually-challenged person, it is nothing less than a gigantic task to paint. For Lalitha Das, an artist, it was sheer interest which encouraged her to teach art to these youngsters. “We lead a colourful life every day. On holidays, we want to have fun and go on outings to enjoy the colours of nature. I wondered how to make these youngsters enjoy colours,” said Lalitha. She blindfolded herself one day and practiced art for few days. “I realised when you are blind, the other sensory faculties in a human being are accentuated.”

That’s how the youngsters began to smell colours and identified them. Then they practiced lucid strokes and drew simple images. Art found a new meaning in their lives. We ask Sudha about her first painting and she quips, “Birds flying in the air.” Drawing mountains, rivers, Asoka trees, a ship sailing, ducks and dolphin might look like a child’s play, but the determination with which the young girl has taken to learning painting left us in awe of the images.

Sudha’s aim: “I want to be an IAS officer,” asserted this undergraduate girl.

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